I ignored the updates to LineageOS that were available after I installed my custom ROM in December 2018. That is, until last night. My previous custom ROM was Android 7. LineageOS 16 uses Android 9. Version 16 seems much cleaner and smoother than version 14.
Your old smartphone may have an older version than Android 9 and there’s a good chance you can find a custom ROM where I did, right here. I seriously recommend LineageOS and Open GApps over other choices
My younger son, Jon, gave me the phone after replacing it with something newer. He bought it in in mid-2014. That means it’s been used by either him or I for more than five years. During that five years, I’ve only replaced the battery once and this is the second time I’ve upgraded the operating system. How did I get here?
My daughter-in-law, Cathy, was misinformed about the new Disney+ streaming video service. Specifically, the trial period. When I attempted to install the app on my S4, it wouldn’t even show up in the Google Play Store. It showed up on her newer S10. That’s when I knew it was time to upgrade Android to a newer version.
Upgrading it this time was much less painful than last time. I didn’t have to install a new “ROM manager”. I knew ahead of time that I’d have to wipe the date and cache, essentially losing all the apps. Since I have the necessary apps on another phone (which is supposed to be mine but isn’t), I wasn’t worried about it. I’m now in the slow process of restoring the apps I want on it.
Other than point updates for the same version, I don’t see any more upgrades to the operating system, for this particular phone, in the future. I don’t expect it to last that much longer. As it is, I never use it for phone calls (other than Messenger, that is). It doesn’t even have a SIM card in it. It does have a 32 GB SD card, though, so it works well as a limited MP3 player. Limited because the battery doesn’t last long enough.
I can use it as a limited video player as well. Sometimes VLC doesn’t work quite right and it’s a good idea to have a backup app. Unfortunately, even though LineageOS comes with its own music app, it doesn’t come with its own video app. I have to choose from the highest rated apps available and X Player seems like it might work when VLC won’t.
I use my phone for entertainment more than anything else. I play chess, a block puzzle, listen to music and watch videos. That is, when it’s not plugged in and charging, what it seems like it spends most of its time doing. I have Amazon Prime, Netflix and apps for some other video streaming services on it. It seems like a waste of space since I usually watch videos with my wife, Josie, on a much newer S10e or J7 Star.
I’ll probably be giving this phone to a sister-in-law when I return to the Philippines next year. After I erase anything related to me, of course. It might, however, be easier to wipe it and start over than it will be to erase all my fingerprints.