The Android community’s biggest aftermarket distribution, LineageOS, is now up and running with Android 11. The new release is called “LineageOS 18.1,” and builds for over 60 smartphones are hitting official servers for brands like OnePlus, Google, Xiaomi, Sony, Motorola, LG, and even some old Samsung devices.
New Lineage OS 18.1 contains, of course, all the Android 11 features from the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), like a new notification panel with a persistent media player, floating “bubble” notifications, one-time permissions, new emojis, a new autofill system for the keyboard, and more. All the Lineage apps now support dark mode, and a fork of the FOSS “Etar” calendar app replaces what Lineage calls the “stagnant and largely unmaintained” AOSP calendar. The FOSS app SeedVault has been included as a built-in backup solution, and Lineage’s screen recorder and music apps have been revamped.
Google releases the Android source code as “AOSP,” but Google’s repo is a big pile of code that isn’t device-ready. LineageOS takes AOSP code and whips it into shippable shape, patching up any missing components with its own code and adding some of its own apps in place of Google’s proprietary apps (though you can flash Google’s apps on top of Lineage, too), and baking several customization and mod-friendly features into the OS. Everything Lineage does is free and open source.
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