Android Custom ROMs: Why you would want to try one?

By Mohit Kharbanda

android-developmentA custom ROM can be the best thing you ever do with your Android device. At the very least, a custom ROM can give you a faster and slimmer version of the operating system, however that is not all, custom ROMs can offer much more than that.

Android is open to customizations, you can tweak it anyway you want – that’s why comparing an HTC device to a Sony to a Samsung is like looking at totally different species. Although, all of them run on the same Android, they are quite different from each other as manufacturers have customized the OS to differentiate the devices.

What are Custom ROMs & Stock ROMs?

A stock ROM is the version of the device’s operating system that comes with your device when you buy it; it is what the OEM releases with a phone or tablet.

A custom ROM is a customized version of the OS, including the kernel (which makes everything run), apps, services, etc. – everything you need to operate the device, it’s customized by someone in some way.

Why would you want a Custom ROM on your Android device?

Update Frequency: Most of the devs update their firmwares frequently with latest features and remove bugs in previous version of the ROM. Users usually get new features added and release of new version of ROM in every 15/20 days (Depends on release cycle by the developers).

Better Performance, Efficiency & Battery: Most of the custom ROMs allow you to uninstall any unwanted apps or they don’t include all OEM apps by default, resulting in better performance.

Also, one can restrict background processes and doesn’t allow any app on auto-start mode in a custom firmware.

Updated Android device always: You don’t need to wait for 6 or 12 months for you device manufacturer to release an updated version of Android (Apart from Nexus devices).

Why you should be worried before installing Custom ROMs?

Something could go wrong: One of the biggest problems with Custom ROMs is the compatibility with hardware and if you do something wrong, you could brick your device.

Wipe Device: You are required to clean wipe your Android device during the installation of any Custom ROM; hence it is sometimes a very tedious task to re-install or restore every single application/settings on the phone.

You may void your device warranty: That’s it. You would void your device warranty by rooting your phone or unlocking the device bootloader to install any Custom ROM.

Getting the Right ROM for your Android phone or tablet (Stable/Alpha/Beta/RC)

All Android devices have their respective hardware and features (Like few have camera flash, few don’t have), so it is always recommended to get the RIGHT firmware for your Android phone or tablet.  Also, always go for Stable ROMs if you want to use it in your daily use device as beta or pre-release ROMs could lead to crashes, reboot of phones etc.

Few of the popular Custom ROMs: MIUI, CyanogenMOD, SLIM ROMs, AOKP etc.

Websites you should look for: http://www.xda-developers.com/

Journey to Android Development: http://xda-university.com/

Are you using a custom ROM on your Android device, do share your thoughts in comments.

This is a guest post by Mohit Kharbanda, who is an Android enthusiast and loves to tinker with his Android devices.

  • Phaninder Ch

    Hi,

    I use XPERIA NEO and have tried many custom ROMs
    Icecream pureness
    Ultimate HD
    And now on CM 10 :)

    Thanks for the post mohit, good to see something thats related custom roms on androidos.in .
    Even I love to tinker with my NEO ;)
    Looking forward for more such posts.

    • Mohit

      Thanks ..

    • Manish

      Hi Phaninder Ch ,

      i myself have Neo V and looking forward to install custom ROM. please suggest on basis of your experience which of the custom ROM is best for the phone without slowing it down.

      Thanks in advance.

      -Mj

  • Jeet

    I was using CM10 stable with my SGS, but now I have upgraded to Nexus 4….:)….I have already rooted it on first day itself…

  • Haresh Gulvani

    Running 4.1.2 (XXMS1) on samsung galaxy s2 and it is really stable and better battery backup. i’ve install custom rom in almost all my device (LG Optimus P500, Galaxy S2, LG Optimus Black, Galaxy ACE, Nexus S ) but havent got any issue about brick or phone dead. XDA site having almost all the custom rom depends on devices and their hardware/drivers so there are no issue about that. Cynogenmod is one of the coolest team that innovate some thing new in android field and they really force google to try their new features in next version (Profile, Multiple Users). Just one issue is that cynogenmod dosent support DUAL SIM phone due to different variants of codes as per the manufactures.
    People should always try Custom ROM..

  • Nitish

    I couldn’t wait even wait a full year for my device’s warranty to expire before rooting it.
    Have tried numerous ROMs.
    Cyanogenmod offers stable and easy to use ROMs and have documented installation process in depth, they also offer more risky dev oriented intermediary verisions if you wish to try.

    The first thing to do before installing a custom ROM is take a backup of your stock one. Trust me you might not like the custom world.

    But if you get used to, it’s fun trying different variants of AOKP, AOSP, Smart Experiences, Miui, and many dev released versions from XDA.

    Caution: Most ROMs ‘suck’ at battery management, esp if you choose a wrong governor and schedular.

  • Mohit

    Tried MIUI, HellyBean, however found SLIMRoms one of the best ROM. Fastest, smoothest and size of ROM 4.2.1 is 75MBs only(GApps not included)

  • Genghis Khan

    Paranoid Android is one of the best roms

    • Mohit

      Did you try new PA3.0. They have taken sliding controls to new level.

  • Harsh

    Which one should I install on micromax a89?

  • welson

    running kyrillos Rom(Samsung galaxy 3).. my device is a pretty old one and Samsung only updated it till 2.2 but the devs have made it till 4.1..though there are bugs after 2.3 but it won’t hinder performance in our daily usage :)
    that’s one big advantage in using custom roms ;)

  • Amjath

    I really recommended CyanogenMOD for people who say Android is laggy. Used MIUI rom when it was not stable so cant comment much on them