Take Control of Your Phone with LineageOS

What phone do you have? We’ve all been asked this, and almost everyone has a preference. They might be able to write you an essay on the reasons why, or it might just be a feeling – this or that phone just works for them.

Apple’s iPhones offer sleek design, increased privacy and significant security, but for a significant price. On the other hand Google has its Pixel, and its Android operating system finds its way into myriad phones, varying in brand, price, style and features. They offer little to no privacy, moderate to good security (depending on the manufacturer and other factors) and more customisability. Have I missed anything? Maybe, but you get the point.

There are other phone manufacturers and operating systems I could mention, but we all know that Google has the lion’s share of the mobile market, your grandmother and your dog have an iPhone and at least one of the two companies is probably sitting in your hand or your pocket right now.

That’s okay; as we’ve seen, both companies bring their own advantages to the table and phones really have on average become easier and more affordable than ever to purchase.

But I want to tell you about something better, something which can provide you with a combination of the key positive features mentioned above, including increased privacy and control, good security, no added cost, and all the spirit of the open source community.

Android (r)evolution

LineageOS is a custom ROM based on the Android operating system (OS). LineageOS is possible because Android is open source.

Many people who are happy to put in the effort and tinker with their devices have found Custom ROMs to be a solution to the drawbacks they find with the likes of iPhones and stock Android phones. There are a number of custom ROMs, the more popular choices including CyanogenModOS, ReplicantOS and ParanoidAndroidOS.

No doubt these all come with their own strengths and weaknesses. I’ve tried ReplicantOS myself and, personally, I found it to be an unrealistic solution due to its lack of built-in Wi-Fi functionality, significant battery drain and limited number of maintained/compatible devices. But I do admire Replicant’s puristic FOSS vision, so I encourage you to learn more about the project.

I decided to give LineageOS a try – and I’m so glad I put in the time and effort. The project’s own website has a detailed guide on installing its OS, so I’m not going to regurgitate what you can just as easily find there. I used the guide myself and I found no issues with it.

What I want to do is give you a breakdown of the reasons I chose to use, and continue to use, LineageOS as my daily mobile driver, and what I’ve learnt through trial and error both during and since I first installed it. Hopefully the following will provide you with some inspiration as well as some helpful tips which might save you time and stress if you decide to give it a try yourself.

Why I’m using LineageOS

Tips for installing LineageOS

Closing words

You may have already scanned through the installation guide on the LineageOS website. Either way, you’ll soon see that it’s not too difficult, and even if you get stuck, there are a number of videos online walking you through the process. Remember: as with almost every technical hitch, there’s always someone else who’s been there already. If you get stuck, try the following sites:

I might also be able to help, so get in touch if you have any questions. :)

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