Welcome to Device Tech Bytes 7th Vol! In the previous Tech Byte topic, we have learned about Keeping It Cool... By CooCkie. Today we are going to learn about Android Custom Roms & Kernels. So you guys may think that our device is very limited to what we get in it, but what you guys don't know about is, we can do a lot to our devices by rooting and flashing custom roms and tweaking it up to some extent. So now you guys excited about it? Let's flash what we need the best for our device.
What is a Custom Android ROM? A Custom Android ROM denotes to a phone’s firmware, grounded on Google’s Android platform. Android is an open-source project so any developer can take the code and can oversee it by tailoring according to his predilection or as the way end-user wanted it to be, with many add-ons, enhancements and skins and other mumbo-jumbo stuff and then recompile it, and reproduce it for a varied variability device. Users can install (flash – to be technical) ROMs to amendment the device's appearance and deeds. ROMs are urbanized by the Android community, by a group of core developers who do this morally out of lust towards mod-ing. Hence you find Custom ROMs for free elsewhere.
In my familiarity, Custom ROMs are just as stable if not more as OEM abounding ROMs, reliant on the ROM, of course, you have to tolerate with the bugs whether trivial or foremost if you find, or you can possibly report the bug to the developer for fixing it. Generally, Android Tablets and Smartphones use these ROMs to store the operating system (OS). But, in over-all deliberations and in the sequence of this article, ROM refers to a custom-built OS.ROM has normally denoted nothing but your Phone’s Whole Software (Software which contains all the default/factory settings, apps, data). Stock ROM can provide the user information but you can’t customize or make changes on it until you install a Custom ROM.
The following Custom ROMs are the most prevalent in the Android Community
You might have come across the word Firmware which refers to
And the list goes on! You can read about each one briefly.
Lineage OS is a free, community manufactured, aftermarket firmware dissemination of Android, which is premeditated to upsurge performance and reliability over stock Android for your device. Lineage OS have very rudimentary customization settings inherent like status bar settings where we can amendment the clock position and battery icon style and things like that, and we have buttons settings also where we can change the deed of the buttons either we can use on-screen keys. Lineage OS have tremendous performance and massive experience in day to day usage scenario. Lineage OS is based on the Android Open Source Project with additional hand-outs from many people within the Android community. It can be used without any need to have any Google application installed.
Pixel experience roms are made with all Google experience including all google apps with excellent boot animation, and lot more customization, an excellent feature in Pixel Roms is 3D touch we can get some options for apps when we long-press them for 1 or 2 seconds for example instead of opening the contact app and create contact we can long-press on contact app and we will get create contact option. Yes, you got me right, I’m talking about that magnificent software inside. As Pixel devices are made officially and maintained by Google, it has the Pure Android experience with few customizations and add-ons which bring out great stability. The same story repeats in your devices by flashing Pixel Experience ROM. The Pixel Experience ROMs are baked with all the official Google applications like Google Phone, Calendar, Messaging, and the Google Camera port which improved the camera quality overall with Google’s AI image processing tech. According to a recent survey conducted, Pixel Experience ROM is proved to be users' favorite Custom ROM.
MoKee OpenSource is based on the Google AOSP. they will update their source code frequently to keep up with the latest development, and not forgetting to include special features at the same time. A small group of people from around the world who are interested in Android launched this project on the 12th of December 2012, and all are committed to making this ROM better and better. Like most contributors to open source projects (Omni, LineageOs, Slim AOSPA, etc), they are doing all these in free time as their passion. At the same time, we can have some basic customization in this Mokee Roms like status bar settings and button settings, last but not least Mokee provides daily nightly updates for the devices which are having current development.
Not just these, there are a lot more. A new project comes up every month. I personally feel the above-listed ROMs stand out among all of the ROMs. There are many show-stealers like DOT OS, Viper OS, Havoc OS, and Bootleggers and there are a lot more. Damn! Each and every project comes up with different ideas and concepts with delights user experience and never gets boring.
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Your Choice -- Provisional on the development of your device you are free to indicate from tons of ROMs bestowing to your choice right from AOSP to Lineage OS, Resurrection Remix to Xiaomi’s MIUI, Flyme OS and so on.2.
Bug Fixes and Updates – ROM Developers generally provide timely Updates and Bug Fixes if they are Active Developers in turn along with the user’s interaction with them for Feedbacks.
Underclocking and Overclocking -- Certain Custom ROMs allow Underclocking and Overclocking which helps for increasing Battery Life and Device’s Performance respectively.
Customization -- Tons of customization is available in custom ROMs as per your need to make a way for a different kind of look for your beloved custom rom.
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Buggy ROM at times – The lack of Testers for a particular Device can result in a buggy and un-optimized ROMs at first which can be disappointing if you are fresher.
Loss/Bricking of Phone – At times the files can get corrupted while downloading or some issues while flashing can lead to loss of Data along with Bricking of the phone which can be fixed but at times is difficult.
Unlocked Bootloader – To Install a Custom ROM you need to unlock your device bootloader by the official way method if available.
Official Support – There is no Official Support for a Custom ROM from Carrier, Vendor as well as the Manufacturer. So you need to be careful and responsible.
The kernel is the piece of software that bridges the gap between the operating system (and installed apps) and the hardware in the device. Everything you are doing on your device involves the kernel. Increasing the volume while playing a video etc. Android doesn’t directly tell the speakers to extend output. Instead, it tells the kernel that it wants to increase the volume, and the kernel talks to the speaker to increase its output. The kernel, in this regard, is extremely customizable. Not solely will the manufacturer got to connect the required drivers to urge all of the hardware to figure properly, however, there square measure loads of variables that they need to set.
As you can see, the kernel comes at the second tier either way. Which means that if there was any interaction between the operating system and the hardware (like a volume increase trigger), or between the hardware and the operating system (like a USB device insertion), the kernel is the middleman. So, the next time you increase the volume on your Android device, what actually happens is that Android sends a request to kernel stating that the volume needs to be increased, and since the kernel handles the hardware, it increases the voltage for the speaker (which loosely translates to sending a 'volume increase' request to the speaker); or the time when you plug in a USB device in you OTG-enabled smartphone (or insert/remove a memory card), the kernel tells the operating system that a USB device has been plugged in (or a memory card inserted/removed) and Android can do the necessary things like mounting the SDCard, etc. We have some of the popular kernels for our device like Franco kernel & Derp kernel, some others like Agni kernel, Sphinx kernel, extreme revolt kernel, Kat kernel.
Now since you know about Custom ROM’s and custom Kernels so a questions would Pop-up in your heads asking
1. Should I root my phone and install a Custom ROM or stay on the Official one?
Ans: Think about what you do on your phone: Are you able to do everything on your phone easily? Do you care about your warranty? Do you want to take the risk? Let's see what u guys got in your mind is it yes or no.
If you get the answers is – Yes. I can do what I want with my phone easily and worried about warranty, don’t want to take a risk, and be in a danger then I would say be on Stock ROM and enjoy the Stock Features. The Choice is Yours!
If you get the answers is – No. I can’t do what I want with my phone easily along with no worries about your warranty. Ready for a risk and consequences that you may get in the future. You can install a Custom ROM and make your decision like a Free Bird! The choice is yours!
2. How to Choose a Right Custom ROM?
Ans: If you decided to install a Custom ROM on your phone you might be wondering - Which ROM should I choose from the tons of ROM available?? My advice to you would be that Read the Reviews and Feedbacks of the users of the Same ROM for the Same Device. A ROM would be great on a particular device but not the same on the other device. Go over the ROM release post, read the features, and decide yourself. The Most Popular Developer Community is on XDA you can check out there for the same.
3. What is Bootloader?
Ans: A Bootloader is the first checkpoint in the boot of the OS. It is responsible for checking the security of both the hardware and the software while a device boots up. The bootloader in Android is like BIOS in PCs. It includes a set of instructions and information to boot the OS. Most of the manufacturers select to sell their devices with a locked bootloader, which makes it impossible to run custom ROMs. Users have to unlock the bootloader in order to flash and use custom ROMs.
4. What is Recovery?
Ans: Recovery, or Recovery Mode, in Android refers to a bootable partition on the device that has the recovery console. It does what its name says: recovery. In case of system failure, or lockout, it helps the user regain access to the OS by various methods. Like ROMs, there are two types of recoveries: stock and custom. Stock Recoveries come pre-installed with the stock ROM, and custom ones, you guessed it, are made by 3rd party developers, just like custom ROMs.
5. What is Brick?
Ans: A brick is a cuboidal shaped material used in the construction of buildings and walls. Well, this is, however, not the definition of brick in Android’s dictionary. A bricked Android device means a device that does not boot properly. There are two kinds of bricks- soft brick and hard brick. Failure of boot because of failure/errors in the software (or OS) is called a soft brick, whereas failure of boot due to hardware errors/failure in the hardware (motherboard, buttons, etc.) is called a hard brick.
6. Are Custom ROMs better than Stock ROMs?
Ans: In most cases, yes. People flash custom ROMs only because they’re better than the stock ones. They often have more features, or better battery life, or better update process, or better memory management, or all of them and more. That said though, we can’t be sure how good a custom ROM is unless we try it out. For this, we have introduced ROM reviews, where a regular user can share his review of a particular custom ROM, to help other users. You can check ROM reviews on a particular device’s XDA page or some Youtube channels.
7. I have seen Lineage Os with an official tag means it is maintained by xiaomi officially?
Ans: If a custom rom has an official tag it doesn't mean it is maintained by xiaomi officially, a group of people who maintains several devices of a particular rom for example RR, Pixel experience, and Aex, etc all are maintained by a group of people with a website. So they will keep the official tag for custom rom that's it.
8. I want to flash a custom kernel in my device where can I find one?
Ans: You can find your device compatible custom kernel in XDA on your device-specific section.
Cheers everyone. This is me signing off now. I will catch you guys in the next one. Until then, Stay Creative!!!!!!
Tecgag, Google, Wikipedia, XDA, Respective devs of each custom roms, Youtube
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