Cult favorite Paranoid Android ROM has big OTA update dreams, but the project could die without donations

The popular Paranoid Android ROM lives on, with beta versions of an Android 12.1 / 12L-based Sapphire release expected to start landing on some supported devices as early as this week. As part of the announcement, the site’s friend and paranoid Android developer Hernán Castañón explained some of the difficulties the project is currently facing and why we’ve never seen any “stable” releases for the ROM in the last two years. . In short, the project held back the “stable” brand in anticipation of a functional OTA system, but lack of cash prevented it from happening. Now the project could use your donations to help build the system – and without the money, it might not last the month.

In a Twitter thread published today (along with a follow-up chat), Castañón explained that the AOSPA project only has enough money left to sustain a single month with Gerrit and site hosting, even though he says he will pay for it himself after that. , if he must. But AOSPA has bigger plans.

The project has developed a custom recovery solution for supported devices that is compatible with an evolving OTA system and should allow for delta updates. This means future updates to supported devices power could be delivered with a single touch of the device, just as smartphone manufacturers can do. And the fact that it’s delta-based means that OTA updates can be delivered as smaller multi-megabyte packages instead of requiring downloads for massive GB + sizes of zip files.

With enough money, Castañón tells me that Paranoid Android could have implemented its OTA system in November or December last year. The project has refrained from using the “stable” label for any release awaiting an OTA system – it’s an internal requirement set by the project before it can use the label, along with other requirements for things like image signing and SELinux status of the “beta” “label. If it were not for the self-imposed requirement, I’m told that Sapphire builds would otherwise have been labeled” stable “since the beginning of the year.

The project now plans to release Sapphire (i.e. Android 12) builds with a “stable” name at some point, regardless of whether the OTA system is completed on time. But with cash, a stable release can include OTA support as well as time-saving tools for the project like buildbots and extended hosting (also required for OTA support).

All the paranoid Android developers are volunteers, maintaining devices and contributing to the project in their spare time. Previous developers (who sometimes still lend a hand) helped build OnePlus’ original and much-loved OxygenOS. But right now, I’m told that most of the paranoid Android developers are students helping between classes and homework.

With the project strained for cash, it’s not just an OTA system or “stable” release that is at stake. It has “come back from the dead” a few times, but without a supply of money, there is a real chance that the cult favorite AOSPA ROM can die again. Without a Gerrit or buildbots, volunteers will have a much harder time contributing to the project. Once its own cash runs out, if Castañón was unable to pay other necessary expenses, the project could be in serious trouble.

Sapphire Beta AP

An AP-exclusive teaser for the upcoming Sapphire Beta releases.

Android 12L-based builds are expected to start rolling out in beta later this week. Paranoid Androids Sapphire (Android 12) alpha currently supports the following devices:

  • OnePlus 8 Pro

  • OnePlus 8

  • OnePlus 7T Pro

  • Poco F2 Pro

  • Xiaomi Mi 10

  • OnePlus 9 Pro

  • OnePlus 7T

  • OnePlus 7 Pro

  • Xiaomi Mi 10T

  • Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro

  • Xiaomi Poco X3

  • OnePlus 8T

  • Redmi Note 7 Pro

  • OnePlus 7T Pro

  • Poco F1

  • Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S

  • Xiaomi Mi 8

  • Xiaomi Poco X3 / X3 NFC

  • Xiaomi Mi Mix 3

  • Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro

  • Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition

  • Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro

  • OnePlus 9R

If you would like to lend a hand, the project accepts donations via PayPal (full information: I have donated to the project), and if you have excess hosting capacity or other development resources that the project may use, you may be encouraged to take action. But if you have flashed Paranoid Android to your phone, remember previous days of using AOSPA with pleasure, or you just want to see another alternative ROM succeed in the unfortunately shrinking space, so consider throwing them a few dollars – it adds up.


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