It is not a secret that Android doesn’t fair so well when it comes to updates. Device makers seem to abandon devices almost as soon as they unveil them. While things have been changing for the better for the last few years, the more they change the more they remain the same. So where do tech savvy users, a minority we must say, turn to for their latest Android fix? Custom ROMs.
As such it is not surprising that in the latest ranking from custom ROM Lineage OS, one of the most popular Android smartphones of all time, Samsung’s venerable Galaxy S3, tops the charts. The international model of the Galaxy S3, I9300, is listed as the fourth most active smartphone model behind popular budget devices from Chinese device makers OnePlus and Xiaomi.
IN UNDER 2 MONTHS, LINEAGE OS HAS ALREADY BEEN INSTALLED ON OVER HALF A MILLION ACTIVE DEVICES
OnePlus’ One and 3 devices which were released years after the Galaxy S3, occupy the first and third places respectively just like their model numbers. Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 3, sits pretty in second place. It is not surprising to see OnePlus dominate the top 3 since its devices are very developer friendly and are made with the Android tinkerer in mind. But a 5-year-old smartphone that had just 1G RAM and Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich when it launched? Damn! That’s impressive.
OnePlus’ other device, the underwhelming 2, does not even make it to the top 10 lending further credence to its unpopularity with the Android power user community thanks to textbook omissions like an NFC chip. Notable devices from the past like the Samsung Galaxy S2, Galaxy Note 3 (hlte) and Galaxy Note 2 (international model) are placed 13th, 25th and 30th respectively.
As per the rankings, India is the home of many an Android tinkerer with over 41,000 devices from that country having been flashed with Lineage OS. To underscore the big bubble that some of us may be living in, no African country makes it to the ranking. This may be because there are no region-specific ROMs for this side of the world hence many end up being classified as “unknown” (which is the number 1 location on the list) or just that there aren’t that many flashers from this part of the world to really count.
Lineage OS is a reincarnation of the dead CyanogenMod project, the most successful open source projects in the Android world that got entangled in the mess that was the corporate structure of Cyanogen Inc which ceased operations last December.