Custom ROMs for Android phones and tablets can bring features that might not be available in the software that ships with your device. But they can also be a way to keep older devices up to date long after the manufacturer stops offering software updates.
Case in point: the team behind LineageOS (which grew out of the ashes of CyanogenMod a few years ago), have just released LineageOS 16 based on Android 9 Pie. It’s available for a bunch of phones and tablets including some that were released as long ago as 2014.
For example, the list of supported devices includes the OnePlus One (April, 2014), several Samsung Galaxy S5 variants (April, 2014), and the Google Nexus 6 (Nov, 2014).
There’s also support for some newer devices including the Xiaomi Poco F1, Huawei P20 Pro, and Motorola Moto X4. Additional devices will likely be added in the future, both officially an unofficially.
You can find a full list of initially supported devices in the release notes, complete with an Easter egg (it’ll probably jump right out at you).
In addition to enabling support for Android 9 Pie, LineageOS 16 brings a few of its own features. For example, the team’s Styles API has been updated so it will be compatible with the dark mode Google is expected to include in the next version of Android. There’s a “mark as read” action in notifications for messages. And there’s support for setting custom intervals for your device to check for updates automatically.
LineageOS 14.1 development has also now reached the end of the line, which means that the developers are no longer actively building Android Nougat-based ROMs. But developers can still release security updates for devices that continue to run those older versions of the operating system.