Breezy 4G

OK guys and gals -- I'm doing a little leg work here for a project I have in the works. You might have seen my question on Google+ asking folks with a stock Android phone if they use a custom ROM (if you haven't seen it, and you can answer, please do!). Tonight I'm tapping the collective mind of our AC faithful and asking a similar question:

Do you run a custom ROM on your phone?

The poll is below, and whether you do or don't, or even if you're not the rooting type, let me know. Share the link with your friends who use Android, they can vote as well. I need as much data as possible. If you have anything to add, by all means let me know in the comments!

My answer? Yes. On a stock vanilla device I usually just run stock AOSP, which technically counts as a custom ROM, and on devices that aren't stock I'll pick one of the great Android developers out there who has stripped out the bloat and cleaned up the base and use his or her work. I do it because I can, I'm nerdly like that. Now let me know what you all do.


Reader comments

Late-night poll: Do you run a custom ROM?


My Nexus S stays uncostumized with ICS. But if Samsung takes too long to roll out ICS for my GTab 10.1n... Who knows?

Galaxy SII since launch, still running 2.3.3
If it ain't broke don't fix it.
Carlton Draught.

I voted "No, my phone is not rooted" because my Razr Maxx is not rooted, and yes I actually like the Gingerbread/Blur(which is very light now) experience. I know, sacrilegious right? Yes, there are some who like what the OEM's have done and don't mind waiting for ICS to come in due time. On the other hand, since buying my Razr Maxx, my OG Droid has become a rooted "Droid Touch" that I change custom ROM's on frequently, and is running SteelDroid 10.0 right now that just came out. It gets used for listening to podcasts, as an alarm clock, GPS, etc. All this said, I have a combined yes and no answer to your question, just thought I'd let you know.

I do Cyanogen 7.1 Gingerbread version 2.3.7 on my HTC EVO and Cyanogen 9 on my HP Touchpad ICS 4.0.3. Cyanogen Team kicks ass!

1st time Android owner. After 4 months, finally flashed my first custom rom last night. Since AT&T screwed up the most recent update for my Skyrocket, I decided to flash the new rom, radio, and kernel myself.

Rooted unfortunately, but not out of choice.

I was perfectly happy with stock 4.0.2 on my GSM GNex, till the sdcard partition started to screw up till it was completely unusable with my PC.

Now? Rooted, running AOKP 4.0.3. Bloody fantastic!

E4GT here and not rooted. It worked out of the box and still works today like day one. No need to change till an official OTA is released.

I'd pick the ones suitable for my needs and more on the stable side. I like having different mods to choose such as battery icons, custom notification toggles, and an extended power menu for convenience. Kernels also play a huge part. As a galaxy S user I like kernels with voodoo sound, overclock/undervolt, different i/o and governors,and other tweaks like low memory killer, rfs and ext4 filesystems. But at the same time, the overall physical layout should still look stock-ish.

Even before ics came out, I had tossed out the stock sense rom on the inspire 4g, just after the update to gingerbread because the Bluetooth didnt work that well (turned out be the kernel BFS seems to work better) but the main thing was battery life, consistently 30hrs with light use, with CM7 then Absolution (on XDA) so when ICS came out as custom, (Ascension) it was perfect for annoying a friend who ran out to get a galaxy 2.

Rooted and using stock ROM on GS2. I'm content with 2.3, I just needed backup abilities and to remove bloat.

Just got a new Galaxy S2 (sim-free, unlocked whatever) running Android 2.3.4.Had the echo problem which was solved (I know not how)by a combination of resetting to factory settings and removing and reinserting the sim card. Now that it all works well (battery at 35% after 26hrs - light use) I really don't want to go through all the aggravation of rooting - I'm still learning the current OS. Do I want to take the potential risks of rooting - voiding the warranty, killing the phone or marginally having to do a lot more work just to get a better (and will it be better for me?) OS? No! I will wait for the official ICS and then wait some more to find out whether it is worth upgrading. Linux was very tempting but it turned out to be too much work for me and even Windows upgrades are not always 100% beneficial. At the end of the day I want to use the thing (phone, pc, whatever) and not spend time on redesigning it, improving, etc. I did a lot of homework before buying this phone (my previous one was a Nokia N95 8GB - my only complaint with it that it was getting so old that Nokia is no longer providing hardware support for it) and I am more than satisfied with its current features and abilities. I do admire those who have the courage, energy and time to root.

I went from a FrankenPre 2 on Sprint to an Epic Touch 4G always running the latest updates. I would like to root, run a custom ROM, and run a custom Kernel. I have not done enough research to do any of them. The main reason is choice. From what I gather so far each devs tweaks are baked into a ROM. I can't pick what I want and not install what I don't want. I loved that about the Pre's patches and Kernels. I could truly make the phone behave and appear the way I want it to. I am grateful for all the hard work the devs put in but, I wish I could pick and choose what I want to install. For example the only thing I would like so far is the ability to tether for free and speed up my Internet connection by using an unthrottle code and remain stock. I have not found how to do this yet. Those were always my first patches with my Pre 2. I have not wanted anything else because it does what I need it to do as is. ICS would be nice though as it is the reason I bought this phone.

AT&T GSII and Galaxy Tab 8.9 both running CM9. Other than the camera not working on the Tab yet, everything's running flawless. Super-fast, battery life is excellent. Now just wishing that app compatibility would catch up with ICS popularity. I'm looking at you, HBOGO and March Madness...

No reason to root, no reason to change the ROM. I use a GSM Galaxy Nexus. Now, on my HTC Sensation, well it's both rooted and using a custom ROM. The point here is - remove the bloat and maximize the experience. The GN has no bloat no need to mess with what I want in a phone, right?

I stayed away from rooting my bionic for the longest time. I got into the custom ROM game about two months ago when Cyanogenmod7 came out for my HP Touchpad. I loved the freedom of stock. but even THAT wasn't enough to root my bionic. I'd always vote no, im running MotoBlurpity. But when Ice Cream Sandwich for the Bionic with a WORKING CAMERA (both front and rear now!) and there were fastboot files for it, it immediately rooted it and installed AOKP AXI0M - ICS 4.0.3. I think just having the comfort of knowing you can't go wrong or screw up your phone (like fastboot files, etc.) definitely brought a world i thought i'd never dive into

I can't seem to find a ROM that would work with my Milestone X. Granted, it's only the unbranded Droid X, but that seems to be enough to keep me from finding a workable ROM.

I rooted my incredible since it was my first Android phone then I got the thunderbolt had to root just to make it a halfway functioning phone until all the bugs were worked out. But the razr Maxx has run great out of the box so I don't foresee rooting it. It runs great and I can hide the bloat ware so I don't have to look at it. With this battery no need to figure out which rom or kernal is best for battery life.

of course!... anything less... would be uncivilized... lol... badass optimus v670, BACKside/iho cm7.2, bobzhome3.7, greenmachine theme... :-)

Had my E4GT for less than a week when I rooted mainly for backup ability, but I am now running Mijjz ICS 4.0.3 build which is excellent with zero issues! Really great phone and excellent features with ICS!

I suppose that this poll is very useful in demonstrating the strong bias towards tech users in AC readership. I cannot imagine that more than 20% of the average Android users are running a custom ROM, yet more that 80% of AC's readers are...

Na , Im not even rooted. I didn't see a need for it , but my old OG MileStone was rooted on Eclair 2.0 & Eclair 2.1 , but I didn't root on FroYo

I actually like PhilBlur on my ATRIX ,

I ran Sprint Lovers on my EVO 4G until it stopped getting updated. Then I ran Cyanogen 7.1 for a few months but it was buggy with the GPS and random reboots so now I'm running the rooted stock ROM.

On my past devices, I have always used custom ROMs. However, I just recently purchased a Galaxy Note, at&t version, and right now I am perfectly satisfied. I did root it so that I could use titanium backup, but other than that everything is stock. I will probably remove a lot of the bloatware soon. I am sure I will change to a different ROM in the future, just because I can't help but tinker around, but right now I just don't see a need to.

Wish there was an option to vote for "both."

AT&T GS2 2.3.6 stock
Captivate CM7
Tab 10.1 stock rooted (for sixaxis only)
HTC Aria CM7
HTC Inspire stock

Nexus S 4G, I'm running Peter Alfonso's bugless beast nightlies, with matr1x kernel with voodoo.

As crucian mentioned, it would be great to be able to pick and choose features. I'd use the odexed 4.0.4 version and add in a couple of nice tweaks.

I love messing around with my phone, I was surprised how hard it was to root having come from a pre-.

I've rooted and hacked a Captivate, Optimus V, Atrix, Galaxy Tab 7 (the original one), Nook Color, Maylong M-150 (Walgreens), Pandigital e-reader, Coby Kyros and a Velocity Micro e-reader. Out of all of these, I personally preferred the Captivate as it was by far the easiest to root and customize, without any real fear of permanently bricking the phone. I would pick and choose components from different ROMs and kernels and build my own ROM using the components that worked best for my phone (the Captivate had a slight problem with GPS and some ROMs had better GPS files than others). When I got the Atrix, it was a completely different experience and after unlocking the bootloader, I was genuinely concerned with permanently bricking the phone. I now have a completely different phone that is stock and a HTC Flyer, which is stock. I'm actually happy with the phone and tablet the way it is and everything works the way it should.

I wouldn't say that I am using a custom rom, but it is a beta a could only be flashed with fastboot... I'm using the Sony ICS Beta on my Xperia ray...

I used to use ROMs on my OG DROID and DInc (mostly CyanogenMod, but would try others). Since upgrading to the LTE GNex, I haven't felt the need. I did unlock and root right away when I got the phone, but all I've done so far is restore some app data with Titanium Backup (and let it keep regular backups moving forward).

Yeah but damn moto for locking the bootloader on the Bionic if I cannot taylor my phone to my needs and likes I might as well have a iphone!

If you aren't rooted you are seriously missing out on some awesome features of Android. That and getting updates way early or updates your phone will likely never get. Been running ICS roms for a while now. Every Android device I've owned is rooted.

I have a Samsung Fascinate running ICS. This phone flies with ICS. If I didn't root, this phone would still be stuck on FROYO. So now my phone is more up to date than most newer phones, it probably runs better as well. This is all done on a phone that never got any support from Verizon and Samsung.

Ya I'm running Ice cream JIBwich because its ice cream sandwich with full hardware acceleration on my G2

My Evo 3D is my first Android device. I've been tempted to root it for a few months now to get ICS, but I haven't found the time. And to be honest, I'm a little hesitant. If the Evo 3D wasn't gonna get ICS at all then I'd probably go ahead and do it, but since it is, I think I'm gonna wait and try out Sense 4.0.

I have a Gnex and running 4.0.2. I love it, no problems. But I have been itching to load 4.0.4. My question for all of you is, Do I fix what is not broken and load 4.0.4? Has anyone loaded it and said it was worth it or should I just wait for the official 4.0.? whatever???

I tried a couple different ROMs on my Vibrant because I got tired of waiting for the 2.2 update. I didn't root my myTouch. Never had an issue with Sense and the 2.3 update didn't take forever so I was happy. Now I have a Galaxy S II and I may root it if it doesn't get ICS in a timely manner.

I dual boot my Inspire 4G running Absolution and aospX 4.0.3. AT&T and HTC has abandoned the Inspire and it will never get ICS except running a custom rom. There are some things in ICS that do not work properly like the Camera,Video recording and playback. But when HTC releases the ICS drivers for the DHD these will be fixed as well. Now if the app people would just get all there apps upgraded to run on ICS it would be great.


Galaxy Nexus LTE: AOKP Milestone 4 w/ franco kernel
Verizon Xoom: AOKP (otherwise, I'd still be on Honeycomb.)

Leslie Ann's Harmonia 2 on my Optimus V. Still many realms back from most of you, but I love this ROM and haven't yet been tempted by anything else.

Have rooted every Android phone that I have owned, including those provided by VZW as "work phones" when I was a VZW sales rep. Currently have a GNex running Liquidsmooth v1.0 with francokernel milestone 1.

I did run a custom ROM on my HTC Evo, and I want to run CM9 really bad on my GNex. But I am afraid of all the cracking down on Root with market media content. I dont want an app to not work or me to not be able to rent a movie or buy a book because I have root. That said my Transformer prime runs like crap and studders all the time. I would love to root that, however I would be more prone download media on that device than my GNex. Its a total toss up.

Is it possible to get CM9 without root access and have movie downloads and apps like HBO go work fine?

I have been running Decks Gingerbread 1.3 with Tiamat 3.3.7 on my original HTC EVO for months now and haven't looked back. Before Decks I was using CyanogenMod and before that I ran a rooted version of the stock ROM. My current configuration has been working so well, I'm not upgrading until Sprint introduces a knock-your-socks-off LTE phone. I think I can get at least another year out of my EVO before I'll need to upgrade.

Running CM7 on my EVO. As oesjmr pointed out, there is no reason to upgrade on Sprint until they actually do something substantial with LTE.

How could you not? I mean, if you can, you should, right? :)

Used to have a TBolt running CM 7.1. Now I'm rocking a GNex with CodenameAndroid (currently 1.5.0) and a Moto Xoom with TeamEOS Nightly 81.

My GSII (Epic) stock ROM is good but fell in love with Blazers ICS themed ROM. Waiting on the ICS update and will put a custom ROM on top of that if Samsung leaves it like the leak.

Root,for sure! Had OG Droid running bugless beast, cm7.1, and others because it needed help at the end of it's life cycle. Picked up a fascinate off ebay as a personal upgrade and to run ICS. Currently on AOKP M4 and LOVING it! Root is important not just for choice, but for the most part I see it as a money issue. Not all of us have the money to upgrade even every two years subsidized by our carriers. Heck, my dual core laptop is just fine and it's 4 years old now. Tech moves fast, but the economy only so much...

Yup. Picked up a used TBolt (Sorry, Droid Charge), rooted it the next day, ran a Cyanogen derivative and am loading SHIFTAOSP IC3.2.1 as I type.

I was at first opposed to custom roms because of claims it was slower and less stable, but when I started using the I.H.O. (Inferior Human Organs, LOL) custom rom for my LG Optimus V (based on CyanogenMod 7.2, currently) my Android was faster, far more battery-efficient, and a lot more stable. Now that I know first-hand the difference, I'm never going back!

CyanogenMod 9 on a crappy phone: the LG Optimus S. I like it. Still runs smooth and the only problem is that the camera doesn't work.