what are roms ?
You may have heard of people loading custom “ROMs” on their Android devices. A “ROM” is the operating system software that runs your Droid. It is stored in the “Read Only Memory” portion of the hardware on the Android smartphone and/or tablet. All Android devices come with a stock ROM installed by the manufacturer. But, if you root your device, you gain the ability to install custom ROMs that will completely change the look and feel of the software. This is one of the major reasons that people choose to root their Droids. What is rooting? You’ll want to check this article out if you have never heard of the term before.
What are Custom ROMs?
So, in the Android world, replacing the OS is entirely possible, but what would you replace it with? Well, that’s where custom ROMs come into play. Being (for the most part) an open platform, Android allows you to modify the core elements of the OS, from things as simple as the user interface and graphical elements, to the way it handles CPU load and external communication. Modders can then “bake” these modifications into a full fledged ROM, which means it’s a custom ROM, since it has been changed and deviates from a stock Android ROM. And by distributing it and sharing it with the community, there are certain means to install it in their devices and replace the original version of Android with a modded version. Like rooting, this brings a number of possible enhancements, which may improve performance, unlock hidden features and enhance elements like camera quality or framerate. Depending on your device, you can even replace your old version of Android with a more recent one, which will make it feel like a new device, fix certain problems and have better support, for basically no cost.
Of course, these operations involve messing around with core OS elements, so they carry a certain risk which you need to be aware of if you’re planning to do any of them. But really, all you need is to follow basic instructions and recommendations, and chances are you’ll be OK. Complete failure (bricking, literally turning your device into nothing more than a paperweight) rarely happens, and is in most cases reversible. Every device is different however, and some are easier than others to deal with when it comes to rooting and installing custom ROMs. You’ll need to do your own research and figure out if you can do it or not, and if it’s worth it or if you’re content with your device already. And if you decide to go ahead, welcome to the wonderful world of open Android, and keep an eye out for future articles about it!
What kind of benefits can a custom ROM give me?
1. Provides the latest and most up-to-date versions of Android
2. Improved performance and efficiency
3. Battery life improvements
4. Removal of bloatware (the useless junk that manufacturers install on your device)
5. Custom themes and modified user interfaces
6. Your friends will think you are awesome for knowing how to install a custom ROM
7. And more!
What are the disadvantages of installing a Custom ROM?
1. Installing custom ROMs generally involves having to perform a clean wipe. So make sure you perform a backup of all your stuff! Check out Titanium Backup.
2. Custom ROMs may have bugs that cause your device to have issues
3. Voids the Manufacturer Warranty (just like rooting)
Where can I find a custom ROM for my device?
There are many great custom ROMs available that can make your Android device look and perform drastically different. For instance, you might be stuck with an older Android device that is stuck on an older version of the Android OS and it is not getting any of the latest updates for Android. With a custom ROM, you could load up the latest and greatest available Android versions and bring that antiquated device up to par with some of the newer ones. There are lots of great ROMs available for many different phones and it is up to you to find the one that best meets your needs.
The best place that I have found to find custom ROMs for Android devices is the XDA Developers Forums. The XDA community is filled with smartphone enthusiasts and developers for the Android platform. Check them out and see if you find any ROMs that would meet your needs. [XDA Developers]
Another simple option to find custom ROMs is to use the power of Google. Just go to Google and type in a phrase like “HTC EVO 3D ROMs”. Obviously,you’ll want to replace the “HTC EVO 3D” portion with your specific brand phone and model number. That’s it!