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Probably the most common question I get these days is, “what is AOSP?”
Well, AOSP stands for “Android Open Source Project”. Basically, AOSP refers to Google’s Android operating system.
Now, what does AOSP mean for rooting and custom ROMs?
You probably have seen “AOSP” ROMs versus TouchWiz, Sense, MotoBlur, etc…etc…
AOSP ROMs refer to custom ROMs that are built from the original Android source code.
TouchWiz, Sense, or MotoBlur ROMs on the other hand are also built from the original Android source code. But there is a difference.
AOSP ROMs keep the “open source” concept whereas TouchWiz/Sense/MotoBlur ROMs are highly modified versions of AOSP by companies like Samsung, HTC, and Motorola.
Hense, when someone refers to an AOSP ROM, they are referring to a ROM based on Google’s open source code, not Samsung, HTC, or Motorola’s.
To keep it simple, just think of it this way. AOSP ROMs will come with all the features that Google made available to their original Android operating system.
On the other hand, TouchWiz/Sense/MotoBlur ROMs have additional “branded” features added such as Samsung’s Smart Stay, Smart Rotation, Multi-window, etc…etc…
How to tell an AOSP ROM from TouchWiz/Sense/MotoBlur ROM?
AOSP ROMs usually ship with its own “vanilla” launcher that looks like Android original launcher. This may include launchers like Trebuchet (for CyanogenMod) or just Android Jelly Bean launcher.
Of course, some non-AOSP ROMs also ship with Nova launcher, which may fool you into thinking that its an AOSP ROM since Nova launcher mimics the Android “vanilla” launcher.
Another way to tell an AOSP ROM from TouchWiz/Sense/MotoBlur ROM is by the size of the custom ROM zip file.
Most AOSP ROMs such as CM10.1, AOKP, or ParanoidAndroid are less than 200MB on average in size (size of ROM zip file).
TouchWiz, Sense, or MotoBlur ROMs are usually bigger than 500MB on average and most near 1GB.
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