After three years of official support, Google confirmed yesterday that the long-lived Nexus Player would no longer receive Android updates. While Android Oreo will continue to serve most users just fine, the custom ROM community will likely keep it updated for years to come. LineageOS already supported the set-top box with Nougat builds, but now it has been updated to Android 8.1 Oreo.
It's no secret why CyanogenMod is the most popular custom ROM out there; not only does it support a metric crapload of Android devices, but it also keeps them going far past their primes. The latest devices to get support for CM14.1 (Android 7.1 Nougat) nightlies include two variants of the Galaxy S III, the second-generation Moto X, a few Oppo devices, two versions of the HTC One Max, two Xiaomi phones, and more.
A constant source of consternation among owners of OPPO devices has been the heavily customized ColorOS and especially the slow speed of Android OS updates to it. OPPO has held strong to ColorOS, owing in large part to its reported popularity in Asian markets. Today, in an effort to appease enthusiast owners, OPPO has announced an initiative to support current devices with an AOSP ROM with limited customizations.
OPPO left some clues that they would do something like this, not that it comes as a huge surprise to anyone given the long demands for it. A company rep teased big changes just a month ago in an OPPO forum thread filled with whining about software updates.
If you've got a Find 7 or Find 7a phone from OPPO and you're itching for an official Lollipop ROM, head on over to the company's user forums. A beta version of Color OS 2.1, running on top of Android 5.0 code, has been posted for you to download. At the moment this edition of the software is not available via an over-the-air update, though that should be coming soon enough.
Some lucky devices are getting their first official taste of that sweet, sweet CyanogenMod ROM action today with the addition of nightly support for the HTC One Max and the Oppo Find 7. The old Kindle Fire is also getting some love with a new platform variant for improved support going forward.
Once the CyanogenMod team found and implemented the hidden Heads Up notification mode, it was basically inevitable that all the other major custom ROMs would follow suit. The unicorn-powered Android Open Kang Project has done so with their first nightly based on Android 4.4.4. They've also thrown in the usual bug fixes, as well as settings for automatic Immersive mode, disabling the full-screen keyboard, lockscreen orientation, and a few other goodies.
But the best news, at least for owners of a few select devices, is expanded hardware support. Today's nightly build is being published for the first time for the LTE version of the Nexus 7 2013, the international Galaxy S4 Mini LTE (GT-I9195), and Oppo's high-powered Find 7a.
The first step to having any real ROM-type fun is getting a custom recovery for your device. Well, the Oppo Find 7a is getting TWRP support even before it's widely available (only for sale in China right now). While Cyanogen Inc. has moved on to work with One Plus, Oppo is forging ahead with another modding-friendly Android device.