Custom ROM Introduction
If you have an Android device or visit any Android related news site, you must have heard of ROM. Although many people understand what a ROM is, it is not so easy for some people to understand. If you’re not entirely sure what a ROM is, I hope I can clear things up for you today.
First I must explain what a ROM is. The term ROM is misused and is an alias. Until recently, ROMs were storage chips made up of read-only memory. You couldn’t change it. The term that is closer to the correct one in relation to Android is “Firmware”. You can easily replace all of these if you wish.
When people talk about installing a ROM on their devices, what they mean is erasing/overwriting old Android software/system files and replacing them with new ones to change the behavior of Android and the device. If you’ve ever reinstalled your computer’s operating system (Windows 7, OSX, Linux), it’s almost the same procedure. Wipe the disk or “memory”, then give the computer new software to download.
What Is Custom ROM ?
A custom ROM is a ROM that has been modified in some way from the stock Android distribution. Google makes the Android source code available to everyone and people take that code and modify it for themselves. Whether to add the features they come up with or distribute them with fun tweaks and add-ons. As such, a custom ROM can range by definition from some custom code modifications to improve the Android experience on the device, all the way to changing the home screen, background services, and default software.
Many software experts join communities to create the fastest and most feature rich ROMs. The most popular ones today are CyanogenMod, which supports over 70 devices! AOKP, which is a lightweight ROM with lots of customization options, and Android Revolution, a heavy ROM that often focuses on looking great.
The fact that these Android builds are made by “ordinary people” and not by highly paid developers from HTC or Samsung does not mean that they are full of bugs or dangerous to use. In most cases, community-created software is ten times better. Release cycles are much shorter, fun features can be added and everyone can contribute to the development.