What is an Android Custom ROM?

whatisandroidcustomrom

What is a custom ROM and Why install it?

Custom ROM is a modified Android Operating System so you can get extra features from your phone otherwise not possible on stock.  Think of it as upgrading your tiny wheels on your rice beater to 21” rims, or maybe even putting a Corvette engine in it.

So, what features can custom ROM bring you?

First, Wifi Tethering and Hotspot – You don’t need to pay your carrier such as Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile TWICE for the same internet you already for.  Most countries outside of the U.S. provide tethering as a basic feature on your data plan but in the U.S., carriers like to charge you for it.  Install a custom ROM and you can get free wifi tethering working easily as most custom ROMs support wifi tethering out of the box.

OTA updates

You can manually install OTA updates or even downgrade to an older OTA update.

Last week, Android 4.3 was released for many Nexus devices.  While some of you weren’t rooted and waiting for couple days or even weeks for Google to push out the OTA updates, many of you who rooted simply grabbed the latest Android 4.3 custom ROM zip file and installed it the day it came out.  I remember a bunch of people tweeting me, “oh Max when is Android 4.3 coming on my stock phone?” and I was like, “wait you are still waiting?”

Did your carrier give up on upgrading your Android OS?  No worries, you can get many custom ROMs that bring you the latest Android OS.

Remove bloatware

You can install custom ROMs with every possible/imaginable bloatware removed completely from your system, even government spyware.  Some of these custom ROMs even offer AROMA graphical installer to remove just the ones you don’t want and keep the ones you like.

Change Operating Sysytem

You don’t like TouchWiz or Sense?  No worries, you can root and install AOSP custom ROMs or even convert your phone into a full Google Play Edition phone easily with custom ROMs.

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Max Lee

Max Lee is the founder of HighOnAndroid.com. Max makes Android tutorials and review videos for people who want to get high on Android over at his YouTube channel and Korean YouTube channel.

  • abummu

    Hi

    pls i was trying to unlock my galaxy note 10.1 (SCH-i925) 4G LTE us cellular using casual from adamoutler . it just enters odin mode that’s all( i ‘ve bricked the device). pls come to my rescue. also, where can i get the firmware for this version. it’s not samfirmware. thanks

  • tarik

    Hi
    I have samsung galaxy shv-e300s korean version since I got it I been try work the the LTE WITH VOICE CALL they work together if I have the LTE network on I can’t make a phone call but if the 3G network is on than I can make a phone call. Is there away to work the LTE and VOICE at the same time. So please help if u ca. I did a little bit of home work there is something called LTE IMS and LTE CSBF so you tell me what can I fix this thank for your time.

  • Emrul

    Hi
    i’m using T mobile Samsung Galaxy S4 Model no. SGH-M919
    after carrier unlock video calling option disable :'(
    i can’t find video calling option from contacts and dial pad. plz help me to fix the issue.
    thanks in advance.

  • Patricio Constable

    When I turn my phone on it will not pass the Samsung logo after rooting. I lost internet connect while rooting then this happen. Can you help me get my phone back up and running as factory install ?
    Can you put all the files in one file and send me with instructions.

  • tarik

    Hi, I have samsung galaxy shv-e300s korean virgin and iam stack on 4.2.2 I can’t update or down great even throw odin, there something comes out called knox images only this comes out when I download throw odin on my device and kies doesn’t support my device so, please help if you can .

    • Max Lee

      you can update manually using ODIN and stock firmware.

      • Roger

        i use ODIN ,but still display “knox images only “,
        please help if you can .

  • Jamario

    Wow! Brilliant description of “What is an Android custom ROM”. I have a Galaxy S5 from Korea, model SM-G900K, and I kind of like it. What pisses me off is the ugly Olleh’s logo displaying on my phone everytime I turn it on. Is there a way to remove it? Thanks.

    • Jamario

      PS.: I tried installing other firmwares from other GS5 models via ODIN, but no success! It seems to me that the Korean version doesn’t accept other firmwares than G900k one.