Custom ROMs allow users to enhance their Android experience by providing them with software features not available on a Stock Android ROM. They provide a number of benefits to the users, and readers can learn more about these benefits in our article on Why to Install custom ROMs. However, once the user decides to flash a custom ROM on his device, the question which he faces is –which ROM to choose?
With the huge popularity of the Android OS, developers have flocked to this platform and a large number of great custom ROMs have been developed, some of which are truly amazing. Let us have a look at some of the factors which might help a user in deciding which Custom Rom to go for.
Usually, developers start updating their custom ROMs as soon as a new Android Version is released. However, not all ROMs are immediately available on the prevailing Android versions. Some developers might require extra time for releasing a new version of the ROM and some might even have stopped supporting a particular ROM.
As a result, different custom ROMs tend to be on different Android Versions, and users have to consider the ROM’s Android OS Version before selecting it for flashing it. However, this does not imply that the user always has to choose any ROM based on the latest Android version – instead, users should concentrate on selecting a ROM which is stable with a new Android version. Otherwise, they can go for a stable ROM on a lower Android version.
One precautionary measure users can take while selecting a ROM for flashing it on their device is to check the frequency at which the developer(s) of the ROM provide updates for the ROM. With ROMs which are provided regular updates, even if some random software issues or stability problems emerge, there is very high probability of the developer quickly coming through with a solution to the problem and a stable, corrected version.
On the other hand, with ROMs which haven’t been updated for days, or on which developers are no longer paying attention, Users might end up without any support from the developer’s side. Such ROMs should thus be avoided.
Custom ROM’s are built on different bases. Most directly use the Android Open Source Code from the Android Open Source Project (AOKP), such as the popular ParanoidAndroid (PA) ROM, known for offering per-app Display settings and Halo floating windows feature. PA itself might be used as a base on several device.
Same is true for CyanogenMod (CM), another popular ROM available for numerous devices. Android Open Kang Project(AOKP) ROMs are popular for the number of software mods they provide to the user, including Ribbons and Toggles, and ROMs built using AOKP as the base provide users with better flexibility.
Many Custom ROMs are built on Manufacturer’s Stock ROMs. For example, WannamLite and Omega are two very popular ROMs for Samsung devices, built with Samsung Touchwhiz ROMs as their base. Similarly, ViperOne and Renovate are popular ROMs for HTC smartphones with HTC Sense as the base.
Depending upon the kind of functionality the user expects from the Rom, users have to decide which ROM to choose while looking at the ROM’s base, as the product ROM would have an interface and features similar to the base ROM. For instance, if a user wants better display features and per app display control, he should go for a ROM which has PA as the base or at the very least some features of PA. Thus, the user should make sure that he installs a ROM having a base ROM with preferable features.
Mods and Features
The associated Mods and features of a ROM might be considered the most important aspects of selecting a ROM. Users should weigh each and every feature of a ROM they plan on using, and download it if it meets their expectations. Normally, developers mention the features of a ROM on the ROM’s forum page. Users can also visit this Major custom ROM database to compare feature of different ROMs and select the ROM with features most suitable to their need.
Users can also consider the reviews of various ROMs when in the process of selecting a ROM. Most ROMs are available through threads on Android forums such as XDA-Developers forums or Android Central Forums. People leave their reviews of the ROMs on these forums, and it is always a good practice to go through some of these reviews of a ROM which otherwise sounds good to the user, to get a gist of the ROM’s usefulness before flashing it on the device.
Reviews would bring up any shortcomings of the ROM, if they exist, in front of the user. In addition, users would also get detailed information of the functionality of the ROM.
Reputation of the Developer
Last but not the least, one can consider the reputation of the developers of a ROM which sounds good to him. Good developers have great reputation on forums, and those who contribute a lot of good material tend to have a lot of users flock to them. Users can always check the reputation of the developer through the developer’s profile.
There is no perfect strategy for choosing the perfect custom ROM. In fact, there exists no perfect ROM – one which one user finds perfect for his need might not be good for another. There is thus no ‘Best’ ROM, and each ROM contributes to the Android world in its own unique way.
The knowledge of which ROM is suitable for him, can only be attained by a user through experience. Users should thus flash and try multiple ROMs in order to find the perfect custom ROMs for themselves. Moreover, with the Android Platform continuously developing, there are always good new ROMs coming up, and trying new ones out will not only provide the user with the opportunity to move onto a better custom ROM, but also in turn enhance his Android experience.