back to article Paranoid Android reboots itself with new Android 10 builds

Once upon a time, Paranoid Android was a towering force in the custom ROM world. Then it just… disappeared, allowing rivals like LineageOS to take its place. But, like Lt Commander Data in the final episode of Star Trek: Picard (sorry, spoiler alert), it's back, bringing with it a custom Android 10 image for nine phones. …

  1. Stuart 22

    Slipping differential?

    "Samsung has OneUI (formerly TouchWiz). Huawei has EMUI. Oppo has ColorOS. There are only a handful of outliers, like Motorola and Nokia. And this trend allows vendors to differentiate themselves in a fairly meaningful way."

    This idea has always puzzled me. Of all the reasons to buy this tablet or that phone I've never heard anyone or seen any review which says this is the better product because of the bloatcover. Usually the opposite.

    Price, storage, price, resolution, price, processor, price - yes. But EMUI or another? - I didn't even know what EMUI was until I opened my Huwaei tablet. And I do regard myself as a bit of a expert on computery gizmos.

    1. Tom 38

      Re: Slipping differential?

      Its the little things I miss, my old Oneplus2 running LineageOS had an option to turn on/off the flashlight by holding down the power button - super handy at night time. No such option in EMUI :/

    2. IGotOut Silver badge

      Re: Slipping differential?

      " didn't even know what EMUI was until I opened my Huwaei tablet."

      Yet you've been using it all the time without knowing. It's all the background stuff you don't think about.

      You do notice these things when you jump from one brand to another. EMUI is one of the less intrusive variations.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Phone makers PLEASE take note

    Just. A. Plain. Vanilla. OS. With. No. Bloatware.

    Nothing. Nada. Nowt. Zilch. SFA. Bugger all.

    No custom apps to "differentiate" your product. Yes, you're differentiating it - by reducing the spacer users end up with, for apps and stuff they actually WANT.

    No gratuitous "you can't do without this" apps in your product. Yes, you're differentiating it - by reducing the spacer users end up with, for apps and stuff they actually WANT.

    If you have REALLY come up with stuff you feel we cannot do without, just make it available on the app store of your choice.

    That way you'll be able to give people what they actually want, rather than what your marketing people imagine in their wettest dreams.

    To reiterate, in case your marketing idiots are as slow on the uptake as they appear:

    Just. A. Plain. Vanilla. OS. With. No. Bloatware.

    1. davenewman

      Re: Phone makers PLEASE take note

      You can get plain vanilla Android if you ignore brand names and buy a Chinese phone on eBay. My current one is a Cubot Max 2.

    2. IGotOut Silver badge

      Re: Phone makers PLEASE take note

      I believe Motorola are stock and maybe Nokia.

      1. MatthewSt

        Re: Phone makers PLEASE take note

        Nokia are indeed stock. One of the reasons I bought one!

    3. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: Phone makers PLEASE take note

      This has been the aim of much of the IT industry for decades. The "walled garden".

      They provide the users with a series of "apps" that they believe the users would really, really want ( because the marketing dept. told them that). With the aim of discouraging users looking elsewhere.

      AOL might well have invented the idea- trying to keep hold of web surfers by creating their own internet.

      Google pretty much relies on this. Android-Chrome-docs-mail-Drive (cloud storage)-etc.

      Microsoft, which had accidentally got this, has been desperately trying to hold on to it, with varying degrees of success ever since.

    4. mathew42

      Re: Phone makers PLEASE take note

      AndroidOne phones are what you are looking for. Clean vanilla Android with rapid security updates .

      Nokia is arguably the best example of this.

      Motorola tend to ship stock Android, but security updates are rare.

      1. IneptAdept

        Re: Phone makers PLEASE take note

        I get all security updates about a week after Google branded phones and that is on my Moto G6

        But yeah vanilla android with just gestures and some background stuff added that you can remove without rooting

    5. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Re: Phone makers PLEASE take note

      Users PLEASE take note - it's an advertising delivery system that makes phone calls for you and sells your information.

  3. sorry, what?

    Wot, no Sammies?

    Does Samsung make it too hard to put a custom ROM on their devices? (Just asking - I have no idea!)

    1. IGotOut Silver badge

      Re: Wot, no Sammies?


      Sony used to be one of the best. Not sure these days.

    2. Irongut

      Re: Wot, no Sammies?

      Part of the problem is that in most of the world they use their own SoC but in North America they use Qualcomm for some reason. Which means every model has two possible ROM images.

      Now tell me does your Samsung require an Exynos or Snapdragon ROM image? Are you sure? The wrong one will turn it into a very shiny, expensive brick!

    3. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Wot, no Sammies?

      From the Lineage OS supported devices list, it doesn't seem like Samsung is terrible. Of every manufacturer on the list, Samsung has the highest number of supported devices (71 versus 33 for the next highest, LG). However, I note that Samsung's list has quite a few old devices and that some of their devices are listed many times for carrier-specific variants. I think it's a constantly-moving target in that a manufacturer can either be magnanimous with bootloader access or make mistakes that make it easy with one model and then turn around and change their tune quickly, similar to how Huawei locked its bootloaders a couple years back and have fallen of the list of good devices for replacement firmware.

      The other side of that coin is that a device can have a completely open software stack and still not get much attention. Only if the phone is owned by enough people will the work get done. At one point, I had found a device where basically everything was open (even most of the hardware, strangely), but it was not found by anyone else because it didn't even have a brand name (I still don't know who made it), it was intended as a very cheap device with poor specs, and by the time the previous owner gave it to me for erasure and I figured out how open it was it was three years old.

    4. Francis Boyle Silver badge

      Not Samsung itself

      I have three Galaxy Note 5s. (For reasons.) Two of them run custom roms. The third is still stock. The reason? It's an (ex) AT&T device which will never get a custom rom because AT&T wouldn't allow the bootloader to be unlocked and no one managed to crack it. Strictly speaking I can't say how easy it is because all my Android devices have been Samsung so I don't really have a baseline but I've never had from the Samsung side. Indeed the software that does the flashing (Odin) was leaked from Samsung (apparently several times as there are several versions floating around) and, as far as I know, Samsung has never done anything about it. Just stay away from AT&T.

    5. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Wot, no Sammies?

      Probably because LineageOS already suppots so many Samsung devices.

  4. IGotOut Silver badge


    they list so many to OnePlus, and now they are the best supported by this release.

  5. Rokeykokey

    Don't post spoilers like that

    Really, c'mon. I haven't finished Picard yet.

    1. stuartnz

      Re: Don't post spoilers like that

      Neither have I, but I wouldn't past El Reg to be teasing, and that it's actually Lore who comes back :)

      1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

        Re: Don't post spoilers like that

        The ending was a bit weak and a let down.

        Worth watching though.

  6. dajames

    Meaningful ...

    The vast majority of Android vendors release phones with their own bespoke environments. ... this trend allows vendors to differentiate themselves in a fairly meaningful way.

    Yes, indeed. I can and do choose to buy a phone that has not been spoilt by unwanted customization. This is certainly a meaningful distinction, for me.

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