Lineage Android Pie update: What is it, and should I use it?

Today we're having a peek at the latest update to Lineage – but before that, we're going to go over what it is and why it exists. Lineage is a bit of software that replaces the version of Android your smartphone manufacturing brand originally installed before purchase. Once you purchase the phone, you have the ability to run the software already installed, or you can go through a series of steps that'll lead to expanded abilities and a custom build – made by Lineage.

The people who make Lineage are not affiliated with Google or any other hardware manufacturer. Instead, Lineage is an open source bit of software developed by people who have a love for spinning code in their spare time. A complete list of devices that have Lineage software available can be found at the official LineageOS homepage.

As it's always been with software such as this, some devices get updates, others fall behind or aren't updated at all. When it comes to Lineage, some of the strangest devices you'd never expect fall into the "still get updates" category. For those of you out there that are software-savvy and have a very old device that wouldn't normally get updates, this might be the build for you.

For example this most recent round of updates now includes the LeEco Le 2, LG G2, Xiaomi Mi Note 3, ZTE Axon 7, and ZUK Z1. That is one extremely eclectic mix of phones, of that you can be sure. Updates for most still-updating phones are closing in on Android 9 Pie, as covered in Lineage 16.0. If you're in the mood for some Pie and your phone hasn't had any updates from your manufacturing brand as such, you might want to take a peek at this software.

In general, I find that the best test for seeing whether a person should use Lineage or not is the following: Do you know what ADB is, and have you used it before? If the answer is yes, you could potentially make use of Lineage. If you've never heard of ADB before, you'll want to take extreme caution in attempting to load Lineage – it's not something you should use if you're a novice at software development and/or tinkering with Android.

The update this week is explained in full over at Changelog 21 on LineageOS. There you'll find additional information on Nightlies, the move to Android 9 Pie-based Lineage, and all the "improved infrastructure" that won't make any difference to you unless you've been using Lineage for a while.