In this Lineage OS review, we will be discussing how this ROM has become the new rage but before we will talk about its history. Android was conceived as a user’s operating system. It offered the best seller in class features right from the days of its inception to date. But the best feature of Android was its openness, something Google still boasts about with pride. It let anyone with a stable internet connection gain access to the entire codebase so that they can modify the OS to their own needs and requirements. This opened revolution opened up to a wide variety of use cases. In a short time, Android outgrew from the smartphones ecosystem to the support other electronics. It became the go-to operating system for wearables and dashboards and other smart devices. Today Google is recognizing the possibility of the platform and is officially supporting such use cases with a product like Android Auto and Android Things.
Another great aspect of Android’s openness is the fact that it allows infinite possibilities for customizations. From simple things like launchers and icon packs to more advanced and intricate things like kernels and custom ROMs. Android opens up itself to tinkerers and modders. This very need of gaining full control over the device we own gave birth to a community which has been active ever since the early days of Android to create ROMs. Android ROMs are basically a tweaked version of the Android Open Source Project with goodies and otherwise great customizations built natively into the system. There have been multiple ROMs that have come and gone but some have stuck around have fostered entire communities of developers and enthusiasts around them. Some of them are CyanogenMod, Paranoid Android, Resurrection Remix and others.
CyanogenMod by far has been the most popular among all. It was among the first custom ROMs to be built and it has had a huge community of developers backing it. CyanogenMod was the go to custom ROM for the masses. Every Android enthusiast knew the project and its features on their fingertips. CyanogenMod has had a pretty interesting history. From its inception to its fiasco with OnePlus and then the big claims of beating Google’s to its demise and rebirth as Lineage OS. While the story is now old and has been extensively covered let me give you a quick one on what happened just in case you don’t already know it. CyanogenMod the community-based ROM realized the potential of their product and incorporated into a company to offer users the non-Google version of Android for those who wanted. OnePlus was one of their initial customers and they signed an exclusive deal to ship Cyanogen OS for the OnePlus One. They soon parted however when Yu, the subsidiary of Micromax took legal actions over the exclusivity of Cyanogen OS and OnePlus was left without an operating system to back their devices. They soon came up with Oxygen OS and things went ok for OnePlus from there on. For Cyanogen, though things went downhill from there. Their deals fell apart and on top of all that, the co-founder Kirt McMaster made some pretty big claims like “we’re going to take Android away from Google” and “we’re putting a bullet through Google’s head”. Turns out not only were these claims widely vague but they were also a bullet in their own foot. Soon Steve Kondik put the matter to rest by parting ways with Cyanogen and announcing that its legacy will live on with Lineage OS.
This is exactly what brought you to this post. Lineage OS is Cyanogen’s legacy packed into a better package, sans the dorky unrealistic claims and business issues. Lineage OS is everything you know and love about CyanogenMod and more. It’s faster, more stable, and comes with some great new features. Before we get into the features of Lineage OS, you might wanna check if your device is supported or not. You can do so by visiting this link and checking out the officially supported devices. If your device is supported, great, you should go ahead and flash the latest build on your device. Steps to do so are pretty straightforward and you may find tutorials and extensive guides on doing so in multiple places on the web.
Now that you have downloaded Lineage OS, let’s get into the great features it offers.
Lineage OS Review – A Look on Lineage OS Features
Table of Contents
1. Audio FX
Audio performance is always something for which CyanogenMod was known for. Well, if you flashed Lineage OS recently, you will be glad to know that this feature makes a comeback with the new ROM.
Audio FX will be available as a standalone app on the ROM. Once you open the app, you will be able to fine tune the audio performance of your device, this includes both the speaker performance and the headphone performance. Among the various settings available are Small Speakers, Headphones etc along with a Bass and Virtualizer option.
Gestures are something that resonates with the entire OnePlus brand. Gestures allow you to perform certain tasks from the convenience of an off screen. Well, if you own a OnePlus device or any device which supports gestures, you will be right at home on Lineage OS because these gestures are built into the ROM and you can turn them on or off via the Setting app, just open the Settings app and head over to the gestures section.
Under the section, you will find several options like the familiar “Double Tap To Wake”, “Draw O to open camera”, “Draw a V to turn on the flashlight” etc. Turn them on as per your requirements and you will be right at home with those familiar options.
3. New (Rebranded) Easter Egg
Android is popular for a lot of things but the one thing that enthusiasts wait for eagerly each year is the version name and the easter egg. Google recognizes this and it even started teasing possible names for the N release last year.
Since Lineage OS essentially is built on top of the core of CyanogenMod, it needed a new identity to depart from the earlier iteration. If you head over to the Settings app, tap on about phone and tap on the version number a bunch of times, you will be greeted with a new rebranded logo for Lineage OS. Tapping on it further, you will be greeted with a new logo. Tapping further on the logo will be greeted with the familiar cat game.
4. Editable Quick Settings Toggle
This is another one of key CyanogenMod features which were later adopted by almost all popular third party ROMs. With Lineage OS you have the ability to edit the order and number of Quick Settings toggles. Just swipe down from the notification shade and hit the edit button on the top right corner. You can now edit the ordering of the tiles and the number of tiles that appear as well.
You can now edit the ordering of the tiles and the number of tiles that appear as well.
5. Live Display
Live Display is an assistive feature available on Lineage OS that will surely help people who have the tendency of using their devices late in the night. Live Display adjusts the brightness and tone of your display to better suit your eyes. Head over to the Settings app and go to the Display option. Under the display settings, you will find the Live Display option and you can head in to enable the settings which best suit you. The options include Automatic Outdoor mode, Color Temperature settings etc.
6. New Launcher
This is a brand new feature that has come in with Lineage OS. The Google Pixel made the vertical launcher more mainstream with the Android ecosystem so it was only some time before it started showing up on all devices. Lineage OS also bakes in a similar experience with a vertical launcher. This is enabled by default but you can definitely switch it out for something else.
7. Protected App
This is a unique offering from Lineage OS. it allows you to hide certain apps from the launcher so that no one can access them, even accidentally! You can turn it on from the security section under the Settings option.
Once turned on and you have certain apps set to as protected, they can’t be launched from anywhere, not from the Play Store, not from the contextual links on Chrome and definitely not from the apps section from under the Settings app.
Conclusion – Lineage OS Review
Here we come to the end of the Lineage OS review. We can only say that Lineage OS sets to embark on the goals set by the CyanogenMod. The popular ROM that modders and enthusiasts may be dead now, but it lives on as the core of Lineage OS. It will be some time till we are able to definitively say if Lineage lives up to the expectations or not. But till then, let us know in the comments how you feel about this new ROM.