Android, probably the most powerful mobile operating system on the planet, is great for numerous reasons:
- Customizations to make the device yours
- Great multitasking
- Fully integrated with Google services
- Many different OEM custom skins to suit everyone
However, there comes a time that users want to do a little more and have full control of their device. So, what is done — we root. Why do people root their Android devices? Here are just some of the reasons:
- Backing up apps and data
- Ad Blocking
- Removing carrier bloatware
- Wireless and network tricks 😉
Also, with a rooted device means that your bootloader is also unlocked so that you can flash custom ROMs to your device. A custom ROM is essentially the Android operating system from Google that a set of developers have taken and added their own custom tweaks for speed, functionality and differentiation. Custom ROMs can improve on battery life, allow you to customize your phone to a completely different degree and give you an overall great experience.
With so many ROMs to choose from, which do I prefer? Well, on my Verizon Galaxy Nexus there have been over 100 ROMs flashed from the popular Cyanogenmod, AOKP, JBSourcery and more. See below for a brief analysis of the top trio:
- Cyanagenmod — This ROM is probably the first custom ROM that any root user learns about and becomes enthralled in the sheer number of customizations that are available to you. However, in my experience I have seen that all of the options in this ROM absolutely destroyed my battery life and made the device quite slow.
- AOKP — After a stint with Cyanogenmod, I switched to AOKP and fell in love with the customizations and stabilty of the ROM, there is not a lot (if any) bugs in this ROM.
- JBSourcery — this is the most stable highly-customizable ROM that I have ever ran on the Galaxy Nexus, includes a JBSourcery Tool Center which offer complete manipulation of everything about your device.
So, which custom ROM is the best? That is a question that you must answer. Go forth and flash away my friends!
Visit RootzWiki for Android custom ROMs and kernels.
Bottom line: The world of hacking, modding and flashing new firmware to your device is fun and it is great that Google allows us to do it!