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ROM stands for Read Only Memory and has a very little part in what a custom Android ROM actually is so it can be confusing. Based on Google’s Android platform, a custom Android ROM is the firmware of a phone. In Androids developers have an open platform to re-code, recompile and edit a wide variety of devices. ROMs can be installed to change a device’s interface. Developers who have a passion of modding in the Android community keep developing new ROMs which makes it easily accessible to a lot of people and free of cost. Custom ROMs are available for almost every device that is run by an Android OS.
An Android device comes with a stock ROM or stock firmware, these both terms are used for the operating system already installed in the devices. If you choose to flash a custom ROM you can unlock additional features of a phone and improve its performance as well.
BUT you should know the risks involved in flashing a ROM, your phone being bricked is one. Even though it is rare but it’s still possible if you aren’t cautious enough.
So then why use custom ROMs? People who like to customize and enhances the things they use (like me) use custom ROMs. It gives a new edge to the device over the previous version.
How can custom ROMs benefit us further you ask?
1) Performance: The performance of the hardware can be changed from how it was previously programmed to work in a specific time duration, battery life and heat to work even better. In graphic intensive games or applications the change can be easily seen. System resources can be freed by removing bloatware that are the OEM-installed apps.
2) Battery life: Battery life of a phone can increased by days through underclocking which is the opposite of overclocking, by decreasing the speed of your processor. If you’re tired of charging your phone again and again in a day this can be helpful. Fewer apps will run in the background and the CPU will do less hence saving the battery life.
3)Updates: People who’re tired of waiting for the manufacturers to give an update of the OS, this ones for you! It can be tiresome to wait for a bug to be fixed or try the latest features out when all the others around you are already having their phones updated. The worst case scenario is when your device reaches it limit of being updated any further or the manufacturers stop supporting the device as a whole. This leaved your device outdated and near to obsolete. This is were custom ROMs come into play. From a Kitkat version you can download and change to a Lollipop based custom ROM. The ROM updates are called “Nightlies” and they keep coming on a daily basis.
4) Customization: The reason why Androids have an edge over other phones is the customization they offer. The wonders you can do with a custom ROM! There’s so much room for creativity here you can change the colour of your notification light (neat right?), the force of your vibration, the colours on your screen and so much more.
Some custom ROMs available :
CyanogenMod one of the most popular ROM available in our community.To know if this is compatible with your device check here on this page. A few features of CyanogenMod: theming support, FLAC audio support, per-application permissions, CPU overclocking, soft-button customizations, & more.
AOKP is another popular ROM that’s all about speed. To know if this is compatible with your device check here on out this page. Some features of AOKP include custom toggles in the notification shade, LED control if your phone has a notification light, nav ring support, vibration pattern customization, & more.
Paranoid Android, this one focuses on improving notifications, design and navigation. In tablet or phone mode it lets you run your entire system, or just certain apps, and you can customize the DPI settings too. If you have a big screen and want to utilize it to the fullest this will be the best option.
You can try and test all of them to find and explore these up to your preference level. Always be sure to run and download ROMs that are developed by popular and safe developers as their work is obviously more credible or else you might put your data at risk.