Lately, Custom ROMs have gained so much popularity among Android users, and so many developers dedicate their time to develop the perfect ROM for us, Android users.
But while so many people choose to install Custom ROMs on their device, there are also a lot of new users that still don't know what a Custom ROM is, what is a Custom ROM good for, what are the advantages of installing a Custom ROM or whether it is or it is not safe to install a Custom ROM.
What is a Custom ROM?
A Custom ROM is a modified firmware, based on official versions of Android OS, with lots of modifications brought by Android developers that are meant to improve your experience with Android.
Why are developer able to create Custom ROMs? Because Android is open source, and this means that developers can take the original source of the OS and modify it, remove unnecessary things, add useful ones and customize it in whatever way they want.
There are more types of Custom ROMs:
What is a stock ROM?
- Samsung Based ROMs: These are ROMs based on official Samsung firmwares, that usually contain Samsung based applications and interface.
- AOSP based ROMs: An AOSP (Android Open Source Project) based ROM is a Custom ROM that uses as base the official OS released by Android. This means it doesn't include all the extras that Samsung, HTC or other manufacturers provide with their devices. This is the pure Google experience, of course with the added improvements and customization.
- AOKP based ROMs: AOKP stands for Android Open Kang Project. An AOKP based ROM is very close to an AOSP ROM except it has a whole lot of customization that AOSP doesn't have.
- MIUI based ROMS: A MIUI based ROM is a Custom ROM based on the Chinese custom version of Android which is MIUI. This type of ROMs has unique customization options that other ROMs lack.
A stock ROM is the official Android version that comes with your phone or that you get after an official update. Usually stock ROMs stand as base for many Custom ROMs.
Is it safe to install Custom ROMs? What are the risks of installing Custom ROMs?
This is a frequent question that inexperienced users have to ask. Of course you worry about damaging your phone, especially after paying a lot of money on the latest model on the market. So all things said, here are the risks of installing a Custom ROM:
- You lose warranty. Once you decide to change the OS on your phone with a Custom one that doesn't come from an official channel, your phone will lose the entire warranty. So even if your phone breaks and the reason isn't the Custom ROM, you are still going to be out of warranty. Of course, this is a subjective problem, as some people say that the warranty provider should still offer you service under warranty if you can prove that the issue is not caused by the installation of a Custom ROM. But usually this never happens. Of course there are also some methods that can help you recover your warranty. So this is no longer a strong disadvantage.
- Your phone risks getting bricked. During the installation of the Custom ROM, something may go wrong and your device may get bricked. Of course, if you decide to install a Custom ROM that has a lot of positive feedback and has already been tested by a lot of users, the risk of this happening is very low. Also there are already a lot of ways to unbrick smartphones. The most important thing when flashing a ROM is to make sure you follow the instructions precisely.
- You can lose all your data. If you forget to make a complete data backup when installing a Custom ROM, you will probably lose all your data because of the data wipe that is always necessary before installing a custom ROM.
- Bugs and issues. This is more of a disadvantage of Custom ROMs. Usually new ROMs have a lot of bugs and issues that stock ROMs don't have. This can be very annoying as you may experience battery drainage, signal lose or other issues that make your phone basically unusable. This only lets you with the option to return to stock ROM or install a different custom ROM.
What are the advantages of using a Custom ROM?
- Usually the advantages overcome the risks and disadvantages.
- You get the latest Android updates. By choosing to install Custom ROMs on your device you are able to get the latest versions of Android even if they weren't officially been released for your device. So you can install the latest version of Android, on a device that hasn't received and update for 1 year.
- Improved overall performance. When developers create a Custom ROM, they focus on making it faster, smoother and battery efficient. So compared to stock ROMs that can be slow, laggy and drain your battery very fast, a Custom ROM can make your device run a lot better. Battery life is something that most users look for, and most Custom ROMs provide much better battery life than any stock ROM.
- You get frequent updates to fix bugs. Unlike Google does with its stock ROMs, developers usually give all their attention to fixing bugs and issues that their Custom ROMs have. So you can have the greatest experience without complaining about any issue.
- Install MODs and Apps from other phones and OS. With a Custom ROM installed, you have a rooted device . This gives you access to install any app that developers make for your device. For example you can install Galaxy Note 2 apps on you Galaxy S2 device, something that would never be available with official stock ROMs.
- There are so many of them. Another advantage is that these days there are just more and more Custom ROMs out there and a lot of developers that dedicate their work for giving users the best experience. This gives you the option to experience with lots of ROMs and choose the one that suits your preferences the best.
This is everything I can tell you about Custom ROMs. I'm sure there are a lot of other things that you wish to know, so if there's something you have to ask, leave a message in the comment section below and we'll try to answer as fast as we can.