- There’s now a good chance that your aging Android device has got a custom Android 11 ROM.
- You can grab one and install it to get the latest usability, accessibility, and security features.
- Custom ROMs are risky, though, and they may not work as expected or at all.
If you would like to play with the chances of bricking your outdated Android device this weekend, grabbing a custom ROM and attempting to install it would be a great way to do it. We should start with the warning that what follows is not officially supported or even recommended by neither Google nor any Android OEMs. On the other hand, this is a tech website, and you are here to learn about what’s possible, even if it comes with risks.
XDA has updated the list of devices that have received a custom Android 11 ROM on its forums, some of which are pretty well-made and confirmed to be working reliably. If you want to check whether your device has one and if it’s stable enough to be worth giving it a try, check out this page.
You may be wondering, what’s the point? Android 11, in its core functionality, has remained mostly unchanged compared to Android 10. There are now chat bubbles, more granular notifications control, built-in screen recording, better media controls, more smart home features, deeper privacy permission control, improved accessibility, a picture-in-picture mode, a ‘nearby share’ mode, and quite a lot of security fixes and improvements. Whether or not the above is important enough to take the risk, that’s up to you to decide.
If you’re still stuck with Android 9, then you’re missing out on even more things, like a system-wide dark mode and gesture navigation. Any older than that, and it should be considered a collectible at this point. As for security patches, Google supports Android 8 and above, but it depends on what the OEM has been delivering. If you didn’t buy your device in the last two years, it should be treated as a liability by now.
In conclusion, we should declare that we are not responsible for what happens if you pick up and install a custom Android 11 ROM on your device. Understanding the risks that come with these procedures, we suggest that you try custom ROMs on secondary devices, older phones that are of not much value to you, or devices that you are prepared to leave in the drawer soon anyway.