We've all had a phone reach a premature death, running out of software updates well before the device is actually too slow to be used. Thankfully, the custom ROM community helps keep your old gadgets alive, and there's no better ROM out right now than LineageOS. The open-source project brought Android 11 to nearly 60 phones earlier this month, and two more are about to be added to the list. The OnePlus 6 and 6T have picked up Android 11 courtesy of LineageOS, with nightly builds for both now available.
If you're an Android user, Google has a scary amount of information on you, and matters get worse if you're deeply embedded in the company's app ecosystem — getting locked out of your Google account can have serious consequences then. Thankfully, Android is open source, so it's possible to evade Google without having to leave the platform altogether — just look at Amazon's tablets or Huawei's Google-less phones. But if you'd rather be completely independent from big corporations, going for a free and open-source custom ROM built on top of Android's core might be the best solution.
The evergreen TeamWin Recovery Project received a sizable update to 3.5 back in December. Late last night they posted 3.5.1, which they're calling a "mini release," waiting for full support for Android 11. Most of the changes are housekeeping and small support additions, now split into two branches for Android 9 and 10.
Many older Android enthusiasts that dabbled in rooting or ROMing in the last decade may nostalgically remember Dirty Unicorns. Sadly, after today, all that will be left of the name are those memories, as Dirty Unicorns has decided to shut down.
LineageOS is the most popular custom ROM around, as it has extended the life of many phones and tablets that would have otherwise been abandoned. Even for phones still receiving software updates from the original manufacturer, Lineage can sometimes work better than the stock software, and it's a popular option for 'de-Googling' Android devices. Since our last roundup, several more phones have been added to the official Android 10 build roster (and a few have been removed).
LineageOS is the most popular custom ROM for Android devices, bringing new OS versions to phones and tablets that have long since been unsupported. The Pixel lineup has mostly been ignored by the project, outside of the original models, but now nearly every Google-made phone is receiving official builds of LineageOS.
Custom ROMs are no longer as popular as they once were, but they still have their place in the Android world. Here's an example: the OnePlus One, a phone that came out in 2014, is now able to run stable Android 10 by way of LineageOS 17.1, which has just been released to the open-source project's download page.
LineageOS is the most-used custom Android ROM around, but that doesn't mean there isn't room for others. Paranoid Android was a popular choice back in the KitKat days, and while the ROM returned in full force with Nougat builds in 2017, there hasn't been much news since. Now the project is back (again), touting Android 10 builds for nine phones so far.
This story was originally published and last updated .
The vast majority of Android device buyers don't know or care what a custom ROM is. There's nothing wrong with that — a phone or tablet's stock ROM will be enough for 99.9% of potential users. However, 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 (or roughly a decade, in the case of the HTC HD2).
LineageOS is the most popular custom ROM in existence, boasting official support for dozens of devices. The first Android 10 builds arrived earlier this month, and Lineage has continued to add to the roster of supported phones since then. The last time we covered the LineageOS 17.1, builds for the Nexus 6 and first-gen Pixels had just arrived, and there are even more additions now.