Updating your device, if you’re an Android user, can be a real pain. While manufacturers have gotten slightly better at providing timely updates for most devices out there, it’s hardly instant and there are no real guarantees about whether you’re even going to get the update at all. Often times, when the update does arrive, a new version of Android is already being introduced. Historically, Android users have solved this problem by replacing the stock ROM that comes with their device with a custom one, CyanogenMod being the go-to option. Unfortunately, CyanogenMod is now discontinued, and no further development is expected on that front. Luckily, there’s another option, and that’s what we’ll be taking a look at today!
As we mentioned, CyanogenMod (CM) is now discontinued. Once one of the pillars of the Android community, the project is now defunct due to Cyanogen Inc, the company behind the project, ceasing support and shutting it down. However, that isn’t entirely accurate – the fact is that the team and code behind CM lives on, now rebranded as Lineage OS. Lineage OS is virtually identical to CM, minus the CM branding, as it is a fork of the original project, and it picks up development from where CM left off.
Although Lineage OS is basically just CM under a different brand, the fact is that the Lineage OS nightlies are not compatible with CM. This means that you can’t just flash the latest build over your previous CM install and have it work. Instead, you have to go through an upgrade process. Luckily, Lineage OS made things really simple for you. To start with, head onto the Lineage OS download section by using this link. You should see something like this:
Find your device on the list, tap it, and you’ll see the builds currently available for download:
If you’re upgrading from CM, you’ll want to download both the experimental version and the latest nightly. Once the download is completed, simply reboot into your recovery. For the purposes of this lesson, we’ll be using TWRP, but yours may look different:
Once here, just in case, let’s do a full backup so that we don’t lose any data in case things go wrong. No loss of data is expected using this method, but better safe than sorry:
When the backup is completed, you can start the upgrade process. Head onto “Install” and select the experimental version, then swipe to start:
This could take a while, so make sure that your device has a full charge. Once the process is completed, simply reboot. The first boot is going to take longer than usual, so be patient. However, once it’s completed, you’ll boot into your familiar Android environment, but this time with a “migration build” watermark all over the OS:
This is so that you don’t confuse the experimental build with the actual Lineage OS builds, since the experimental builds are designed specifically for this migration process, not day-to-day usage. Reboot back into the recovery, and now flash the Lineage OS nightly:
Once it’s completed, you can just reboot and you’ll have all of your old CM data intact, now using Lineage OS. You can check the build details to confirm:
That’s about it for today’s lesson. As you can see, Lineage OS has made things fairly easy to you to update to the new OS, and you should get all of you old data and features along with it. Once CM shut down, people started to worry that the custom ROM community might have suffered a huge blow. The fact that, not even a month later, Lineage OS was able to rebrand CM and continue their work going forwards is a great sign for the future of Android, and demonstrates some of its greatest strengths as an open-source oriented project. Any questions or doubts? Feel free to let us know in the comment section below!