In the year 2007 Apple started an Smartphone revolution. No, Apple did not invent smartphones, Apple just reinvented or redesigned smartphones, to be precise. The new phone, iPhone gave new standards to this technology market. Everyone wanted one of them. And Google soon reacted. In fall 2007 in correspondence with Open Handset Alliance Android was born. A Linux based open operating system for mobile phones. But why Google and open source? Simple, Google had enough money to pull this.
The first phone to use Android was HTC Dream in winter of 2008. Huawei followed with few weeks difference. Some months latter an whole new community was born. Manufactures started a war on who would offer bigger screens, more colors, more pixels to cameras, more everything. But one thing wasn’t still developed. And that was the user interface. Let’s face it. Native Android interface is ugly. So is HTC Sencse ( and it makes no sense ). Motorola’s Motoblurom and Samsung’s TouchWiz are also not representative. And every new Android version would brick something! In short, chaos. But that is where the open source community comes handy.
There are thousands of custom Android ROMs out there and they are just waiting for you. But what are Android ROMs? Before answering that question, let us first go through history and learn what ROMs are. ROM (Read-Only Memory) is an second name for device firmware. That is, an assemblage of basic applications needed by the device. With it devices are working just like the manufacturer imagined it. But we are lucky to have the above mentioned community. These boys and girls created custom Android ROMs for almost every device on the market.
Benefits of using custom Android ROMs are clearly visible. Some of Android ROMs are provided with security patches, with removed bloateware, better battery performance. That are just some of benefits. In the beginning the industry was not satisfied with custom Android ROMs, but now big companies like Samsung, LG or HTC are helping in creating custom Android ROMs.
Android ROMs can be downloaded, but before installing them your device has to be rooted and unlocked recovery has to be installed. Recovery on phones is just like BIOS on computers. The installation process for custom Android ROMs is called flashing. Flashing is just an descriptive. You download your desired Android ROM to the root of your phones SD card and fROM bootloader you run the zip containing it. This zip file will be extracted and new files will flash over old ones replacing them. After reboot your phone will be loading the new Android.
So, in short, Android ROMs are new, custom build, assemblage of basic applications needed by the device build by the community or manufactures, providing users with new functions or with patches (in most cases). And how to use them? For every phone or tablet there are step by step tutorials explaining the rooting and flashing process. After the first steps and flashing, custom Android ROMs are used just like native Android.