ROM is an acronym for Read-Only-Memory mostly applied in the field of Android. However, they are of two types and might be confusing which include original firmware also stock and the custom ROM. Custom ROM is an altered or a modified version of stock firmware by developers because Android is open source. The firmware comes pre-installed in your phone by the device manufacturer while custom ROM is downloadable from Android app store.
Several reasons exist as to why you would prefer to flash a custom ROM and replace the original manufacturer operating system. Custom ROMs are considered better than stock firmware because the latter comes with specific functional limitations. Best Custom ROM for Android avails more features for you and also enhances your Android phone performance.
Advantages and disadvantages of a Custom Android ROM
- Voiding warranty – whenever you root your Android device you void the manufacturer’s warranty which is a prerequisite for the process of flashing the custom ROM.
- A second limitation is that the task of flashing the device happens to be intensive as well as a complex undertaking, especially if you are a first-timer. Therefore, it would require you to have a good understanding of the whole process.
- Another disadvantage regarding installing a custom ROM is that of bricking the device. Before flashing the custom ROM, you need to have profound information on what can face you as your Android devices can get permanently bricked in the process.
- The availability of a lot of custom ROMs options poses a challenge in picking the right and a good one as many are risky and unsafe to use. Such hazardous and dangerous issues include system instability and security problems among others.
- Issues to do with battery life also accompany the use of custom ROM because the installed one may drain your device power quickly due to optimisation limitations.
- Hardware issues are also common to best custom ROMs due to failed full support.
- Easy update of the operating system- Since most of the manufacturers never update their old versions of Android, Custom ROMs enable you to accomplish such necessity. Also, they offer the chance for you to either use a newer version or an older one whichever suits your needs.
- Elimination of bloat-ware present on the device from the manufacturer. Such apps usually take up memory space, and you may find them irrelevant. Installation of a custom ROM offers the much-needed capability of removing such unwanted Google apps added by different manufacturers before reaching you as the end user.
- Another advantage related to custom ROM is the ability to configure your application permissions. For example, it possible to prevent apps from keeping track of GPS location and even games from accessing your identity information among other restrictions.
- You can realise additional features not present in the original operating system. Such features include hiding the navigation bar, enabling easy root access, and customising settings menu to add shortcuts of your most used apps among others.
Our Pick for Top 7 Custom ROMs
There are vast varieties of custom Android ROMs available for your Android devices such as tablets, phones, smart watches, and television. It does not necessarily mean that every Android device has its custom ROM available. Therefore, the best custom depends on the popularity of your smart-device among the xda developers. The paper explores to shed some light on some of the popular ROMs available for you in the play store.
It is a standalone ROM, and its source code acts as a basis for several others in the market. It is one of the most popular ROM developed by Android developer’s community after the founding company Cyanogen Inc. discontinued the project in the year 2016. It is after which it has undergone changes under the name lineageOS from the original CyanogenMod which was supported by Cyanogen. It is perceived to have the largest group of developers, and it supports over 190 different devices. Some of its features that it offers you include a customizable status bar, a capability to edit navigation bar, and theme changing while ensuring system stability.
Paranoid Android acts as a source to other ROMs in the field of Android programming, and it is considered one of the most celebrated of all times. A primary focus for its developers is to avail refined experience among users while using the least resources available. Despite that it is not attributable to many features; a hover mode is one of its primary accomplishments. With it, you can interact with various notifications from separate screens.
Dirty Unicorns (DU) offers excellent features while ensuring the stability of your system. Based on rewriting its entire source code as opposed to other customs where the developers only make changes to the already existing ones, you have system stability guaranteed. With DU you have access to features such as Fling-Bar and DU-Smart-Bar which replaces the navigation bar. Soon, DU is expected to support all Samsung, Moto, Nexus, LG among others devices.
AOSP Extended also called Extensions is an extension from AOSP source-code among other projects. It offers you various features such as lock screen and modifiable status bar among different settings. More so, it exhibits DU’s Flingbar and some other Google imagination for Android features. The xda forum behind it releases new updates on a monthly basis making it a stable custom ROM for your use based on the Android support they offer. Currently, it supports various devices among them including LG, Lenovo, and Samsung.
MIUI is a Xiaomi’s project which begun as a ROM undertaking only to end up as an electronics and smartphone company. It offers you excellent features which include a home screen that contains all your installed applications as well as background customisation. Long life battery is an advantage that comes with the use of this ROM. It supports a handful of devices such as Oppo, Moto, and Huawei among others.
Pure Nexus ROM allows you to customise your device to suit your needs without the loss of stock stability. It supports all Nexus and pixel devices followed by regular updates from active developers behind its project. Also, it offers you tested with minimal code-bugs features similar to those of AOSP’s Google lineup. However, it does not provide you much concerning battery life as it is almost the same as using the stock ROM.
AOSP source code acts as the main base for SlimRoms with additional minimum tweaks. It is among the most functional as well as lightest custom ROM available for you. Some of the noticeable elements are Slim PIE and the Slim-recent. The slim-recent main function is to display all your recent applications on a sidebar unlike in others where they take the whole screen. PIE replaces the navigation bar, and it offers you an upper hand while operating the device under Immersive mode. More so, it enables you to customise the interface to suit your needs. The Rom supports significant OEMs such as LG, HTC, Samsung, and Google among others.