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Open GApps packages land for Android 9 Pie

If you are at all into the root/ROM community, then you should probably be familiar with Open GApps, which combines the Google services that most of us need for our Android phones (i.e., the Play Store, Play Services, and other Google apps) into a collection of convenient, recovery-flashable packages. In a milestone, today Open GApps has released its first builds for Android 9 Pie. ARM packages are live, with ARM64 and x86 architectures to follow in the next few hours.

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Paranoid Android is back again, drops Oreo builds for some Sony devices

Are you ready for a surprise? Paranoid Android/AOSPA, of long-standing ROM fame, has just pushed out a status update on the project's plans, as well as the first ever Oreo releases for the ROM. Unfortunately for the vast majority of us, they're only available for a handful of Sony phones.

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[Update: Taken down] Unauthorized GravityBox app listing pops up on Play Store

Most of our rooting and ROMing readers should be familiar with the name GravityBox, which is a set of tweaks that use the Xposed framework to modify AOSP-based ROMs with features and tweaks typically found in third-party projects—giving you ROM-like features while running stock, basically. Earlier today we were interested to see the tool had a listing on the Play Store, but after reaching out to GravityBox developer C3C076, we've learned it has no association with the project.

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Google removes GApps 100 device limit for uncertified devices, fixes device registration page

Late last month, Google announced it would block the Play Store and Google Play Services from running on 'uncertified' devices. This was meant to keep OEMs from sideloading the Play Store on devices not approved by Google. The company offered a way for custom ROM users to register their devices, but it was a complicated process, because the registration page didn't actually provide instructions.

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Google is starting to block GApps on 'uncertified' devices, but you can register an exemption for ROMs

Google has always controlled which devices ship with its proprietary GApps—a package that includes such necessities as the Play Store and Google Play Services. Until now, they've even been pretty lenient about allowing custom ROM users to flash the necessary payload on top of their modified OS. Unfortunately, some OEMs used that loophole to their advantage, ignoring Google's CTS certification process while shipping devices with GApps or shamelessly encouraging users to sideload them.

According to XDA Developers, that loophole has now been closed. Google Play Services will soon check the build date for a given system image, and if that date is after March 16th, it will be blocked from completing the sign-in process—though custom ROM users can manually register their devices for an exemption. 

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LineageOS 15.1 announced with Android 8.1 base, customizable colors, and more

Many open-source projects, LineageOS included, live by the same motto - 'don't ask for an ETA.' Most developers of Lineage have other jobs and responsibilities, so large undertakings (like creating a new major update) take time. At long last, the waiting is over - LineageOS 15.1 is official, and it's coming to a device near you.

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Honor providing View10 devices to prominent custom ROM and kernel developers

Now that Huawei's plans of selling phones on US carriers have fallen apart, the company appears to be trying something different - appealing to hardcore Android enthusiasts looking for inexpensive phones. OnePlus is easily the leader in that niche, after Google stopped selling its budget-friendly Nexus phones. The Honor View10 (Honor is a sub-brand of Huawei) is already targeting OnePlus, and now the company is helping community developers create ROMs, recoveries, and kernels.

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LineageOS releases changelog for the past few weeks, including KRACK fixes and several status bar/quick settings additions

From time to time, the team at LineageOS will post changelogs of changes/fixes that have been implemented since the last changelog was published. It's been quite a while since the last one on September 23rd, and this new one contains some noteworthy information. Following every change Lineage makes isn't the easiest thing in the world, and this helps consolidate everything.

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[Update: OmniROM too] LineageOS beats Google to the punch, fixes 'KRACK' WPA2 vulnerability in Android

Yesterday, security researchers published a paper on 'KRACK,' a security vulnerability in the WPA2 Wi-Fi protocol. I won't re-explain how it works here (click the above link if you want to learn more), but almost every modern operating system and device that can connect to Wi-Fi is affected. This includes Android, and if you're running Marshmallow or later, you're especially vulnerable.

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Guide: The best phones and tablets for LineageOS

The following post was written by Ryne Hager and Corbin Davenport.

The vast majority of Android device buyers don't know or care what a custom ROM is. And that's completely fine - a phone or tablet's stock ROM will be enough for 99.9% of potential users. But for the 0.1% that like to tinker, the development community surrounding a given device can drastically impact the value. Your purchase can become a much better deal if there is a wealth of custom ROM options available, extending its lifespan for possibly years (and nearly a decade for the HD2).

There are quite a few popular custom ROMs in the wild, but LineageOS is probably one of the best overall.

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