Custom ROMs. Don’t know about them? You will now.

Posted Apr 06, 2012 at 9:04 pm in Threads > Opinions

Android Lego

As all of you know, Google lets all of us download the source code for each revision of Android they release. What this means for us is that we get to see a ton of custom ROMs!

The beauty of custom roms is all the cool features that come bundled with them. Some of the neatest features I’ve seen are customizable power widgets within the notifications panel, a great set of performance tweaking tools (i’m talking clockspeed, voltage limitations, cpu scaling governors), and customizable statusbar icons (circle battery, signal strength written out, battery bar). That is of course just the icing on the cake.

Most roms have a standard set of tweaks/features:

  • Root – User given administrator privileges (Superuser)
  • Deodexed – Apps are packaged into one file to make hacking easier
  • Zipaligned – Apps are compressed: more efficient, less ram usage
  • Modified Kernel – Better battery life, better performance
  • SuperUser – App that extends admin rights to the user
  • ClockWork Recovery – CWM – Used to flash kernel/rom +and more+
  • BusyBox – app that contain linux command modules

A great place to start in your custom ROM endeavors would of course be XDA! Just go to their forum and look up your particular phone model. Once you’re there you’ll want to look for a way to root your phone >> install a recovery >> then flash a custom rom.

What are your thoughts on custom roms? Have you tried out any roms yourself? And don’t worry if you’re a beginner so am I! It would be great if this became a type of support thread for everyone~!

  • kwills88

    We need a favorite feature for threads on here, with that said, since my G1 days I’ve only kept a phone in stock form for a combine 4days, rooted my G1 3 days after owning and rooted my SGSII after a day of owning, I love flashing roms, it just feels like having a new phone each time.

    • Bryan Stoner

      You couldn’t be more right!! It feels so buttery smooth every time I try out a new rom. What kind of roms or kernels have you tried out with your current phone (SGSII?)?

      • kwills88

        Currently using juggernaut 5.0 with faux kernel I think, I haven’t flashed any kernels though I should start messing with them, I got the Tmo s2.. Before this I had Beast Mod v 3-4.

        • Bryan Stoner

          Dang juggernaut looks awesome. It looks like a CM7 based ROM. Have you tried out hot reboot? (i have no clue what that is)

          • kwills88

            It basically shuts your phone down instantly then boots it right back up.

  • Lane Chapman

    what kind of phone do you have? Right now I have a Nexus S on AT&T with the Matr1x kernel, I’ve been switching around ICS roms trying to find one with decent battery life. Currently I have CM9.0.0 and I flashed it earlier today. I really like CM7.2.0 though…

    • Bryan Stoner

      Right now I have a GNex running Gummy Nex 0.9.0 with the packaged imoseyon kernel. I flashed 4.0.4 radios just to test them out and I’ve been tracking battery statistics just for fun.

      Matr1x kernel seems to be the popular choice. Overclocking to 1.46GHz!!! Have you tried out any other kernels? I’ve flash CM9 on my girlfriend’s captivate. So far she is really enjoying it but the packaged kernel was draining her battery life so I flashed a cm9 based kernel called Icy Glitch.

      Although other than that i’m not too fond of cyanogenmod. What’s it like?

  • tmihai20

    The first Android ROM I ever saw was a custom ROM (I owned the phone called HD2 before I had the Evo 3D). Even when my beloved HD2 had WinMobile, I used a custom ROM (Artemis ROM) that made the phone run faster than ever. I think Microsoft engineers would have blown a fuse if they saw what the Artemis developer did with the original ROM. I am a fan of custom ROMs that are based on the official ROM, allowing me to enjoy all the phone has to offer and get extra battery life, more tweaks, extra stability and so much more. I may have stayed with the official ROM a few days, I don’t remember how many. I am now on Leedroid’s Evo 3D ROM (GSM version) and I couldn’t be any happier. I guess I could have lived without rooting my phone, but accessing certain features require root so I rooted it. I don’t understand why manufacturers fear rooting so much that you loose your warranty if you have rooted your phone, but you don’t if you have installed some other version, as long as it is not rooted.

    • Bryan Stoner

      OOO nice. So I’m checking out HD2 and they definitely have some cool ROMs for it. Dusk Ultimate looks like a freakin transformer @u@ Artemis has a pretty cool overlay too.

      And I know your pain. When I wanted to root my Nexus I found that it would void the warranty so for awhile I tried to avoid it. But I just had to get more features++ so I rooted it knowing you could always flash back to stock then lock the bootloader.

      Are there any roms for the Evo 3D you prefer?

      They should really just open up to rom developers! The end developers really know what’s best for the phone, probably even more than the manufacturers themselves~

  • CJ LaFleur

    I hard bricked two phones with custom ROMs to the point where i can’t do ANYTHING with it. i’ve rooted with no problem but i know i will never flash another ROM again.

    • tmihai20

      It’s too bad you had problems. I’ve always checked and triple-checked everything before I would do anything, Sometimes, out of too much desire, we do things badly. Sorry to hear that. I have always tried to use modifications of the stock ROM (there were none on the HD2, obviously).

    • dpleus

      I worry about this same issue, that’s why I’ve never tried it, even when my Droid X was glitching terrible with a buggy update. Now that I have a Rezound on the verge of ICS, I don’t know if I will anytime soon.

      • Bryan Stoner

        Even if you get ICS there are always improvements to be made within the kernel and feature side of things. A lot of the methods that come out now are simple one click methods that are very easy to use. If not that sometimes they have very handy toolkits. If you have the time and patience to read the material then it is certainly worth the effort.

  • alxrock

    I went back and forth between rooting and unrooting my Evo, finally decided to stay rooted but kept S-On this time around. I haven’t tried flashing an alternate kernel that wasn’t included with a ROM before though. I try to stick with stable ROMs since I use my phone for work, I can’t risk it getting buggy on me at crucial moments.
    Right now I’m running Swagged Out Stock (S), but I might go back to CM7 again.

  • Unmesh

    I got my first Android phone a month ago. The HTC sensation. Rooting the phone and installing a custom ROM seemed scary the first time but the rockstar ROM developers over on XDA really have made it easy. There’s lots of info on each ROM thread, enough that you will never go wrong. For me its so routine now, i changed my custom ROM last evening when baby sitting my 8 month daughter at the supermarket waiting for my wife to finish shopping. Really, its that easy.

    For me, following are the steps/tips a new user should always remember.
    1. Be very careful when rooting the phone. Read up the threads multiple times for all the info. Just as you are ready read it again and make sure nothing is missed.
    2. Be sure to install clockworkmod to back up your exisiting ROM. This will guard you against your new ROM not working properly.
    3. Be doubly careful when upgrading/flashing a new firmware. This is the only step that can sometimes brick your phone. Be sure the firmware release notes support the CID of your phone. There are many android apps that allow you to find the CID/MID of your device.
    4. Always do a WIPE (SuperWipe) before you change the ROM. This guards against subtle issues.
    5. Use EFFileExplorer to back up your apps. Don’t spend money on expensive and overrated apps like Titanium Backup. ES works just as fine.
    6. Be sure to thank and donate to your ROM developer for all the hard work they put in.

    • Unmesh

      Best ROMS for HTC Sensation (in no particular order)
      1. Elegancia
      2. Android HD Revolution
      3. Virtuous Inquisition Eclipse

  • joey

    Rooted Sensation overclocked to 1404 MHz running vorbeth cm9 latest build. The last rom I had was android revolution HD….loved it, very stable and fast! Cm9 isnt perfect, video playback isn’t as smoothe as I would like it to be but other than that the rom is great for me and my needs. Also battery life is pretty darn good IMO.

    People have to try out different roms, kernels ect. and figure out what works for them.

  • comandantecee

    AOKP Build 32 with Franco Kernel Milestone 2 makes my GSM GNEX better than any android device I’ve ever owned.

  • bleacherbums

    I just got my galaxy nexus GSM model unlocked, I wanted to flashed or even put a custom ROM to get a Max potential of this phone plus a better signal.
    Whats the best one ROM to use for my galaxy nexus? Would this be hard? Would it brick my phone?


  • Nitikesh

    Which would be best for LG-OPTIMUS-HUB-E510 {UNIVA}?????????

  • Oscar Ortega

    hey everyone, i was interested in rooting my G2 and i was wondering how do i get started?