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Android is truly an open source platform in other words developers can tinker with all the underlying code and
that brings the ability to create custom Android builds, generally known as Custom ROMs. A custom ROM
is an upgraded software version for your Android device that allows users to change every element of the Android
interface along with giving you control over everything.
Two reasons why a custom ROM is used.
The first one is that you want to remove all that bloatware that comes already installed in your phone.
The second is that you want to do some real customization with your device. Adding splendid themes,
overclocking, improving battery life, downloading apps to SD card and making your device’s speed better
are some of the exceptional tasks that a custom ROM performs. A custom ROM features its own kernel.
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Note: Installing a custom ROM requires you to root a device, which voids the warranty on most smartphones
and if things go wrong, It may turn your phone into a brick if something goes wrong.
CyanogenMod has passed the test of time and is the most popular Android ROM with most number of
installations in the world. This is because the ROM is compatible with more Android devices than any other
ROM. The ROM is regularly updated and supports most of the devices available on the marketThis custom
ROM has versions like CyanogenMod 7, CyanogenMod 10, and CyanogenMod 10.1 which are based on
Android 2.3, Android 4.1, and Android 4.2 respectively. It also recently started offering nightly builds of
CyanogenMod 13, based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Firmware’s features that make it different from the
original firmware include easy access to thousands of themes, perfect sound processing options like
headphone filtering, dynamic range compression and equalization, more options in notification drop-down
CyanogenMod 7 is the best option for devices that don’t support Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich ICS).
2. Paranoid Android
Paranoid Android is another great deal in custom Android ROM that boosts your device’s usability. An exceptional
feature in this custom ROM is its hybrid mode. With this option you can switch among tablet and smartphone
modes. Paranoid Android removes the restrictions of Android’s DPI system and in this way, you can run any
application no matter if it was built for tablet interface or smartphone interface.Paranoid incorporates
Cyanogen’s theme engine along with various other customization features. The ROM is officially available for
Nexus, Oppo and OnePlus devices but you can get it on other devices through unofficial channels on XDA.
Cataclysm ROM might not seem pleasing to the eye looking ROM but it aims at bringing value additions for
a solid performance. The ROM brings a lot of handful additions like configurable toggles, lock screen
along with customization options for status bar, notifications etc. Other notable features include Smart Radio,
App Ops, battery styles, navigation bar options and more. The ROM is best known for its great performance and
solid builds, with the least number of bugs. The ROM is only available for Nexus devices officially but you can
get the ROM for other devices from unofficial channels like XDA.
SlimBean is another impressive firmware for Android have mainly focused on minimalism by the developers . Its
interface is almost the same as the one you get already installed on your device. However, it offers much more
features like profiles and customization notification drawers.
The Real Dark Slimis another important feature of SlimBean . Through this, you can invert the colors of your
interface with one touch. Along with better performance, the firmware offers better battery life. The ROM has its
own Kernel which manages your device’s power well.
Android Open Kang Project (AOKP), is an open source replacement distribution for Andriod mobiles that support
some high end Android devices. The ROM empowers your phone’s processing, removes the bloatware that comes
already installed in an Android device and allows users to change many aspects of the OS including its appearance
and its functions. Ribbons and toggles are two amazing things that have been introduced in this ROM.
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Mi User Interface (MIUI) pronounced 'Me You I', developed by Xiaomi Tech is a recommended Android ROM
by experts with elegant interface and customizable features. Initially, MIUI was a mod created for Android in China,
but later on the mod was extended for different languages and countries. The ROM brings some handy features
like Child Mode, Showtime, popup view, Blacklist, data stats, MiCloud, Theme store and more. Xiaomi added a
number of apps to enhance the basic framework; those include Notes, Backup, Music, and Gallery. MIUI's latest
release are MIUI 8 Beta 6.7.7 (China), MIUI 7 Stable 7.5 (China), MIUI 7 Stable 7.5 (Global), MIUI 8 Beta 6.7.5
7. Resurrection Remix
Resurrection Remix ROM, is another big name in Android firmwares which gives users satisfactory permission
to tinker almost every element in their interface from the lock screen, notifications drawer to the navigation
buttons and animations. Additional features include Pitch Black dark theme, customizable notifications and
more. Every build is compiled to provide a stable android experience that can be relied upon, it has a mix of
features from many ROMs, including Paranoid Android, Omni, Slim and AOKP.
OmniROM was developed by ex-Cyanogen developers, it brings features like OmniJAWS weather service,
DSPManager, delta update system, dark mode UI, quick settings panel, enhanced Do Not Disturb mode along
with the usual customization options we expect from a ROM. The project provides Android 4.4 (KitKat) based
ROMs for experimentation, including support for the Galaxy Note II. Other devices supported include the
Galaxy Note, Galaxy S3, Galaxy S4, Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7, LG Optimus G, Galaxy S2, HTC One (2013),
Oppo Find 5, Sony Xperia T, HTC Explorer, Lenovo A6000.
Android Lollipop for Asus Transformer Pad, Asus Transformer Pad Infinity, Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 7,
Nexus 10, Oppo Find 7/7a, OnePlus One, Sony Xperia Z and Sony Xperia ZL has been released since 2015 for
Android 5.1.1 .
XenonHD Rom, is a lightweight and performance optimized Rom. It was created from Android Open Source Project
(AOSP) with additional features, performance and battery life improvements. XenonHD Rom incorporates features
like the Andriod 4.2.2, PA Halo, PA Hybrid, PA Colors, App SideBar, Expanded Desktop, New Moto Style Softkeys
, Theme Chooser, Custom Quick Toggles, Custom Carrier Label, Custom LED Notifications, Custom Lockscreen,
Custom Navbar, Custom Statusbar, Custom Navigation Ring, Custom Boot Animation, Statusbar Brightness Slider,
Battery Icon Styles, Clock Icon Styles, Signal Icon Styles, Transparency Settings, Adjustable Vibrations, Rotation
Settings, Kill All Button, Koush's Superuser, PropModder, Performance & Battery Tweaks. The Lollipop based
ROM also includes features like built-in root access, privacy guard, filter notifications and more.
BlissROM is an Open-Source Rom with lots of Android Tweak features. The CM12 Lollipop based ROM adds a
number if cool features like “Bliss interface”, which packs in all tweak settings in one place, making sure your
Settings page is cleaner and more usable. BlissPop provides Cyanogen's best-in-class Privacy Guard, With the
set-it-and-forget-it setting meaning you will get an alert whenever an app requests permission to my personal
data. At that point you can either grant access or send a null value—by choice. BlissPop has proper
support for the switching between the OnePlus One's hardware and software navigation buttons. It lets you
customize all the interface elements to its core.