LineageOS 15.1 can now officially be downloaded and installed on Google’s original Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones, codenamed Sailfish and Marlin, respectively. Although the free open-source firmware has been available for a while now, the addition of support for Google’s devices is thanks to recently added support for devices with an A/B partition structure. In short, the change makes it possible for updates to be applied without the need to reinstall mods and adjustments that have been made to enable better security and recovery. Beyond the features already present in Android 8.1, which the software is based on, LineageOS also delivers better personalization. Support is included for icon changes, adaptive icons, element theming that adjusts automatically based on the time of day, and U.I. recoloring that’s intelligently derived from the user’s current wallpaper image. Aside from those additions of the above-outlined Trebuchet launcher, the Snap camera app included with the build has a built-in QR code reader, among other features.
This addition of support couldn’t be more timely as the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are just months away from release. Therefore, those looking to freshen up the original and now a little dated models, will have the option to do so. LineageOS devices will almost certainly be able to continue to be updated well beyond Google’s support for the devices, and even more so considering support for Project Treble has been built right in to LineageOS 15.1.
Installing the custom ROM is not very difficult but does require a complete wipe of all the data on the installation device. What’s more, users will need an unlocked bootloader and will need a computer running both ADB and fastboot, in addition to a device – a Google Pixel or Pixel XL, in this case – with USB debugging enabled. There are instructions for those requirements included in the LineageOS installation instructions. Those are available at the devices’ respective download page. However, less tech-savvy users who aren’t comfortable with those processes will likely want to avoid attempting to install the ROM. For the time being, the latest version of LineageOS also doesn’t work with the search giant’s latest handsets, the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL.