And now, one for the technically-inclined. You might remember, if you cast your mind back, the custom Android installation known as CyanogenMod. It might not be around any longer but LineageOS is. And it is offering intrepid users Android 9 Pie on devices that are probably not going to be officially supported.
LineageOS has released LineageOS 16, a custom Android ROM that will give supported phones access to the Dark Mode seen in Android 9 Pie. And other features as well. Android 9 is a very interesting take on Google’s mobile OS, with the digital wellness features being particularly noteworthy. But actually getting yourself some Pie takes some doing. The Galaxy S9 Plus only got the OS update in South Africa in the last week of February this year, for instance.
Slices of Pie
So owners of older devices could be out of luck. Unless they opt for some experimentation with LineageOS, which supports some 30 devices at launch. Many of these are older model phones, like the Motorola Moto Z, Samsung Galaxy S5 (several variants), and older Sony Xperia handsets (starting from the Xperia Z and the Xperia Tablet Z). The LG G3 can also be given a new lease on life with some Pie that LG probably won’t officially share.
Read more: Beta yourself — Android Pie
Of course, this means that you’ll have to get into your device and install a custom (technically-unsupported) ROM. That’s always a hairy proposition, since there’s the potential for catastrophic failure. As with most operations of this nature, we would recommend that you only undertake it with a device you don’t mind bricking. It’s also a good idea to have a second, more stable handset on hand if you require a reliable smartphone. Custom ROMs are fun, but they can sometimes be sketchy. Take precautions, always back up, and mind you don’t fry whichever item you choose to sacrifice to the gods of customisation. At the very least, expect that to happen. That way, when it doesn’t, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
And if you’re looking at a drawer-full of older tech in hopes of giving them some Android 9 loving, stay tuned. LineageOS will be adding more devices at a later stage. Though it seems they’ve got more modern tech in mind, there’s always the chance that your nigh-obsolete hardware will get some support.