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Android Open Source Operating Systems

Do Android Users Still Use Custom Roms? (androidauthority.com) 215

"With all of the drama at CyanogenMod, Android Authority takes a look at the current state of custom ROM development," writes Slashdot reader Thelasko. From the article: The future of CyanogenMod appears uncertain, after the open source ROM was forced to fork under the name Lineage OS. Fortunately there are already other remixed versions of Android available, with some of the most popular being Paranoid Android, Resurrection Remix, and Dirty Unicorns... [But] with each new version of Android, the gap between Android and popular custom ROMs has shrunk, which begs an interesting question: Are custom ROMs even necessary anymore? To answer this, let's take a quick look at the state of custom ROM development as it exists today.
The article points out that mobile virtual reality is "on the verge of becoming mainstream and the wearable market has grown tremendously," asking whether custom firmware will also integrate these newer technologies. But the original submission also asks a question that's closer to home. What custom ROMs do Slashdot users have installed?
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Do Android Users Still Use Custom Roms?

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  • by Bob-Bob Hardyoyo ( 4240135 ) on Sunday January 22, 2017 @05:58PM (#53717337)
    I have Cyanogen on two devices, and I will ALWAYS have a custom ROM just to eliminate all the damn bloatware. If there are programs on a new device that I can't uninstall without rooting (and there always are) it's time for a reflashing.
    • by dejitaru ( 4258167 ) on Sunday January 22, 2017 @06:02PM (#53717357)
      I believe running a custom rom just to get rid of bloat is an overkill when you can just use titaniumbackup to delete the bloat. That and some roms do come with their own bloat, like features that cause issues.
      • by Z00L00K ( 682162 ) on Monday January 23, 2017 @12:09AM (#53718869) Homepage

        A better reason for custom roms is to be able to keep up with Android updates when the device supplier has ended the support for the device.

        • A better reason for custom roms is to be able to keep up with Android updates when the device supplier has ended the support for the device.

          Yeah so where is the definitive place to go to get these roms? I've got a galaxy S3 from Verizon that I still use as a device, I'd like to update it to the latest possible.

    • by guacamole ( 24270 ) on Sunday January 22, 2017 @06:07PM (#53717381)

      Sound's like you have been buying wrong devices. A typical Google Nexus or Motorola device has a pretty lean ROM that's pretty close to stock Android.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Stock Android is full of bloat. Go ahead and force Google Play on me, but there's over half a dozen other Google Apps I don't want and can't uninstall. Pico Open GAPPS on CM fixes the problem.

      • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

        and you'll have to enable root on them anyways.

        BUT .. you know. For example samsung has api's to enable packages and parts of packages that are built in and not normally possible to disable. but you have to use their mdm api's to do that which needs a (free) key from samsung.

        same api's offer an _actual_ firewall.

        and yes you can break things by dicking around with it and no it does not break the "root detection" system of samsung, despite giving you almost practically root abilities.

        the package management ap

      • I have a Moto X Play (2 full days of battery life, woo!), and I appreciate the low-bloat stock ROM that Motorola uses. Or used to use. They have since been bought out by Lenovo, and it looks like it's the end of the line for good Moto phones with lean stock ROMs.

      • by houghi ( 78078 )

        Lean does not mean there is a shitload of things I do not want, I do not want Gmail. I do not want Hangout. I do not want Facebook. I do not want Chrome.

        I would like a device that only has Google Play and then _I_ decide what I have or at least have the ability to delete what I want.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I have Cyanogen on two devices, and I will ALWAYS have a custom ROM just to eliminate all the damn bloatware. If there are programs on a new device that I can't uninstall without rooting (and there always are) it's time for a reflashing.

      I gave up on Cyanogenmod when Cyanogen went all Microsoft. Not so much because the mod went bad as I started to lose in anybody who cooperates with Microsoft. It's sad to be proven right again, but I'm glad Lineage managed to break away so it's good in the long term. The parent is right. The stock ROM, even when it's almost plain Android on a Nexus device, is ultra-frustrating. You miss so much customisation. I will be back on a custom ROM the minute LineageOS gets up to speed [lineageos.org]. I paid the extra for a

  • with devices being more open and less carrier specific... there seems to be less crap. with less crap, there is less of a motive to root.
    • Re:more open (Score:4, Interesting)

      by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Sunday January 22, 2017 @06:08PM (#53717387) Homepage Journal

      Yeah, last few devices I've bought had something very close to AOSP with only a minimum of extra apps installed, apps that aren't causing me any problems. Android itself doesn't vary a lot between versions any more, the chances are the version you have varies little - from a user's point of view - from the latest greatest. This is a far cry from the early days of Android where:

      1. Every phone had a heavily customized version of Android, in part because stock Android wasn't very pretty, but those customizations were usually horrible and bug ridden. As an example, my T-Mobile Slide 3G's dialer would crash if you changed from portrait to landscape.

      2. Android itself was barely feature complete. Third party tools were needed to provide a decent launcher, decent keyboard, and so on, as well as tethering and other features carriers were nervous about.

      It just isn't as important any more.

  • Nexus 4 (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dejitaru ( 4258167 ) on Sunday January 22, 2017 @06:01PM (#53717355)
    I still use a custom rom because Google stopped updating the Nexus 4 and my phone is still working just fine. I run Chroma which runs 6.0.1, whereas the last supported version was 5.1.1. Oddly enough, Chroma is more stable than 5.1.1 was on my phone.
  • by c ( 8461 ) <beauregardcp@gmail.com> on Sunday January 22, 2017 @06:03PM (#53717365)

    Two of my three Android devices have custom ROM's, and the third probably will once the LineageOS folks start pushing out reasonably stable builds.

    The only reason the third doesn't currently have a custom ROM is that Motorola didn't go batshit with the bloatware, so waiting for the warranty period to up wasn't a pain.

  • I don't any more (Score:5, Interesting)

    by guacamole ( 24270 ) on Sunday January 22, 2017 @06:05PM (#53717373)

    Let's begin by saying that the stock ROMs on certain devices have become very adequate. I own a Nexus 5X and a Moto X Pure smartphone, and their stock ROMs are basically a pure Android experience. The software is already lean without any carrier bloat. Everything works fine, except for the times when google's rushed updates may sometimes introduce a new bug. I also run a stock Samsung ROM on my Galaxy Tab S tablet.

    On the other hand, there is a considerable cost to using a third party alternative ROM like Cyanogenmod. For one, those third party ROMs don't always support hardware as well as the stock. If you had read release notes for something like a Cyanogenmod release, you had surely run into statements like "limited camera functionality" or "fingerprint sensor, etc".

    Another issue with third party ROMs is that some software builders actively block or sabotage them. For example, the AT&T's Uverse streaming service will detect whether you have a rooted or third party ROM and stops working. The Netflix goes only up to 480p resolution on a non-stock ROM. "Fixing" this probably involves editing build.prop and hiding your root, but I haven't tried it recently.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by ncc74656 ( 45571 ) *

      Another issue with third party ROMs is that some software builders actively block or sabotage them. For example, the AT&T's Uverse streaming service will detect whether you have a rooted or third party ROM and stops working. The Netflix goes only up to 480p resolution on a non-stock ROM. "Fixing" this probably involves editing build.prop and hiding your root, but I haven't tried it recently.

      Android Pay also has issues with rooted phones (and, by extension, custom ROMs), but I have it working on an Asus

  • I don't know if it's just me, but the more crap they try to add onto a Smart Phone the less utility I found out of it. Any real work I need to do I just can't do on a phone. And I'm too busy to bother with any of the crappy games I can get for it. I don't need a fitness tracker. I don't need social media AT ALL.
    • Yeah that's just you.

      • No, it's me too.
        "Real work" which for me means web design, is impossible. Typing anything longer than a paragraph is *possible* but definitely not enjoyable. The games I want to play are more like Civilization or Pillars of Eternity than Candy Crush. I don't like giving all my private information to Facebook, nor do I even want to converse with the idiots that populate it, so that's useless. I do use Telegram as a messaging service, so I guess that gives the smartphone an edge over my flip phone. I could d
      • Well then what the hell do you do with your smart phone? Out side of a weather map and a notepad program anything of real merit I need do with a computer I can do way better from there in less time than trying to do it on my phone.
        • Obvious:
          Make calls,
          Take notes,
          Browse the internet.
          Camera
          Video
          Social Media
          Games
          Email

          Less obvious:
          Navigation
          Traffic predictions so I know when to leave home.
          Car Bluetooth music server
          Pay for street parking with a push of an app parking (works in undercover park garages as well so I don't need to stand inline at the ticket machine anymore).
          Connect to car's ODBII port to figure out what keeps turning my check engine light on
          UPnP Media server tied to hifi system in the house
          Remote control for my Kodi box
          Skype
          Sle

    • by Desler ( 1608317 )

      Cool story, gramps. We'll make sure we get off your lawn.

  • by smallmj ( 69620 ) on Sunday January 22, 2017 @06:12PM (#53717401)

    Since most manufacturers stop caring about their phones after a year or two, custom ROMS are great for keeping 1-4 year old phones useful. My Galaxy Note 2 is still a fantastic phone running CM. The only reason I stopped using it and gave it to my wife was that the SD slot was unreliable. She doesn't need the storage, so she does very well with it. I'll likely put a custom ROM on my Moto X Pure in a year or so when Moto stops releasing new ROMs for it.

    • by Luthair ( 847766 )
      I think this varies a lot by device, when I tried in the past to find updates for unsupported phones trustworthy sources like Cyanogen didn't have them and everywhere else I'd see "Works great (note: does not support phone calls or bluetooth)" type claims even if one were to trust some random internet user.
  • by Optic7 ( 688717 ) on Sunday January 22, 2017 @06:15PM (#53717413)

    Unfortunately, custom ROMs are still necessary because phone manufacturers, carriers, and even Google itself washes their hands of any phone that is older than about 2 years. Often they stop offering system updates even sooner than 2 years. This forces people to install custom ROMs to keep their phone operating systems up to date.

    I don't care what anyone claims -- a smartphone's useful life is way longer than 2 years, so it's unconscionable that these Android companies do this. Compare to iPhones, which are supported for up to 5 years. I have been using Android phones (Google Nexus models) for several years now, but I have seriously considered going back to iPhones because of this and because of app availability.

    • even Google itself washes their hands of any phone that is older than about 2 years.

      Three years. Google devices get system upgrades for two years, and security updates for three years. That's still well short of five years, as you say. On the other hand, while Apple has a history of supporting devices for that long, they've made no commitment to any specific support timeline.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Two years from date of first sale.

        If you buy your phone 4 months after it was announced, you only get 20 months worth of updates. It should really be from date of last sale. (sale by Google or provider, not second hand sales.)

        Security updates should be longer than 3 years, too, since the hardware will very likely still work, and still be in use. I'm not talking about the 1% of phones that will still work after 10 years, but 3 isn't enough.

        It's a black mark on Android that it's patron can't get security u

      • Moreover, I think that Google's three support years count from the date the model is discontinued from the Play store, which may well be 2 years after the model is released.

        • Moreover, I think that Google's three support years count from the date the model is discontinued from the Play store, which may well be 2 years after the model is released.

          Actually, it's three years from release or 18 months after being discontinued from the store, whichever is longer.

  • I am relatively new to the smart phone scene, as I spent the majority of my corporate life on a blackberry. Only when we switched from blackberry to Windows phone (what a joke! And our fortune 100 company is trucking along with them still!) with the same corporate lockdowns, did I jump ship and become a two phone person. Everyone else in the world could watch videos on their phones, why not me. Getting a Nexus 5 was a breadth of fresh air and going to a custom mod was one of the first things I did. I saw
  • Heh...quoting op: The article points out that mobile virtual reality is "on the verge of becoming mainstream

    Yeah...right, here we have HTC Vive and a monster computer that would make any high end gamer proud just to run it, and he's talking about those little goggles you put on a mobile phone as Mainstream VR?

    If it wasn't so sad and a blatant lie, I'd laugh uncontrollably.

  • I do (Score:5, Informative)

    by fredgiblet ( 1063752 ) on Sunday January 22, 2017 @06:34PM (#53717523)
    I rooted my phone to allow me to install apps with root access, then the phone wouldn't let me update while it was rooted, so I installed a custom ROM that would. If I have to unroot my phone every time I need to update it then I might as well just install a custom ROM.
  • by Lumpy ( 12016 )

    Because until we get unmolested pure android OS installs that allow us to remove all baked in crap the Carriers and phone makers try and sneak in there, Android users will need a way to get a smooth and clean Android experience.

  • I'll stick with flashing custom builds.
  • I use custom ROMs.

  • Got a Samsung Galaxy S4, with a locked bootloader. So this means once I have root, I never update again.
    Custom ROMS are way out of the question.

  • by cloud.pt ( 3412475 ) on Sunday January 22, 2017 @07:27PM (#53717775)

    So you go to a pizza place. Let's name it Sammy's Hut. You start browsing the menu and you see the house special... It's a mess - it's like they tried to be healthy and trendy and full of spice at once. The clerk calls it "a whiz choice, recently we cut half its calories", but it's still an overengineered ball of mud, only gonna satisfy whoever can't grasp the fine line between taste and variety. You settle for the good ol' margherita, maybe add the usual ham, it never really disappoints - you get to feel the restaurant style with a tried and true classic, you figure what to try next time, if you decide to come back to the place that is... Unfortunately, that margherita felt like it had the same ingredients than the house special, it just didn't look like it.

    Some months later you're out in Italy and you try this new spot - it's called Gugely's, and they say "it's where pizza was invented". They only really serve 3 pizzas, and they're basically the same only changing in size and shape. They do seem like a balanced and adequate for different appetites, but you know what, they say whoever comes doesn't really feel compelled to come again. Despite tasting really good, they're all boring.

    There's a dessert place around the corner from Gugely's: Sweetpertino and they make an apple pie that is always made from the same tree, yet the dudes that go there eat them like zombies. Especially after they get fed up with Gugely's. They are loyal though, and the thing is really expensive for plain apple pie. My guess is they really like expensive apples. It's not anywhere as nutritional as pizza, but zombies be like... Whatever.

    Fed up with apples (or maybe never had the cash for them), and not wanting to go back to the "en vogue" spots, you dig up an underground place that brags can prepare the pizza you need. They are upfront about some limitations though: what you need is not always what you want, but at least you get to decide what you think you want. They also warn your stomach might not take it; that some people are allergic to their pizza type of "source"; that some even refuse to swallow their non-standard meals. They tell you to sign an insurance release at the door, but trust me, most that go there don't even understand the consequences - sometimes they have really bad produce, but luckily you can smell it from afar if you try the least, and just change the dish. But you know, nobody really cares when looking for the perfect pizza fix they can't find anywhere. Where this shop really distinguishes itself from others though: they let you take the recipes home, mix them up, go back to them and request small changes, and at the end of the day, you can just return your pizza for a brand new one. You can do this as long as you can stomach it. Suffice it to say, it's a releasing experience and some just can't figure out what to do with so much freedom. Some give up at the first try. It is also said a lot of people go back to apples and Gugely's. Nobody really goes back to Sammy's - they'd rather have their stomachs burst from a overly zealous gastric band.

    So after all that rant, what do we really learn from pizza and from people? There's no perfect pizza for everyone, that's obvious. Some fancy variety, some tolerate simplicity, and some just don't like pizza at all. Then there are those that only like pizza they can see being prepared and know the source of the ingredients. Some only want genuine ingredients even though they don't need them. It's a big shame some essential ingredients can only be bought from exclusive sellers that don't always want to sell to non-regulars, then again it's for their own commercial reasons, like every company should. The time for the perfectly balanced pizza can only come after a perfectly balanced society arises, one that only has the best interest of the customer in mind. Then again some call that communism, and it's the worst thing since the plague.

    Me, personally? I make my pizza at home. That means my kitchen and my stomach are always fully prepared. WHAT HAVE YOU EATEN LATELY?

  • With my Nexus 6, I have not needed to. However, for those rocking carrier/manufacturer abandoned devices it is the only way to test out newer versions of android. I used to do this a lot. I may still with my girlfriends LG G3 that is stuck on Lollipop. It is also an easy route to custom kernels that allow overclocking etc. Plus some just have some neat features.

    The downside though is on less popular devices and even many popular ones you run into glitches like front camera not working, wifi disconnect

  • by dpilot ( 134227 ) on Sunday January 22, 2017 @08:05PM (#53717925) Homepage Journal

    Bloatware, privacy, support, all send you to something other than stock.

    T-Mobile stopped supporting my Relay at JB. At least with CM I've got KK, and there are words indicating that CM's successor is going to bring out Nougat for it. (Didn't know that could happen, thought the graphics was too primitive, but I'll take it.)

    • I use CM11 on a HP Touchpad because WEBOS was a joke to begin with and then evolved to being unsupported in the end. Now with GAPPS, I can download most of the apps I need on the hardware.

      I have 3 tablets running it around the house and it works well.

      • " because WEBOS was a joke to begin with"

        You shut your dirty mouth. WebOS was LIGHTYEARS ahead of iOS and Android. I still have my Palm Pre Plus in a drawer. I have yet to see a hardware/software stack that is as elegant and ahead of its time as WebOS on Palm was.
  • by MeanE ( 469971 ) on Sunday January 22, 2017 @08:10PM (#53717949) Homepage
    I have a Nexus 4 and Nexus 5...both no longer run the latest android direct from google....but with custom ROMs they both run 7.1.1 flawlessly.
  • devices remain compatible ie unlocked boot loaders.

    if you go over to xda-developers custom ROMs are still a big thing. custom ROMs would even be bigger but many phones are shipped locked down with locked boot loaders and unroot-able, so users can't develop their custom ROMs or install them.

    T-Mobile and Sprint traditionally have been the most custom ROM friendly shipping phones with unlocked boot loaders. as such communities have spung up on xda-developers with dozens of custom ROMs for popular unlocked devi

  • by gavron ( 1300111 ) on Sunday January 22, 2017 @09:32PM (#53718323)

    WiFi Tether without paying extra to the carrier for the same data you're already paying for is a feature.
    Backup specific apps and their data ("Titanium Backup" or its successors) or the entire device ("NANDROID" backup via TWRP, CWM, PhilZ, etc)
    Root apps allow flexibility carrier-ROMs don't. Greenify shuts down unused apps. Xposed allows changing almost anything about Android operation (the "framework") with easy installation. See this link for top rooted apps [dreamytricks.net].

    None of these are available with locked bootloaders, and stock ROMs. (The NANDROID backup is available with stock ROMs but is if little value).

    MotoG4 using Silesh Nair xt16xx 7.1.1 Lineage OS 20170113 ROM [xda-developers.com]

    Ehud Gavron

  • Lineage builds are starting to roll out. Once there's some builds for my device I'll cut over. I've never had any problems.

    Stock on my device is terrible cuz Verizon. I just rooted and removed the bloatware, but they clearly were never going to fully patch even stagefright, so went with CM as I did with most of my devices.

  • by RJFerret ( 1279530 ) on Sunday January 22, 2017 @10:06PM (#53718461) Homepage

    Both my devices are rooted w/Cyanogenmod as it was easy for one (one-click installer) and I knew more for the other, I need access to install my custom Hosts file to block adds/Facebook, I also want a firewall, which you aren't getting without root (if there's a way, please let me know).

    There are other capabilities that require root that I use regularly.

    My devices came from Google, so weren't bloatware loaded thankfully, but having control to eliminate things that affect performance is required.

    It's a tool for my use, not someone else's tool that I get to pay for and use for their purpose, thank you very much.

    PS: LineageOS, the successor to CyanogenMod, is nearly up and running according to their latest blog post.

  • I used custom ROMs ~ from Android 2.1 until Android 4.2. Eventually I noticed that unless you use a Galaxy or Nexus device, your ROM will probably never get updated and your uncommon hardware may get burned out early (I've lost many wifi / gps / bluetooth / 3g-4g chipsets that way). Since 4.2 I've let the phone remain stock from whatever company offers frequent updates and little bloat. I would buy a Nexus or Pixel but they have always missed the mark for the kind of hardware I want. The Nexus 6 was to huge
    • "your uncommon hardware may get burned out early (I've lost many wifi / gps / bluetooth / 3g-4g chipsets that way)."

      This is the first time I hear smt like this. Do you have evidence?

      The gps radio in my nexus 5 (with CM) tends to deteriorate over the months, but it turned out that tightening the screws of the rf shield restores the reception. Not a software issue.

  • I rooted and ultimately went to a custom rom because I honestly don't trust the things my phone carrier installs and I wanted the ability to block advertisements. Google has gotten much better with giving users the ability to limiting software permissions but could still do more. Older software automatically get permissions enabled for compatibility when they shouldn't.

  • I've been running custom roms ever since my first Android phone (G1). As others have rightfully posted, phone makers do not provide updates for much more of the initial 1-2 years, plus most manufacturers have lots of junk on their setup that you can't get rid of otherwise. Not even going to start about the delays until updates are released.
    I do understand that there is little reason for a company to support a phone that's more than a generation back, as for one, many customers seem to swap their phones ever

  • by Noble713 ( 3516573 ) on Monday January 23, 2017 @05:31AM (#53719583)
    I live in Japan. Japan is a nightmare when it comes to cell phone selection and service provider flexibility. I run CyanogenMod on my Motorola Razr M. Partly because I HATE Softbank's bloatware. However, the cell radio and battery life have both been terribly unstable/buggy. The phone is on its last legs and I bought a used Sony Xperia Zx Compact to replace it...but I bought it from AliExpress so I need to flash it with a custom ROM so I can stick my Softbank SIM card in it. Why do I go through all this trouble? Because Softbank doesn't sell a physically small (screen
    I'm sitting in Vietnam right now after a week in Thailand. I carry a Chinese phone (Doogee X5 Pro) with a stock ROM that supports 2 SIM cards. All I have to do for 4G data + cellphone is grab a $10-15 SIM card in the airport. Which takes about 5 minutes. Sometimes I really love the free-wheeling nature of developing economies.
  • Google dropped support for the Nexus 4 a long time ago. Yet I was able to install CM14.1 on it just recently. I expect when LineageOS gets going that I will continue to enjoy support for a device long since dumped by the manufacturer. Same goes for a OnePlus One I own.

    One MAJOR advantage of custom firmware over stock Android is that it has proper privacy support. CM has a thing called privacy guard with finegrained control over what an app can see or do. Android has some built-in privacy controls but they

  • For example i cannot upgrade to android 7, because Xposed is not ported yet and the developers writes, it gets more and more complicated to port it with each release. The Xprivacy (Xposed module) developer sounds similiar unmotivated. And without such stuff, you're xposed (pun intended) to the world of shitty apps, which transmit private stuff like your IMEI to their companies.
    The problem is, google has no open development process, where the ROM and mod developers could follow each commit and adapt their so

  • A few years ago, I bought an LG Optimus P920 over the hype of 3D cameras. The hardware was good, but the stock OS was slow and buggy (not to mention the lack of updates), so I decided to root it and install Cyanogenmod. The difference was impressive, however, I had to install the firmware from some obscure shared file to make the radios to work. Sorrowful, I rolled backed everything and left the stock image. A few months later I replaced it with a nice Nokia N9.

  • by wardrich86 ( 4092007 ) on Monday January 23, 2017 @08:51AM (#53720139)
    Until phones start coming without bloat, and carriers/manufacturers provide constant updates to their phones even after they stop being sold, custom ROMs will continue to be used.
  • Enough said....
  • I'd really like to have a custom ROM so I can get better control over my palmtop computer, and better diagnostics for the crashes. But the custom ROMs that are available all have this in common: they don't have access to the "phone" part of my smartphone. This would be like putting a custom engine into a car so long as I can't use it on public streets. So no, the device manufacturer has made certain I won't be using a custom ROM in my Android smartphone.
  • by Lawrence_Bird ( 67278 ) on Monday January 23, 2017 @09:31AM (#53720327) Homepage

    I have 7.1.1 running on a circa 2013 phone. AICP seems to be a pretty active group and do weekly builds for quite a lot of older phones. Prior to that I tried Ressurection but punted after bootloop issues, AICP installed first try. So I can't really say if its the "best" but it certainly seems to function well and that's more important to me than having a gadzilling bells and whistles.

  • I have two active Android devices. On my phone, I run Venom Rom. I just updated to N and am quite content with the build, features and functionality. On my tablet, I run a build of my own make. It's pretty buggy but I've been using this platform to teach myself so nothing is lost. I also run an Android VM on one of my home PCs. It has a custom ROM as well but much like my tablet and for the same reason, it is pretty buggy too.

  • I loaded custom ROMs on my first three Android phones, and spent a ton of time tweaking things. This is not all that different from what I used to do with Linux years ago.

    However, a number of things happened such that I no longer bother:
    - Android got a lot better overall
    - Samsung boot locked my stupid phone (GS6) - bad
    - Samsung started issuing monthly patch updates - good

    I'm vaguely considering trying to find an unlockable phone for my next one, but after getting burned by Google with my last Nexus tablet t

  • I've never installed a custom ROM, in spite of being very tempted to do so, because the tools to get one installed are largely Windows based and are seemingly universally closed source.

    Using closed source software to do something "they" don't want you to do seems like a great way to invite malicious code onto your system.

    I'd run it from a VM but then there's the whole USB passthrough issue and I'm concerned about bricking my device.

    Even the god damned Nexus phones don't have a hidden switch the enable root.

  • Because our beloved Xposed framework is still not compatible with Android 7.0+ (Currently at version 7.1.1), so-called "custom ROMs" are our only saving grace. Google has taken the absolutely backward approach of trying to discourage this practice through things like image-based updates, huge warnings when a bootloader is unlocked, etc. It's ridiculous. A phone is no different from a laptop, and should have no more restrictions.

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