Android is an amazingly customizable mobile operating system, and it is a paradise for those who want to customize their device to the deepest level. Those who believe in modding and hacking have many things to do on their Android device, and if you install a custom ROM, then possibilities are vastly increased (read: endless).
Not every device can be hacked as the manufacturers can place restrictions on the device, and in such a case, custom ROMs are what comes in handy but you need to find the right custom ROM for your device.
For those who’re not familiar with rooting, read our article on what is rooting and why should you root your Android device.
What is a Custom ROM?
Custom ROM basically means a version of Android which is developed by third-party developers. A custom ROM is meant to replace your stock ROM that your manufacturer provided you. Think of this as a combination of kernel, apps, services, etc that is required to run the device.
However, installing a custom ROM will void your device’s warranty, and can sometimes have other harmful effects such as no support for camera and battery drain. It really depends on the developer how he has programmed the ROM.
Where to Find Custom ROM?
There are many places and third-party developers where you can find a custom ROM for your device, but CyanogenMod stands out from others. This should be your first place to look out for custom ROM for your device. These developers are the leaders of custom Android ROM, and are passionate about their work. They offer support for a wide range of phones and tablets (even the Kindle Fire), and in most cases, you’ll be able to find the ROM for your device.
The three main features of CyanogenMod listed on their website are: DSP Equalizer, theme support and incognito mode. Also their ROMs usually improve the performance of the phone and increase the battery life, and allows you to upgrade to a newer version of Android than what the manufacturer currently supports.
But what if your device is not popular and you’re not able to find a custom ROM by CyanogenMod? Don’t worry, the next best place is XDA Developers Forum. This community is an Android user’s delight, and it has some of the best developers always working on modding, hacking and all such stuff. When you’ll browse XDA Forums, you’ll see that it is very large but that’s because the site has separate sections for almost any Android device out there.
On this forum, anyone can post a custom ROMs and therefore before trying out any ROM, make sure to read developer’s details carefully and also read what other people are saying on the thread. If the thread is 20 pages long, then make sure to read at least 5 pages so that you can get an idea whether the ROM is stable, experimental or release candidate. It definitely makes sense to read a lot before trying it out yourself as you won’t like to become a part of an experimental build. And just in case if you stumble upon a problem, then go ahead and leave a comment on the same thread so that other people can help you.
Go ahead, choose a custom ROM that suits your needs and install it. Should you have any problems or doubts, then XDA Forums is where you should post your queries. With custom ROM, sky’s the limit!