At the very dawn of the Android OS, a group of developers wanted to get more out of their mobile devices than they were capable of. Cyanogen along with a band of enthusiastic contributors created CyanogenMod, one of the most popular custom ROMs ever created for the Android OS.
While having a great run, CyanogenMod is now no longer among us, and the project was killed off after Cyanogen Inc. went under. But with enough support from the users and developers willing to do the hard work, it has been rebooted as LineageOS.
Now we may soon see a new version of the ROM, in and as LineageOS 16, which is expected to be based on Android P (9.0 probably). Right now, the LineageOS 15.1 is available and is based on Android 8.1.
LineageOS 16 Release Date
- Not to release anytime soon
- Android P yet to hit AOSP (expected in October 2018)
- First LineageOS 16 build may arrive in December 2018
With the release of Android 9.0 P, LineageOS 16 is expected to be the next big thing in the world of Android custom ROMs. Considering that Android 8.0 Oreo is currently at less than 0.5% market share, it will almost a year before we see the official rollout of the next big Android version.
Taking a look at the timeline, Android 8.0 Oreo was released back in August 2017, after the developer preview came out in March 2017. However, the updated Android 8.1 update was rolled out much later in December 2017, starting with Google Pixel and Nexus devices. In comparison, it has taken LineageOS 15.1, which is a forked version of Android 8.1 Oreo around 85 days to be released.
Considering that the Android 9.0 P version has just been released as a developer preview, it could be a long wait before we hear about LineageOS 16. Even then, the early versions would be restricted to a handful of devices, like the OnePlus 5 and 5T, or OnePlus 3 and 3T, the Moto G sets, Nexus and Pixel sets, etc. but definitely not the devices such as the Galaxy S8, Galaxy S7, Galaxy Note 8, HTC U11, LG G6, etc. that tightly controlled by their OEMs.
So a stable release should be expected around December 2018-early 2019, just after Google will bring Android 9.0 P to its Pixel devices, and more importantly, the Android P is available under AOSP.
Will my device get LineageOS 16?
- Golden rule: If your device has LOS15.1/15.0, it will probably get LOS16.0 too
- Samsung flagships aren’t getting much LineageOS love over past few years
- Stock UI-featuring handsets like those of Motorola, OnePlus, Nokia, etc. stand great chance to be the first devices to run LineageOS 16 ROM
- Nexus, Pixel, and LG devices should get LOS16 too
It wouldn’t be a fair comparison to make if we considered the device list of CyanogenMod to be equal to LineageOS. At its prime, CyanogenMod supported thousands of Android devices at the least, while LineageOS being only a year old now, has far fewer numbers.
While the official list of LineageOS 16 devices is not yet out, you can expect all of the LineageOS 15.1 devices to be supported by default. The list will only keep growing as more devices and Android OEMs join the party.
Nonetheless, LineageOS 15.1 is already at an impressive total of more than 250+ devices for over 20 different Android OEMs. The list already covers the popular devices from OnePlus, with every single device on the Chinese company’s roster is covered already – OnePlus One, OnePlus X, OnePlus 2, OnePlus 3/3T and OnePlus 5/5T as well.
All of the devices that Google has now finally stopped supporting through software OTA updates are at the mercy of LineageOS. Starting all the way at the Galaxy Nexus, the support goes up all the to the Nexus 6P, and the Google Pixel devices should be a part of the LineageOS Project soon enough.
A bunch of Samsung devices should also make the list, most of which are the older generation flagships like the Galaxy S7/S7 Edge, Galaxy S5, Galaxy, Galaxy S3 and even the Galaxy S2. Along with some of the Note series devices, LineageOS 15.1 is currently available for a bunch of Galaxy tablet devices as well.
Speaking of Sony, the Xperia lineup of older devices will most likely be the recipients of the LineageOS update. While the support is live for other Xperia Z series and other budget-range Xperia devices, we expect the support to extend to the newer Xperia XZ range of premium devices soon.
While LG hasn’t managed to release Android 8.0 Oreo even months after other Android OEMs, LineageOS has already brought it to more than a dozen of its devices. Starting at the LG G2 and going all the way up to the latest LG G6 series, the support is also out for a bunch of mid-tier devices.
Xiaomi has also seen the favor of the LineageOS development team, at its devices have received an overwhelming amount of support. Supporting every flagship device from the Mi 3, premium phablets like the Mi MIX and Mi MIX 2, and budget Redmi devices, there’s a lot to get your hands on.
When it comes to Motorola devices, the jury is mixed on this one as the support for the flagship devices is limited. However, the mid-range Moto G series receives good software support, along with a bunch of Moto X variants that are supported with LineageOS 15.1 currently.
Why LineageOS 16?
For most of us who are looking over to custom ROMs for software support, it’s because our Android OEM has left us high and dry. LineageOS offers a chance of survival to older devices with decent hardware to still be worth the money we put into them when we first bought them.
Even for those who have relatively new devices like the Xiaomi Mi 6, the advent of a pure Android experience can be compelling. Since LineageOS is meant to be a lean-and-mean version of Google’s stock Android, you get a crisp user interface with none of the unnecessary fluff of the MIUI ROM.
For instance, OnePlus One is a device that is still kicking after three years of being out of software support. Thanks to LineageOS 15.1, you get Android 8.1 Oreo even before the flagship OnePlus 5T has the chance to see the light of it. More importantly, since Android P is still in developer preview, LineageOS might be the only way to get the software on an Android OEM device at the earliest.
Why not LineageOS 16?
While the advantages of this custom ROM far outweigh the disadvantages, you still have to consider the repercussions. In comparison to the massive support that CyanogenMod had, LineageOS hold less than one fraction of devices that are supported. Fewer devices mean fewer supporters, which affects everything from update support to software availability.
It is a relief that you can use services like Samsung KNOX and Android Pay with LineageOS since the custom ROM does not root your device by default. However, you still have to unlock the bootloader and install a custom recovery, both of which will void the warranty of your Android device.
Are you excited for the release of LineageOS 16 with Android 9.0 this year, or would you rather wait it out and enjoy the official stable release through your device manufacturer? Share your thoughts in the comments section down below.
Are you waiting for the LineageOS 16 custom ROM? Which device do you own?