The second-gen Nexus 7 may have been a star back in the day, but looking at its hardware nearly 9 years later, this silicon’s looking a little anemic (relatively speaking). Running a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro with up to 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, its internals are closer to what an Android Go device might be packing these days. But then again, we’re in 2022 — it’s been a long time. The tablet debuted with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, and Google offered updates through 6.0.1 Marshmallow.
Android is now experiencing something of a tablet resurgence. Android 12L has been available for a few weeks, and it’s all about emphasising large-screen devices. We’ve seen what it can do for tablets like the Lenovo Tab P12 Pro, but wouldn’t it be even better if it could rejuvenate older devices? One custom ROM project is doing just that, and if you still have your old Nexus 7 2013, you can now try out Android 12L thanks to an unauthorised LineageOS 19.1 release.
If you have an old Nexus 7 lying around, and you want to try giving it some new life, take this ROM a spin. It probably won’t be much worse than using Marshmallow in 2022, at least.
This new release is based on LineageOS 19.1, but it’s an unofficial build (via XDA), and installing this is clearly not going to be for everyone — not only is the very fact that this can run a modern build of Android a miracle, but the software itself is also in a beta state, and requires a number of hacks in order to get it working. For one, if you need to install Google apps, you’ll have to repartition your device. Plus, once it does boot up, it’ll probably be pretty slow — but that might be less of a beta-specific issue and more a consequence of this being, you know, a tablet released 9 years ago.