The first developer preview build of Android 15 is expected to drop soon, but the next major version of Android isn’t expected to hit stable channels until this fall.

Meanwhile, device makers are just starting to ship phones with Android 14, which was released a few months ago. And the independent developers behind LineageOS have just released LineageOS 21, which is the first version of their Android-based operating system that’s built on top of Android 14.

LineageOS isn’t the first Android 14-based custom ROM, but it’s one of the longest-running, most stable custom ROMs around, so it’s noteworthy when developers release a major new build.

Custom Android ROMs are basically modified versions of Google’s operating system that are designed to be installed on phones, tablets, and other devices as a replacement for the software that originally shipped on those gadgets. Among other things, this provides a way to install a newer version of Android on old phones that may no longer be supported by their manufacturers, or to give users more control over the settings and behavior of their devices.

The initial release of LineageOS 21 includes all of the features in Android 14, along with security patches through February, 2024.

But it also includes a number of features that you won’t find in stock Android software, including:

  • Glimpse is the new default gallery app for LineageOS, with features that aren’t available from the Android Open Source Project’s default Gallery2 app.
  • The Aperture camera app now supports Material You design, supports automatic screen rotation, has improved QR code scanning support, and more new options and features.
  • The Jelly browser app supports per-website location permissions and features user interface updates, Material You support, and other changes.
  • LineageOS developers have updated the AOSP Dialer app that Google no longer supports with bug fixes, dark and light themes, Material You support, and more.

LineageOS 21 images are available for dozens of devices, and you can check the downloads page to see if your phone, tablet, or other device is supported. Keep in mind that you’ll need to follow the instructions to unlock the bootloader on your device before installing the operating system. And you’ll end up wiping all data from your device as part of the installation process, so make sure to backup any import files or data first.

via LineageOS blog

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    1. Replicant, GrapheneOS, CalyxOS, DivestOS, /e/, IodéOS, AOKP, CarbonROM, CopperheadOS, emteriaOS and, to an extent, Ubuntu Touch…

      1. thumbs up. having to search each site to see if your h/w is supported is a pain point — it’d be nice if up to date site that shows you links based on device name input

        1. I guess the best place for that would be XDA developers but it’s probably not quite as quick and simple as you’d like. Maybe there are other, better/more succinct sources?

  1. On the subject of Android ROMs, the 2022 Free Software Foundation ONFSC recipient, DivestOS, is fundraising with a goal to hit $12k by the end of February to maintain the sustainability of their exemplary contributions to the FOSS community and they seem pretty close – could help them reach it if you gave them a shoutout, @Brad Linder.

  2. Just goes to show that Google artificially ends the life of millions of pieces of hardware every year just to force people into buying shiny new things. I’d hoped the EU would end this sort of forced upgrading when they brought in the recycling laws but apparently Google is exempt.

    1. yes cuz old phones are great flashlights in a power outage, even if they only power on for 20 mins lol

  3. They have a download for the Samsung Galaxy S III, a phone released in 2012. I doubt you can actually use an S III on any network in the US, but it’s still supported anyway. Impressive.

    1. I wonder how well it runs. In other words, is 14 more or less efficient than whatever the last official version of Android was for that phone.

    1. also LineageOS Gallery 14 on apkmirror for android 14 in case rooting not possible. also, jelly browse too. meanwhile, no update droidx86 project in deep sleep no update since 2022.