What is Custom ROM (Android Custom ROMs)
Android is the most popular mobile operating system since Google developed it as an open-source platform. Anyone can use Android and customize it with added features and functionalities. All the android phones come with pre-installed ROM or UI. This can be Android Open Source-Based, Stock Android, or customized UI developed by a particular mobile phone manufacturer.
You may also experience Samsung’s One UI, Xiom’s MIUI, Oppo’s ColorOS, and OnePlus’s OxygenOS. These versions are heavily customized versions of the android platform.
The default OS with the branded mobile device is optimized to its maximum level to give its consumers a better experience.
Some users like the default skin or UI and use it, while others may not like it. Some users want to add more rich content and features and modify and customize their UI, while others keep the devices clean and simple. This is the place where the custom rom come into the picture.
Why do you need a custom ROM?
As previously mentioned, custom ROM replaces the existing version of android stock ROM, or the Android version of the phone manufacturers supplied to you.
So if you do not like your Xiaomi’s MIUI, you can install a custom ROM android as your wish with added skins, themes, and functionalities.
When there are many Ads and Botware in the UI provided by the phone manufacturer’s OS, you can avoid them by using custom ROM.
Also, some manufacturers abandoned their mobile phone versions over new versions and stopped providing updates on the OS. So you have to be stuck with the same OS without any updates over time. So, installing a custom android ROM is the solution for it.
In addition to that, if you like to have a thrilling experience by changing your mobile phone’s OS and customizing it, we recommend going for a custom Android ROM. We will tell why we call it a “thrilling experience” later.
How to install Custom ROM
Firstly we would like to say the install custom ROM on Android varies with the devices you are using. And this is a general guideline to install custom ROM on android devices.
It would help if you researched the best match custom ROM for your device and any steps to follow on installing the same.
Create a backup
The first and most important thing to do is back up your android device before installing the custom ROM.
You can keep the backup file within the phone. However, we recommend keeping a separate backup file with your PC in case of any emergency.
You can use NANdroid backup to create a basic image of your current phone and be ready to use when set with custom ROM.
- Reboot the phone by holding the power button and down the volume key in most phones and enter the recovery mode.
- Select the “Backup” or “android” in the recovery mode, and you can give a name to your backup for your convenience.
Recovery and Unlock the Bootloader
The second step is to create a recovery file for your phone. Again, you can use TWRP or ClockworkMo for this purpose. TWRP is the most popular method, and you can find more details here.
Then you have to unlock the bootloader. To have expert guidance for the unlocking bootloader, you can refer to xda-developers.
We want to remind you that unlocking the bootloader will avoid the warranty of your device. Also, unlocking the bootloader will cause to wipe all your data from the device. So remember to keep a backup file with your PC as well.
You can select the custom ROM before the process starts. However, some custom ROMs are not working with all mobile devices. Hence you have to carry a little research on the compatibility of the custom ROM with your device. Then:
- Reboot the phone into recovery mode.
- Select “install”
- Select ZIP file of the custom ROM
- Wait till the installation is finish
Download Google Apps
Some custom ROMs come with pre-installed Google apps, and some do not. Hence you have to install the GApps to your newly installed custom ROM if there aren’t GApps.
This process is not much easier, as we mentioned above. You may also need a little patient in addition to the technical things in this operation. Also, there is a risk of loss of data too.
This is why we called it a “thrilling experience.”
Populer Custom ROMs in 2021
Here are some of the popular and widely used custom ROMs extracted from various sources. However, this is all up to you to select the best custom ROM for your preferences.
One of the best custom ROM stands over the years is LineageOS, the successor of the CyanogenMod custom ROM. After the discontinuation of the CyanogenMod in 2016, LineagenOS came to the community.
Sometimes, you may not feel much different from the default OS comparing to the LineageOS, which is full of simple and elegant features, themes, icons and looks more familiar to the user.
LineageOS support for more than 190 devices. This includes a customized navigation bar, different overall themes, and a customized status bar.
In addition to that, this custom ROM has one of the best security and privacy features compared to the other customs ROMS.
crDroid is one of the most stable and frequently updated custom ROM. With every update, crDroid comes with enhanced features and security patches.
crDroid can install on over 63 devices from 12 main manufactures. OnePlus, Xiaomi and Redmi are some devices more familiar with the crDroid. According to the android community who use crDroid, it has the same UI as AOSP with enhanced features in the status bar, quick settings, screen lock functions, navigation, and sounds and music.
Currently, crDroid has version 7.9 for android version 11 and 6.21 for android version 10.
Pixel experiences support many devices from Xiaomi, Realme, Samsung, Asus, and many more.
Pixel experience has newer features like animated wallpapers, Pixel live wallpapers, GC cam support. Pixel experience custom ROM support to Google assistant’s latest version also.
Not like other custom ROMs, pixel experience has developers, testers all around the world. As the main developer, Henrique Pereira developed the base of the ROM and published all changes in GitHub.
Is Custom ROM safe to use?
Flashing a custom ROM makes your default setting get deleted and vanished. Also, it makes a breach of the warranty, if any. On the other hand, the mobile phone manufacturer optimizes the default UI to its maximum level. Obviously, manufactures have better research and development centers to do that than custom ROM developers.
On the other hand, security updates are frequently dispatched by the mobile phone manufacturers to their customers for several years or until the manufacturing stops.
These are some serious facts to be considered in using custom ROMs, as we figured. However, custom ROMs are the solution we can bear to experience different UI’s and keep up to date UI in older devices.