What is LineageOS?
LineageOS is the most popular Custom ROM for Android devices. It is an open-source operating system based on the android platform and is built for smartphones and tablets. It is the successor of CyanogenMod, which is a successor of Cyanogen. Cyanogen was first created to offer a modified version of Android, that would provide additional or improved features and better privacy compared to stock Android releases.
History & Background
LineageOS got its start when Cyanogen was released in 2009 for the HTC smartphones “Dream” and “Magic”. In the early days of Cyanogen, it was mainly developed by a developer with the pseudonym of JesusFreke. The development work was eventually taken over by Steve Kondik, who was primarily responsible for the transition from Cyanogen to CyanogenMod. December 2016 saw the launch of LineageOS, which is the latest iteration of the ROM. This has been followed by 6 new versions, accompanying official Android OS updates
LineageOSoffers many additional features that are not provided by the official Android releases. Some of the biggest improvements offered by LineageOS are:
- Privacy Guard: This allows users to control permissions for apps they have installed. It lets you decide whether an app can access certain data on your device.
- Interface Personalization: LineageOS provides users with the ability to highly customize the interface of their device such as the navigation bar, notification drawer, status bar, etc.
- Customizable Button Actions: You can control what the buttons on your devices do. It can be extremely useful if you want to map specific functions to any buttons.
- Profiles: You can save multiple profiles with different groups of settings to easily switch between different modes. For example, if you want to turn off all your notification except for calls and turn off your data while you work. You can save these settings in a profile and switch to that profile rather than changing every single setting.
Is Lineage-OS Google Free?
Google owns Android and all Android devices come with pre-installed Google apps. This has helped Google harvest huge amounts of data from android users and grow at an incredible pace. LineageOS devices do not come with Google Apps, which prevents the flow of your data to Google. This google-free environment provides users with more control over their data and enhances the security the devices can offer.
Supported LineageOS Devices
As your device gets old, the original manufacturers have fewer incentives to push updates on those devices. One of the reasons custom ROMs like LineageOS are popular is the limited support for older devices. LineageOS can be run on almost 200 devices, which include many older models. Most major manufacturers are on the list of supported devices. You can find this list here.
Should you install LineageOS?
As your device gets old, the original manufacturers have fewer incentives to push updates on those devices. One of the If you are looking for a way to extend your smartphone’s life, installing LineageOS can ensure that you have access to the latest version of Android and continue to receive good support. Additionally, it also offers improvements on privacy, customizability and performance of stock Android. Finally, if you do decide to install a custom ROM, it would be extremely difficult to find one with better device support and a stronger community than LineageOS.