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What are Android ‘ROMs’? Why would you use one?

We live in a world where a new smartphone is around the corner, yet we are stuck in 2-years and 3-years contracts. Even an older Android device could and can perform like new. This is where Android roms come into play. A ROM, for those who don’t know, is an operating system build that runs on your device with basic applications such as an address book, calendar, camera, etc.

There’s a problem and it’s not you or me. It’s the consumerism of the smartphone world. Ditching a perfectly good smartphone only after 1-year or sometimes 2. While I like to feel the full force of the technology at hand, some people can’t afford to swap smartphones all the time, in fact, most people can’t. More than 3/4 are subsidising their device from their respective carrier, this off-loads the cost and spreads it over a 2-year period.

This is why we have a large community that is driven by providing the best Android experience possible by creating roms that are made to last, perform and give new life to a device. Some of you may be familiar with LineageOS formerly known as CyanogenMOD? That was custom rom, built by members of the community to streamline features, performance, battery improvement and even more than what you’d be getting from manufacturers. This isn’t the only one! There’s plenty more from Paranoid Android to Dirty Unicorns, we’ve seen all sorts of composition that makes this an awesome scene.

These volunteers often work more frequently than the manufacturer itself – at least when it comes to updates.

I’m not here to teach people on how to go about getting one of these great roms on their device, but more so to let people know that you’ve got “CHOICES” something that seems to elude soo many out there. It’s all about getting more out of what you got VS spending tonnes of money.

  • System upgrade for older smartphones
  • The smartphone is faster
  • Customization options galore
  • You have root access (administrative)
  • Ideal for purists

This is only a shortly of what you can expect with a ROM, you do have a bad side that’s not often talked about because most people don’t see this as a bad thing.

  • They void the warranty
  • They’re a lot of work
  • The lack of Google applications

Now when we say that there’s lack of Google applications, that’s because ROM creators aren’t allowed to add the Google applications directly into the rom. You do have the option to get the GApps package and load a minimal version so that you can then get access to the usual Google applications via the Play store.

 

About Martin Guay

IT Specialist, Android Blogger, tech reviewer and a gamer with a dash of social media! Located in the heart of Canada's capital: Ottawa.

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