LineageOS 17.1 review: Android 10, coming to an old phone near you | Wifi Walker, J B Chaparal Properties

LineageOS 17.1 review: Android 10, entrance to an aged phone nearby you

CyanogenMod was a aristocrat of tradition Android ROMs for years. Not usually did it supplement copiousness of good facilities on tip of batch Android (Theme Engine, anyone?), yet it also brought newer versions of a OS to inclination that were never strictly updated. LineageOS has finished an glorious pursuit of progressing that bequest over a past 3+ years, and a plan recently expelled chronicle 17.1 of a ROM, formed on Android 10.

So, what is it like to use LineageOS in 2020? Does Lineage’s take on Android 10 feel significantly opposite than a batch OS? That’s what we wanted to find out, so we flashed a latest build on my reliable 2016 Google Pixel and had a look.


I was a bit disturbed that a designation routine had turn some-more formidable in new years, yet during slightest on my Google Pixel, it’s no some-more formidable than flashing a ROM on any of my other Pixel or Nexus inclination was. Download a ROM, squeeze a suitable Google Apps package (unless we want to go with tough mode), clear a bootloader, and run a few ADB commands.

This was my initial time perplexing out Lineage Recovery, a project’s tradition liberation assign designed to be used in place of TWRP. It’s built to hoop inclination with A/B partitions (a.a. seamless upgrades), and yet it was initial introduced almost dual years ago, usually now is it a default choice for all phones and tablets using LineageOS. In a announcement blog post, Lineage pronounced some inclination competence also support other recoveries, yet it would be adult to a maintainers:

Lineage Recovery is now a defacto implement resolution for LineageOS. It will be built by default for all central devices. This was finished quite to streamline a routine and forestall carrying to coordinate releases. This is not during all to pronounce ill of other tradition recoveries, they’re great! Several of them even contributed to Lineage Recovery in one approach or another. Maintainers will, as always, be means to mention an choice liberation on their device’s Wiki page, so prolonged as they yield full instructions for a usage.

Lineage Recovery is rather light on facilities compared to TWRP — there’s no record manager, or approach to emanate full complement backups — yet it works usually excellent for installing Lineage and gripping it updated. Wiping a batch ROM on my Pixel and environment adult Lineage was usually as discerning and painless, following the central designation guide.

Once we rebooted into LineageOS, a setup routine was mostly matching to environment adult any Android 10 phone — enter a Wi-Fi password, record into Google, we know a drill.

Stock, yet somewhat better

LineageOS still retains a demeanour and feel of batch Android, yet with a few combined features. I’ve always elite a pattern of batch Android over any OEM skin, so even yet some of a functionality I’m used to on OxygenOS and One UI aren’t here, we don’t unequivocally have any complaints with a interface.

By default, LineageOS looks matching to batch Android 10, yet we can customize a coming a bit. While a CyanogenMod Theme Engine of aged is gone, and Lineage never entirely upheld Substratum theming, LineageOS 17.1 does deliver a totally new Styles page. It works likewise to a thesis options on Pixel and OnePlus phones: we can set a tradition font, idol shape, accent color, and so on. However, there doesn’t seem to be a approach to set a tradition idol container system-wide, like OxygenOS allows.

There are also a few other teenager improvements to a system, like a ability to constraint prejudiced screenshots from a energy menu, Note10-style. LineageOS also now boasts support for pop-up/rotating cameras, in-screen fingerprint sensors, and Emoji 12 support in a AOSP keyboard.

While we do wish there were a few some-more facilities benefaction from renouned manufacturer ROMs (like a shade recorder with complement audio from OxygenOS and One UI), we was vehement to find out that LineageOS has support for scheduled dim mode. That’s something my OnePlus 7 Pro can’t do on a batch ROM, and was usually recently combined to Pixels.

Beyond all a LineageOS-specific tweaks, we also get all from batch Android 10. That includes a new full-screen navigation gestures, softened presentation management, a updated share menu, and many more. We have a list of each new Android 10 underline here, if we need a refresher.

The apps

Most of a work that goes into LineageOS is updating, or undisguised replacing, a core applications in AOSP (the open-source bend of Android). For example, AOSP doesn’t unequivocally have a browser anymore, so Lineage grown a possess from blemish that uses a system’s WebView component. The browser is substantially my favorite of Lineage’s apps, generally given it stores tabs in a complement app switcher — usually like Chrome did years ago.

The Music app is also built from blemish by Lineage, and it works good for personification locally-stored MP3s. It is a bit bizarre that it doesn’t support changing a lane time from a presentation though, like many other song apps on Android 10.

I have to give props to a LineageOS group for a idol pattern — all a preinstalled applications have illusory logos that are vaguely suggestive of early Material Design icons. I’d roughly lost what it was like to have app icons that weren’t primary colors on a white circle.

The almighty ROM king

Countless tradition ROMs have come and left over a years, yet LineageOS has managed to hang around during all that time. we don’t meant to calumniate a developers of other ROMs — progressing an whole handling complement in your giveaway time is no tiny attainment — yet Lineage is still a usually placement that has reliably kept comparison phones and tablets adult to date over a years.

Even yet we don’t have a reason to use tradition ROMs on my primary phones anymore, CyanogenMod and LineageOS have extended a life of several of my devices. In fact, a 2016 Pixel we used for this essay is no longer upheld by Google.

I’m blissful to see LineageOS is alive and well, even in an age where a batch ROMs on many phones and tablets are good adequate for many folks. It’s gripping a dream of open-source Android alive, as good as preventing perfectly-functional phones from being thrown in landfills.

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