Dear Android Custom ROM developers: I love most of you. Really. You're part of what makes Android so awesome, because you're so enthusiastic about it, and about making it better. Because of you, we have awesome things like CyanogenMod.

I want to give you some numbers. Let's just look at some popular Android devices:

  • T-Mobile Galaxy S II: 9
  • AT&T Galaxy S II: 8
  • HTC ThunderBolt: 23
  • Epic 4G Touch: 10

What do these figures represent? The number of different custom ROMs found on the first page of the XDA forums for the above devices. The ThunderBolt's count comes from the pinned post on the ThunderBolt's forum with a listing of ROMs - and those are only the Gingerbread ones. None of these are counting CyanogenMod.

The DROID BIONIC doesn't even have its bootloader unlocked, and doesn't support custom kernels, yet the just-over 2-month-old phone already has seven custom ROMs available. What's different about each of them? Bloated, de-bloated, "BLUR'd", "un-BLUR'd", odexed, de-odexed, ICS theme, Gingerbread theme, new build, stock build. But to anyone but developers, most of these differences are superficial - many people probably don't even know what they really entail (even I don't fully understand some of it). And custom themes allow users to skin most ROMs as they choose, so the visual differences are typically only skin-deep.

In fact, most of the differences are completely unnecessary points of distinction. Just look at CyanogenMod - by allowing theming support, 90% of users get what they want from a custom ROM (a custom look), and the carefully tested and peer-reviewed release builds aren't made official until TeamDouche feels they're ready for that title. If users want to be on the bleeding edge, nightlies and alpha builds allow them to get their fix with an implied caveat that the software may not be ready for primetime.

I'm picking on the BIONIC specifically because I own one, and after a lot of frustration with custom ROMs (I've tried 4), I went back to the stock build using a custom launcher. It's a better experience than any of the custom ROMs I've used. It's less buggy, it runs more smoothly, and it doesn't look half bad. Sure, I don't have a fancy (and embarrassingly sluggish) Ice Cream Sandwich theme, but my Gmail syncs properly, I don't have any more weird capacitive touch glitches, and my battery life is actually slightly better.

And I'm not new to the whole custom ROM community, either - I've been flashing and tinkering away since I bought my Nexus One last February. The first time I actually soft-bricked a phone was when flashing a ROM to my BIONIC, the instructions for which I followed with excruciating attention to detail, yet I still ended up in a bootloop from which I could not escape. I had wiped every nook and cranny of the device before flashing the ROM, too. Luckily, un-bricking was quite an easy affair. I won't name names, because frankly, it doesn't matter who developed it - and it's possible even with my careful reading of the instructions that I missed some minor step. My point, though, is that this shouldn't happen in the first place.

But This Is Free And Open, Right?

Don't get me wrong, I understand that the Android community thrives because it's open to anyone. Because anyone can develop an app, custom ROM, theme, or kernel modification and post it up to their community forum of choice. At that point, natural selection and word of mouth take over, and ideally they weed out the software that users should avoid and promote the "good" stuff. And the premise on which this sort of open system is based is great - in theory.

In reality, we end up with the situation you see on the ThunderBolt - almost two dozen ROMs based on the same Android version for the same phone. Sure, some are far more obscure than others, but there's a mess here nonetheless. The average user who is new to the custom ROM scene has no idea which one to pick, what different ROMs entail, and without embarking on a significant endeavor to research terminology and the difference between those ROMs, will probably end up flashing something not having a very good idea of what it is they're actually doing.

Each will have slightly different (and often poorly written) instructions for flashing, and many will die at the hands of their respective authors' disinterest or frustration when they become infatuated with a new device or a major software update is released. Users end up with a device that's out of date, and without an upgrade path that doesn't involve a total wipe of their handset - a very scary prospect for some people.

CyanogenMod, on the other hand, aims to provide users a single custom platform across many devices that would be updated so long as a community supporting each device exists, and upgrading is technically feasible. This "no device left behind" policy has made CyanogenMod the most popular custom version of Android by a country mile, because users feel secure knowing that their device will be "kept in the loop" as long as it's practical to do so. CyanogenMod has actually been better about this than anyone, supporting devices long past their respective manufacturers in some cases.

More custom ROMs could (and should) be like this - if people would just f'ing work together. Everyone should take a page from Team Douche here. I don't care if your ROM is the only one with the special bootscreen with your developer name plastered on it or that is uses the best ICS theme out there. I don't care if you're the only one running a special tool pack built specifically for your ROM. I don't care about your custom wallpapers or ringtones. I'd rather not have any of those things and instead get a ROM that received a lot more pre-release testing and underwent a legitimate peer-reviewed development process.

I want something that works. Hell, I'd pay for something that works as well as CyanogenMod on my phone, since the BIONIC doesn't really support it at this point. Instead, I have a choice between stock, buggy, and buggier. Everything's a "beta" or an "alpha." No one ever commits - it's always a work in progress subject to abandonment or radical change requiring a full wipe at any moment. That doesn't make me feel secure. And it sure as hell doesn't make a lot of sense to me to have seven mediocre ROMs for one phone, but not a single really good one.


I suspect a lot of this has to do with egos and rivalries, and people's desires to get their name "out there" in the community. I think we can all understand that - Android's the free market, everyone's got the right to do their own thing, and they'll be damned if anyone's going to tell them what to do. But really, guys, isn't open source about collaborating? Perhaps I'm totally off base here. In fact, I fully expect to receive a good, hard flaming from some people for this post. But it's just something I've noticed as an observer and participant in the Android community for well over a year now, and have often thought about speaking out on.

My rant isn't an attack on the open source community. It's a complaint that the community has become a place where more is always better, new is always progress, and any attempt to criticize work being done is a slight against the powers that be.

I'm fine with people doing their own thing. I'm not fine with people doing their own thing just to do their own thing, and doing it in a sub-standard fashion. I get that there's always going to be crap software in an open community, and that it's a fact of life. But to suggest that crap software is somehow "good" because it maintains openness is just as naive as saying closed source always makes a better product because it allows total control over the result.

There's a difference between someone porting a full-on version of AOSP to a formerly skinned device and someone who tacks on a theme to that ROM, right? The problem is that people are constantly adding "little changes" and "minor optimizations" and then calling it a "new" ROM. Sure, they give credit, but they've also created confusion for users and diluted the hard work of someone they've piggy-backed on, and possibly made it worse.

There should be some kind of accountability. I'm not suggesting strict guidelines, but I am asking that there be a little more guidance in this area. Anarchy certainly has its drawbacks.

So, whether you agree or not, I'd like to hear what you think about the situation with the development community too - are things getting out of hand, or do you believe this is just the process of open source at work? I'm genuinely curious.

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • http://mitchs.co Mitch Samuels

    God damnit I love my Thunderbolt. Actually installing an Alpha ICS on it right now.

    In the last week I have had different ROMS on it. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/stock.plus $omator

    It is even worse for I9000 on XDA
    And also no quality control over there :-)

  • sugar0


  • http://b Fysi

    Go have a look at XDA and the SGS2 forum. A few of us kicked up a massive fuss about this exact issue (along with the senior moderators), but all the noobs and the noob devs QQ'd.

    • Dfube

      Came here to say this. They even split up the original roms with rom mods.

  • Yorick


  • http://bit.ly/collinpage LePeR

    I think alot of people just want to make a custom ROM for themselves and decide they might as well share it with the community.. Not exactly to brag and say "i'm awesome" but more to just share, learn and get ideas. At least the few ROMS I've tried out on my SG3

    • Randy

      That exactly how I feel, and if I was learning to dev (And I would love to, so it may happen some day) I would probably do the same.

      CM is by far the most widely used ROM out there, and arguable "the best" out there. That's because the is a HUGE developer base for it now. My goal as a developer would be to contribute to that. Creating a ROM of your own - plus testing it, and having others test it - is a learning process that will help immensely when contributing to a larger project. And sharing your ROM is a way to have "free testing", which will help you learn.

      I have no problem running an "alpha" or "beta" ROM, as long as I know that it may have issues. Then I can help find those issues, report them back, and possibly help get them fixed by providing information about the issue. My participation in the testing process is helping a developer learn how to be better at what he/she does, and will help everyone in the end.

  • azrienoch

    What are you really asking? For people to not post their work? Sorry it makes Apple users feel like they have an edge, citing words like "fragmentation." They don't know what it means. If you don't like something, don't use it. If you aren't prepared to take the risk of a bricked device, don't use it. Nobody asked you to flash their ROM. You speak to developers like there's some organization or something. These are individuals who see something, tinker, and share. Sometimes they work on teams, but you won't see many teams posting a bunch of different ROMs all by themselves. You want something that works, and you bought something that works. If you want to explore, come see us. It's as simple as that.

    • David Ruddock

      Way to pick out the use of "fragmentation" and make a great iOS strawman argument of it.

      Anyway, my point is not that XDA has any fault here, I don't see why you're taking it so personally, you're right that this is what XDA is *for*.

      What I'm pointing out is that so often it's the case that there is such dilution of the community's effort to create and customize new software that things just become inefficient and confusing. The whole point of XDA is to share, I get that. But it's also a place to collaborate, and I think Android would be better served if more developers worked together, rather than going lone-wolf all the time because they think they can do it better than the next guy. TeamDouche (and a few other larger custom ROM developer groups) have proven that collaboration produces a superior end-product.

      I don't think there's anything wrong with pleading to the community to work together a little more and put their personal aspirations to the side for the greater good. That's what XDA's goal is, right? The greater good for users? It's a commentary, not an XDA-bash-piece.

      • azrienoch

        I didn't strawman dick. Your issue with it is the same as theirs. Neither of you know what it is, but you're both convinced it's bad.

        Go back through your list of devices. Out of, say, the 9 ROMs listed for the T-Mobile SGS2, actually take a look and tell me how many of them are produced by a single person. How many don't give thanks to the work other developers did?

        If you want to talk about making an issue where there is none, even with the precious few ROMs where some kid IS working alone, they're building on someone else's work. Maybe the fact that they're in their own threads fools you into thinking there's less collaboration. If you don't like how *threads* and *forums* are designed, go bitch to the php developers.

        The problem with this article, your shortsightedness, boils down to your misunderstanding that what developers post on XDA, or Rootzwiki or anywhere, is some sort of product. It's not. Again, you bought a product, and it worked just fine. If TD's work is good enough for you, great. Use it. Beyond that, I don't know why you're messing around with your phone.

        • David Ruddock

          I'm not going to deal with name-calling. If you don't want to be respectful, then there's not much of a conversation to have here.

        • AppleFUD

          You just made his point for him. It's the same issue with Linux distros--everyone is working on top of everyone else's work. . . etc. . ect. . . which becomes a diluted mess of distros with a diluted mess of repositories, which is a dilution of each persons work because it doesn't support anything larger than their little "want/ego" etc.

          To the casual Android user that wants to get better support for a device they ask in the forums and they are consistently told, "just flash a ROM." So, off they go. And that's one of the main arguments people give when it's pointed out that OEM's don't support Android well--"just flash a custom ROM."

          "Oh what the hell? Which one should I use," says the noob. . . and soon they are sitting with a nice brick in their hand.

          His point, imo, is simple. . . put your energy into a major ROM project that will benefit the community at large. By doing this the ROM will get more support, more features, etc. . .

          but your not looking at it form . . . well, not your own point of view.

          After reading your comments what I come away with is, buy an iPhone or WP7 because they are actually supported, if you buy Android the OEM may not support it and the custom ROM community can't be relied on for a "professional user friendly ROM."

          Thus, everyone who tells you to flash a custom ROM is telling you to walk into a nightmare because we devs like a the chaos and want to make sure noobs go through hell because "they have to earn their strips. . . " etc. . . Same BS I read on Linux forums.

        • azrienoch

          Oh, please. I didn't call you anything.
          But you're right about respect. I don't respect anyone that doesn't bother giving an alternative when they bitch. And not this stupid just-work-on-someone-else's-project isn't a solution because, as I already said, everyone's already doing that as much as possible. You're simply fooled by the division of threads. If you need a different perspective, actually ask one of those people you're criticizing.
          I also don't respect people who put an opinion out there with no talent for recognizing and admitting how ignorant they are. There. I called you something. If you want proof of your ignorance, take a look at this line:
          "Everything's a "beta" or an "alpha." No one ever commits - it's always a work in progress subject to abandonment or radical change requiring a full wipe at any moment."
          Pretty fucking presumptuous of you, expecting so much when NOBODY made you ANY promises, or said things would be any different. An ignorant presumption.

        • azrienoch

          Just realized what you thought was name-calling. I said, "I didn't strawman dick."

          If I was calling you a name, it'd read, "I didn't strawman, dick."

          There's a difference.

          • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

            One thing's for sure, Android has some passionate-ass users (passionate ass-users?).

        • David Ruddock

          Fair enough, I misread it - you didn't use namecalling, and I apologize for my misunderstanding that sentence.

          As for the likening ROMs to a "product" issue, I think they are in a way a product. Just because you don't make money from it doesn't mean it's not a product. Does free legal advice not need to be good because it's free? Of course not. Should we give homeless people moldy food because it's free? Uh, no.

          I think you're looking at my rant as being an attack on the open source community, and it's not. It's a complaint that the community has become a place where more is always better, new is always progress, and any attempt to criticize work being done is a slight against the powers that be.

          I'm fine with people doing their own thing. I'm not fine with people doing their own thing just to do their own thing, and doing it in a sub-standard fashion. I get that there's always going to be crap software in an open community, and that it's a fact of life. But to suggest that crap software is somehow "good" because it maintains openness is just as naive as saying closed source always makes a better product because it allows total control over the result.

          You agree that there's a difference between someone porting a full-on version of AOSP to a formerly skinned device and someone who tacks on a theme to that ROM, right? The problem is that people are constantly adding "little changes" and "minor optimizations" and then declaring it's a new ROM. Sure, they give credit, but in reality, all they've done is create confusion for users and diluted the hard work of someone they've piggy-backed on, and possibly made it worse.

          There should be some kind of accountability. I'm not suggesting strict guidelines, but I am asking that there be a little more guidance in this area. Anarchy certainly has its drawbacks.

        • azrienoch

          I agree that people should strive to get the best possible results, as a matter of principle. I disagree that anyone should have an automatic say of what that is, especially without predication.

          And here's another line you draw that I disagree with: EVERYTHING here is Android. As far as most people are concerned--and, I think, including you--every ROM is just a few minor tweaks and cosmetic changes. The line I disagree with is in deciding which tweaks are big enough to share.

          If you were to open source this article, I'd make quite a few changes to make it better. Then someone sees a few I missed, and changes it again. And another person changes it, and another, and so on. At what point is the article perfect? And who gets to say so? Of course, it might not be a very good article to begin with, and so the inherent flaws might not be mendable, so perfection is never achieved. Some articles are, in fact, easier to read than others. But hey, the article got put out there anyway, and in our little scenario, people are motivated by it enough to try to improve it. If someone doesn't like the changes, they should stick to reading the first version, on AndroidPolice, or some of the mirrors on other major sites. But to insist that if I can't get my changes put into one of those major releases, I mustn't post my changes is just silly. I'd post them just to defy whoever made such a silly rule.

          Here's another way to challenge you: You do it. Send out some emails. Hell, send them this article. Start with Team Douche. Seriously. Then actually try to maintain a place where your vision happens.

        • http://osarena.net Salih Emin

          Same old discussions. I am not aware if you are involved as a dev or just a user of a Linux distribution but allow me to remind you that we had (yet having) many years ago this same discussions over an over again about the fragmentation of the "Desktop Linux Ecosystem". Where did we end up with that ? NOWERE ! So what happened ? Just plain Biology happened. Natural Selection happened... many distros thrived and then dyed... and the cycle continues.
          Why ? because this is not "Cathedral" ... this is "Bazaar"

          So It is natural that for Android (a mobile distribution of Linux) comes in its young age to the same dilemma.... "Shouldn't we all unify our efforts in one or just 10 pretty awesome Roms" .... the answer is NO... Why ? Because we are f'ing humans ! We are curious, we tinker, we hack, we f'ing brick our phone just to see what happens and the go to forums to shout out every body that we found a way to fix it!... Its natural behavior. We tend to share our knowledge.... thats why we have science. If we where to keep it for our selfs the we would have Shamanism and not Science.
          This is Bazaar and we are humans. One rom will come 10 will rise upon it !

          As for the "safety" of some Roms, I agree with : "You want something that works, and you bought something that works. If you want to explore, come see us. It's as simple as that." Dead simple. You buy something... and if you have curiosity then you will find a way to explore it.

      • Smileyguy

        The problem with your 'article/rant' whatever is, it IS personal.

        "I apologize for calling out this issue in such a direct way, but this isn't meant to be personal."

        An apology itself does not disclaim the content. Look and read what you wrote earlier ...

        "But you really piss me off ***sometimes***, too - like when you decide that you do things best and as such need to develop your own ROM along with the half dozen others already available running on the same build of Android for the same phone because you think you always do things better. You don't."

        Up to this early point it seems you are trying to pick on a negative aspect of some of the things happening. But then you write things that generalises everything into one big YOU:

        "What you actually do is fragment the ROM community, produce unfinished products that often never reach a point where they're totally usable or bug-free, and make a case-in-point for carriers locking down bootloaders. It's like one giant pissing contest to see whose ROM gets the most downloads and name recognition in the community, and it's kind of pointless - not to mention counterproductive."

        and after paragraphs of the same... listen to your conclusion:

        "I suspect a lot of this has to do with egos and rivalries, and people's desires to get their name "out there" in the community."

        Wow... accusations, complaints and a total annihilation of whatever positive you claim they had.

        I am not saying that there is no place for ranting against the way XDA works. I am merely pointing out, don't think this is not personal, for your own words make it personal. If it is, it is. Don't try to act all innocent.

        • beer is good

          Right on the nail smileyguy...IMO

          I also think motorla is the issue here / causing more frustration, look at the htc Evo, how many roms did it have at one time? Over 100+, and I'm sure 90% were 100% fully running. And while some of them were really similar, some of the developers actually changed the clock speed & other internal services to make it run more efficient. The way to distinguish the top ones was by replies / view count / word of mouth, or just try it out - I've flashed about 20+ roms, from flipz to virus to cm to omj to calkulin, etc - never had issues, as long I took my time while doing the process. P.s. konikub is an awesome themer and worked with other developers so you could flash on top of their roms - props!

          All in all, it would be nice to have universal root + community + rom maker as the last outcome, but as stated above, the manufacturer & community size is what realy makes better quality roms, that are not just themed over $.02.

      • JayMonster

        I think you misunderstood what he was saying about "fragmentation" and that you are both in agreement that this is a strawman.

        What he is *trying* to say is that, fragmentation is NOT an issue, whether it be at the phone level (like iOS fanboys try to claim), or in the ROMS. That there is no reason to complain about "too many" ROMS being available, and if one doesn't suit your needs then go try somewhere else rather than complaining about it.

        I am not saying I agree (or disagree), but just trying to clarify what he was trying to say (though doing so rather poorly because he seems to take it a bit personally).

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      I kind of agree and kind of don't agree.

      Without people experimenting with new ROMs and putting them out there for people to try, there wouldn't be any ROM developers at all. It's natural for people to do their own thing, and this is why in a free market on a larger scale new companies that revolutionize things show up all the time. And without trying your hand at developing a ROM, you won't really know how serious you're going to get with Android development, so it's a necessary evil.

      Here's David's main point though, I think: rather than have every developer who wants to try their hand at making a new ROM, join an existing project. There is a chance you will learn more that way (this is arguable, it all depends on you), and you'll be part of something that has a forward drive.

      One person rarely has a chance to continue development for a long time, but in a larger project, like CM, development goes on and your developer effort will be less likely to eventually get wasted.

      • azrienoch

        Okay, let's make this simile.

        There are so many goddamned Android blogs out there, why don't you all just knock it off and make one big Android blog? Or at least cut down on the number of Android blogs by joining one that already exists?

        It's stupid.

        • Cory Lu Lu

          Exactly. Why don't we just monopolize everything. 4 carriers? Why do we need so many? Lets just ditch everyone but Verizon. Why have 30 different national banks, lets all just get a Bank of America account. I mean they are all going for the same goals right?

        • AppleFUD

          That's exactly the point. Most will fail and are just a complete and utter waste of time copying other's work. . .

          Wouldn't it be smarter to join a developed community and have your efforts turn into something usable?

          He's not saying. . . ONLY ONE ROM. But 9?

          OK, you are right. . . I'll just buy .. . iphone or WP7, Android is destined to be the same mess Linux Desktop is because of well, people like you!

        • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

          Alright. Guess what, rather than doing everything myself, I realized having a team is more beneficial and found other like-minded people who we now call the AP team. AP wouldn't have been possible without doing so, and that's exactly the point - in most cases teams can accomplish more things and keep these things going better than one person.

        • azrienoch

          But don't you see, Artim, that these people are already on teams? They may not be as large as the AP team, but hey, beside the point. Let's make another analogy.

          You've put together a nice team here. I'm a writer, I like Android. And I recently quit XDA, so I'm looking for a job. So hire me. I'm sure it'll be a great match.

          • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

            I see where you're going with this, but just because you can't work in one team for whatever reasons and differences of opinion doesn't mean you need to work alone, does it? Now that you're looking for a new gig, you're looking to get hired somewhere, right? You're not just looking to go off and do your own thing (which would be totally fine too, and that's what some people have to do in order to create new things). If everyone worked alone, the world wouldn't be able to function. But I'm not even sure what I'm arguing, I agree with both you and David. I'm a developer, so I see both worlds, and I see how confusing it is for users (they're noobs, sure, but it's confusing to even non-noobs sometimes, and things don't always have to be overly complicated and segregated all the time) and how necessary it is to have developers work on new ROMs. The point here is to trim a little on one side and squeeze some of the lone wolves to be more part of the pack, i.e. the community we all love.

        • azrienoch

          Well, Artem, I'm loud, egotistical, and abrasive. I may be able to find a site that will let me post articles. But there are two sides to this, and I doubt I'd actually like working for anyone that has no qualms hiring me. There's obviously something wrong with them. Plus, they probably can't afford me.

          And if I were a developer, it'd be the same. So I'm forced to venture out on my own, which is exactly the sort of thing this article says to not do. And it's not like I think I shouldn't write anywhere because, man, I am freaking talented.

      • Randy

        Stop feeding the trolls!

    • http://www.facebook.com/stock.plus $omator

      The idea is not to stop them from releasing but to make ANY QUALITY CONTROL a god damn IQ test sometimes because the ammount of crap almost reached celling.

      Buggy, slow, unstable set of modifications, tweaks, kernels ain a good marketing for an android device, any of them.

      • Brando

        Okay, and this doesn't happen with "teams" also, Team douche had to downgrade the first stable SGS2 rom from Stable to RC, the nightlies were way less buggy than the RC, so what should we do or say then, this argument has no premise, pull the weeds, don't spray the whole lawn to talk about a few weeds

    • Cory Lu Lu

      I agree, if you don't like it, then don't use them. The reason why people develop independently is because they don't have the proper resources (or skillsets) to work as a team and not everybody wants to.

      Also, it's not as if people don't exchange ideas from different ROMs. But it takes a very organized group and quite a few resources to build ROMs as a community and it's messy. Without proper management you can have more and more bugs because the left hand doesn't know what the right is doing.

      There is a reason why developers don't work in teams if they don't know how they program. Because just that, they don't know how they program. If they are sloppy and don't comment anything, how are you expected to fix what someone else broke and so badly f***ed up that you don't even know where to start to fix it.

      But honestly, it does have a lot to do with egos, it's part of what motivates people. I promise you that if Cyanogen mod didn't get the attention that it does, they would work nearly as hard on it. That goes for small ROMs as well, they need a certain amount of motivation to actually bother to do work and with commonly need personal recognition as well. You can't just expect them to work tirelessly on something and get no credit given to them and no personal recognition.

      The fact is, if you don't like Custom ROMs get out of the custom rom community, if you want to play it safe, try something from MIUI.us or CyanogenMod. But if you want to try something crazy or try out some new ideas, then see what the individuals are doing.

    • Brando

      Personally I don't agree with most of this article, the writer of this article acts like if the developers are paid to produce something, and he also sounds like those newbs I encounter everyday over at XDA asking for ETAs, if you are fed up, buy a different device or stay with your stock firmware, but instead you use your position as writer for this blog to write about something you clearly have little clue about
      Most of these developers do android deving in their spare time, this is not their job, so although they might want to, time may not allow them to pay attention to their work at all times, how much have you donated to the devs, and are these donations enough to have them leave their day job.
      While I can't say for other forums other than SGS2, I don't have a problem with flashing anything to my device, because I read the thread and get a feel for what a rom is offering, if you want to be a noob and be the first person to flash a newly released rom, then what do you really expect, if you took the time to read, which most noobs never do, then you would end up having an unpleasant experience, if a rom has no comments, and no feedback, why are you flashing it to your device.
      All in all, this is just a person who has access to a blog that many people read coming out and venting their personal frustration and trying to rally support behind it, if you love team douche so much, stick to their work, it is pretty simple
      It is pretty naive to expect a stranger to just team up with another stranger who may be thousands of miles apart to collaborate on creating a rom from a device that's crippled in the first place, there are many instances of devs working together, but using your sour experiences to cast aspersions on the entire dev community is pretty unfair especially when the devs themselves cannot defend themselves, and you don't call names which just makes this article even worse than it already is.
      I am an experienced flasher (if you get my drift), I have been doing this since I got my Rogers HTC Magic in the days of Android 1.6, where there wasn't even a team douche, it as only cyanogen, I still have it and it is running a custom rom atm, and I have never experienced what you are talking about in the days where 20 to 30 roms were available for one device, some based on the same software release but the only difference being the developer, and changing the kernel would increase that number twice fold.
      If I flashed a rom that was not working well on my device, I changed it, if a rom went stagnant, I changed it,My donation cannot sustain these people and I cannot afford too, so if life's obligations does not permit them to add stuff or improve stuff, then I just left the rom, it's stupid to come here and complain but you don;t target the real issue, which are the noob devs, do not flash and direct complaints at them
      My advice to you David Ruddock, take up your issues with the people who you have to, not with the "community" because the cream of the crop always rises to the top, if you look at the roms and the kernels on the first page of the development forum, it doesn't change much, that's because there is active development and work taking place, sorry if roms for your thunderbolt are not up to mark, but that I believe has to be more an issue with your choice of device and not with the community

    • mark.sh

      azrienoch do us a favor please: learn what respect is and if you manage to do it come back here.

  • Nibbles

    *Sniff* Preach. *Thumbs Up*

  • http://GrantGarrison.com OMGrant

    HEAR HEAR! Good show!

  • Jon W

    Well said. I've seen this self destructive behavior all over. It's the comunnity's loss, unfortunately.

  • Zebov

    I have to agree with you. I have an old Droid X and got sick of waiting and waiting for anything to happen with it. I rooted, and saw that there were about 20 ROMs, none of which had anything that really distinguished itself from the others (in both description and function). Had many of the same problems, including the soft brick. I'm finally at the point where I don't want to mess with it anymore. THANK YOU FOR AT LEAST ATTEMPTING TO HELP US LITTLE PEOPLE OUT.

  • Yourissues

    I agree... I own a Bionic and while I do love the ROM i'm on there are two many different ROMs that are really the same thing... Devs need to come together and use each other strengths and weaknesses to built the community up..

  • andy

    couldn't agree more. this needed to be said by someone with a platform. thanks.

  • Jam

    Anyone wanna help the Kyocera Echo get its first ROM? :D

    • http://www.thepixelpuse.com aj

      Nobody wants that...

  • http://vaelek.com Vaelek

    As one of the EVO developers, I fully agree there are a lot of options. But no one is forced to use any of them any more than you have to, for example, obtain any one of a number of engine kits available for your car that you don't understand the purpose of, how to install, maintain, use, etc..

    Most of the mods done in the "open source" roms (Most of which are modified versions of CLOSED source manufacturer customized releases) are publicly available for anyone to do themselves should they choose. I, as most other devs out there, make mods that suit MY taste, with consideration for user feedback to some extent. I make it available to the masses in the event that they feel the same, but are in no way required to use it, and then complain that it is not everything they want and hope for.

    In short, if you don't like the custom rom scene, don't participate in it.

    When working with these closed source stock roms, there are hundreds of hours of time put into dissecting them and figuring out just how they tick. Given that, it is no surprise that everyone doesn't want to shout from the mountain tops all of their hard earned information. While it may help the talented devs out there who know what they're doing, it would also have the side effect of enabling folks who are utterly clueless to start adding even more buggy roms into the mix, without any knowledge of how to go about fixing said bugs. On top of that is the fact that most devs accept donations for their work, and while money is not the main motivation, it sure is nice to get something back for all the hard work.

    All of that said, speaking only for myself personally, while I do not post all of my hard earned secrets for all to take, I have never turned away any individual who has come to me with questions or looking for help.

    • David Ruddock

      I think this is a fatally flawed argument. The entire point is that those of us who DO participate are becoming frustrated with its increasing dilution and lack of concert in effort.

      I'm not saying we should stifle the efforts of developers or disincentivize the huge amount of work some put into developing on closed-source ROMs like Sense, but I don't think there's anything wrong with calling out what clearly many people agree is a problem in the community.

      Saying "if you don't like it, don't participate" is about as big a copout as I've ever heard, and it's an excuse I'm very tired of hearing - no disrespect intended. Clearly, people are going to participate anyways. That's reality. Having an attitude that's dismissive of your potential users isn't what I'd call productive or forward-thinking.

      • Cory Lu Lu

        The fact is, he doesn't need an excuse on why he does the things he does. There is no copout here, he is giving you something that he worked on for free. And now you just sound like another unappreciative dick that thinks that developers owe you good custom ROMs.

        Like he said, he does ROM work for himself, not for users (which is where almost all ROM develops start off) and then he was nice enough to give the source and the build to anyone else that shared his vision for that particular ROM. You need to stop assuming that these people are working for you or are subject to being criticized for not doing enough for you're needs.

        Open source projects are done for free and so long as they are releasing their source, they ARE contributing to the community in a meaningful way. It's up to everyone else to find what they did well and combine them in a collective vision.

      • azrienoch

        Why? Because the users somehow make a ROM better simply by wanting to use it? You're still thinking of it as a product, David.

        • AppleFUD

          Ah. . . now I get it.

          So, I should never donate or click on any ads when dealing with custom ROMs. . . GO IT!

          Thanks! ;)

        • Cory Lu Lu

          Well it's surely a motivator to a project that requires more effort than a person is willing to dish out for personal use. But regardless, he needs to realize that no excuses need to be made by developers. Developers don't need to do anything. It's not a product, its a community and people in the community are going to do their own thing.

          Personally I don't think this is a developer problem, its a tools problem. There just simply isn't good enough internet tools to unify the ROM community and allow for all the things Android ROMs need in a simple, easy to use, and feature filled way. And I'm not talking about GitHub or anything like that. Something to unify the users and the developers and specific for Androids special needs.

        • Cory Lu Lu

          @AppleFud You honestly think that puts you in a position to criticize developers for not doing enough for you? They spend hundreds of hours on these projects and you think that a $2 dollar donation and a few banner ad clicks (which you probably never click on) compensate for that?

          Donations are not a tool to be used as leverage over the developer, it's to show that you appreciate the work they put into the project and gives them you're gratitude. Don't bother donating if you think it entitles you to something (because then it's not really a donation now is it.)

        • AppleFUD

          You are absolutely right. The many developers that develop donation based software as their full time job owe absolutely nothing to the people that donate because it is NOT a "product"--it's a cool thing to make a living off something but not be required to really support it.

          Got it.

          So, next time you tell someone to "flash a custom ROM" when they question if a certain handset will get proper support from the OEM I'm sure you will stop yourself and tell the person, 'no, wait. . . don't do that because the ROMs aren't support no matter how much you donate and they are NOT a way to handle software support."

          Then we must conclude that Android is SHIT just as ifans always point out--you are highly unlikely to get decent software updates and upgrades and there is NO alternative available to the OEMs. . . You have only ONE choice when it comes to Android handsets--the NEXUS.

          coray & azrienoch,
          You both have convinced me. I'm not buying another Android handset. I'll be looking at a WP7 and if I don't like that then I'll go with apple. After all, there is no real community to fall back on for software support with Android.

          I guess this puts to rest the arguments between apple/MS & Android about Android not being supported.

          Now we have absolute proof that is it NOT.

          Thanks. I'm sure apple fans are loving you about now.

          In all seriousness, the two of you are making the argument for the writer of this article--you want Android and its community to be like Linux = total chaotic mess. There's a reason it hasn't taken off on desktop but has on servers--a focused effort on one side and tons of distro crap on the other.

          but you go with that. . . I guess for you both it's better to be for developers ONLY than widely adopted--good thing Google disagrees.

        • Cory Lu Lu

          @AndroidFUD you seem to clearly be misunderstanding my premise. First off, what Android ROM developer do you know that makes enough off donations to replace a full time job (or even a part time job). The ones making money are the ones that make you pay for content. And you have every right to be angry at quality for paid content, but when you donate, you donate to show gratitude, donating does not mean you have purchased a product, it means you like the work they have put into it. Nobody is forcing you to use said product and nobody is forcing you to pay.

          But don't get me wrong, their are certain ethical standards that developers should follow. Developers should be upfront with their intentions when asking for donations and shouldn't lie to people to help generate more donations. But to assume that just because you donated to someone means that you have subsidized all their work is just wrong.

          And you're point on Linux not picking up in the real market has nothing to do with the millions of distributions, it's the lack of monetary funds to do so and a lack of a sufficient way to generate funds. And it's been proven time and time again that Linux CAN be successful with the right funding behind it (just look at Android).

          My main point is that donations are a charity, not a purchase. And to assume that just because I say that means that no ROM is dependable is just wrong. I can easily recommend MIUI.us and CyangenMod ROMs to any of my friends that like to tinker and be comfortable with that, despite my stated opinion. But for a ROM that is just a forked version of CM with a couple tweaks, I would not recommend to just anyone, but for the people that can deal with a buggy ROM (or that chose to want to contribute to it) have it available to them. And you can call that fragmentation or poor support all you want, but that's something that Android offers that Apple and Microsoft don't. If a developer has an idea, there is no hope that that idea will ever end up in an iOS or WP device.

          But if you think that's a better option, feel free.

      • Brando

        Dude you are totally out of line, he is right, if you don't like it, don't use it, what do you really expect, that we shut everything down and just have one, and everyone work together on that one and that one rules all, get an iPhone, and that is the best thing you could ever do, orrrrrrr, call out the noob "devs" on their shoddy work or don't speak at all, you are wasting time casting these wide reaching aspersions...

        You are a potential USER, not a potential BUYER, so quit whining.

        Who are you to say this and that and expect it to be right, you presented a personal opinion, a pretty flawed opinion on something you are totally clueless about, you were destined to fail, so stay stock or use what you define as the best rom available for your device and find some real stories to write about, the custom community is not for everyone, you have to accept that you may be one of those people, that is also a reality....

      • magiman7

        Downloading and using a ROM is not participating. Participating would be gathering logs, debugging, writing code, helping the dev fixes the errors. Taking what others offer for free and then complaining about it could be defined as something, but definitely not participating.

  • http://www.twitter.com/keithwoo Keith

    Hear hear!!! Excellent article!!! Too many egomaniacs and not enough ergonomics! It's great that people are interested in building ROMs, but like you mentioned, too many are just superficial without giving you something truly custom.

    It would be great if people just kept on merging and building bigger and better stuff instead of bowing to every lil demands of people on the forums.


    So annoying that devs actually bother to give in to these lil whims and produces new "roms" after that.

    Love the brutal honesty here.

    Things are getting out of hand, but what can we do. It is an open community after all, and there really is no way of "electing" a clear leader to manage openness. All we can do is steer clear of the thrash pile.

    • Brando

      I agree with this, stay clear of the trash pile, if the noob devs are not supported, then their stuff would fade away to the pages of the forum that the sun don't shine.

      That is all, I have seen many a mod on the forum that had me SMH, but I moved on, the biggest problem on the firums are noobs and their noobish behaviour, and that has been like that for years and it is getting worse, noob devs is probably the nest step in evolution, but just as the noob users are either ignored or flamed, the noob devs should suffer the same, depending on what side of the coin you are on........

  • MindStrider

    I've had plenty of bad experiences - with my HTC Desire. I started with Cyanogen, but it's never really worked out for me. Partly due to the ridiculously restrictive internal storage on the phone. I've used many, many ROMs along the way and settled on Oxygen, repeatedly. They support only a few phones at the moment, but like Cyanogen, they're committed. It's fast, it's clean, it works and it doesn't give me any problems. It even has nice little extras. Perhaps best of all though, it's tiny, which on the Desire is a massive plus. I love it. I much prefer AOSP gingerbread to Froyo sense in just about every way.

    Of course, what I really want is not to have to root my next phone at all. I want AOSP out of the box, without any of those silly manufacturer UIs.That's a matter of opinion, I know, but I think ICS looks great already and AOSP isn't hard to use at all, especially ICS. Unfortunately, that does restrict me to the Galaxy Nexus (admittedly awesome hardware) doesn't it?

  • http://Florynce.info Florynce

    It would be great if cyanogenmod was on every phone. How many phones on Verizon do they officially support? It ran great on the thunderbolt, but other phones not so much. Plus it's hard to complain about lack of good roms on any motorola phone. Especially a phone that was overshadowed by the next model even before it came out.

  • jim

    I've actually stopped using ROMs for about the same reason. But they will always keep doing it with a chance of people clicking the "DONATE TO ME - BUY ME A BEER" button

  • Wr3ck

    I'm sorry but I'd have to agree with azrienoch on this one. It took me forever to decide to put a custom ROM on my Epic 4g and it isn't even CyanogenMod. (shocking right?) Don't like it don't use it

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      If you think David's point is to halt development on everything but CM, then you've misunderstood what he wrote. He is not advocating ROM developers pack up their suitcases and stop developing.

  • nerdshowandtell

    Those who do well will rise to the top - those that don't will fall away.. I'm all for the choices.. Want to do something about it - Make a good rating system and review section for every device - that way we don't have to try every one of those things to see if one works GOOD.. :) Be nice to know if the rom is still maintained or not as well.. Forums are not the best way to rank / sort / show availability.

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      Unfortunately xda and all forums that I've seen are not geared towards this and don't deal with such things very well. A single comment to an old thread bumps it to the top, and there really isn't a good way to discern good ROMs from not so good ones without spending days reading thousands of comments.

      • TorontoColin

        Exactly. So, I think that the solution is that we need a better system for organizing ROMs. We can't expect a bunch of unpaid volunteers and hobbyists to organize themselves for our benefit. I think the responsibility to organize this lies with the folks who run XDA, who (I presume) make some money from the site ads.

        Off the top of my head, I'd suggest a system in which people can formally list a development project, When a certain number of other users have tested it and confirmed it works it will "graduate" from a project to an official ROM status. For each device there will be a list of official ROMs, with a link to the threads with their information, which can then be peer reviewed. The official ROM page could have a clear system of identifying latest releases, bugs, planned updates, and instructions on installs.

        This would keep the barely functioning and completely non-functioning crap out of the list of ROMs, at least until they're fixed. It would provide a nice peer review process to more clearly identify the better ROMs to noobs.

        Obviously this would take some web design and a fair bit of work to make it work properly, but with the amount of talent which congregates at XDA on a daily basis they should be able to come up with something.

        • http://www.unwiredmedic.com Christopher Matthews

          Interesting point. This would then provide incentive to developers to step up quality in order to make it to the list. Simply having a lot of downloads and installs doesn't make it a quality ROM.

          Perhaps the way to do this would be to rate the developer or the ROM? Then who can rate and how much weight does a vote carry? Maybe ROMS are placed on a platform like the Android Market, where you can rate it after you've installed it, and submit feedback for encountered bugs that doesn't factor into the score, but contributes to the developer knowing what to fix and evolve, and then ratings can be revised if an update is performed.

          Then again, if this is the way, how does a new dev get their foot in the door and make it to the list since the cream of the crop will make it big sooner and the new dev will have to come into the game already running behind? Perhaps they would have to contribute to the team project to get their reputation built, then branch out on their own (sort of to crawl before you walk). The new devs get their feedback from those willing to test their alphas and betas so they have to be found somehow, and no one will want to pick from the bottom of the list.

          Tough dilemma. What I agree on is too many abandoned projects exist. My own phone is this very day included in that problem, where it went to beta and the main dev stated he's buying a new phone and won't continue working on the existing beta. :-(

  • YoshimuraSei

    I admire you for the courage to say this.
    Totally agree with this.

    Why do devs can't collaborate to make one big great ROM?

    It's much better.

    • http://bit.ly/collinpage LePeR

      Some people do focus on one RoM but there is also others that have different tastes which causes multiple roms

      Just because you like something doesn't mean the person next to you does also

  • johnsmith

    Amen to that.
    Completely agree, regardless of me being a novice in that particular sector.
    A well written and backed up post.

  • Jon W

    Yeah, but if ppl take te time to change the wrapping of the package (red, blue, deodexed, zipaligned, bla bla bla), why not just invest that time into something that will last longer and be of greater benefit to the comunity? UOT kitchen is there, but we could use serious development.

  • Cosa

    Vaelek shorter version: Put up or shut up.


  • http://romrepo.info TechJeeper

    I'm sorry, but this whole concept is stupid. What you people are not understanding is the fact that the developers build for what they own... they do not get phones for free (well most dont) and the fact that they work for the very little donations they receive, I think they should be able to do whatever the h3ll they want. If you don't like it, I am willing to bet that if you buy your fav. developer a phone, he/she will have a rom for it.

    Could you imagine if the developers of the wide variety of L/Unix builds out there had the same mentality? We would be stuck with only one version, with no one pushing the limit.

    With that being said, if you are an Android ROM developer, I thank you for your hard work and dedication, even if some of the community dosn't appreciate what you do, just know that the majority do. Thank You.

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      You missed the point completely, David is not saying to not have custom ROMs or have only one version. Re-read his argument.

  • Wr3ck

    Well put, better than the ranty article

  • Citypoint

    Ahh, its like the old saying...opinions are like a##holes, everyone's got one.

  • Nico

    That's one of the things I found so amazing in the WebOS community. They established a standard for hacking the system and most developers stuck to it. They have tools which are powerful yet easy to use. I never really understood why something similar wasn't possible for Android. Of course you can't patch system files as easy as for WebOS since they aren't simple text and there are many different versions and variants of Android but still...

  • Sleepin in CA

    Seriously. Most of the Tb roms are exactly as described. The few that work.....are done by teams who flame each other. God forbid they take their half assed creations and work together to create a decent rom. The closest I have found is TeamBamf.....and frankly they act like a bunch of whiney bitches when it comes to collaboration. They even left xda because they were banned for acting like jackasses. We need a better solution. Also....like the man said....stop cramming your roms full of useless shit. If anything, have them as optional add ons.

    • Slim6596

      TeamBamf collaborates. Eris fixed voicemail notifications on the Gingerbread build for the Thunderbolt and helped the people working on Miui get working data. The team left XDA to start their own forum, XDA management got pissed and banned them, then proceeded to spam the new forum and leaders. TeamBamf's work is exceptional. Forever ROM is a Sense 3.0 port that works 99.5% flawlessly on a device HTC said could not do it. Side Project 2.4.2 is a solid Sense 2.1 ROM that works 100%. SkyRaider has groundbreaking custom tweaks that are centered around the notifications and quick settings in the pull down menu.

      If you ask Team Bamf for help with developing, they help. If you want to use something (tweak, mod, etc.) that is their work, just ask or at least give credit. That's all they want.

      Just because XDA fanboys got their feelings hurt when one of the better (if not the best) dev teams left XDA does not mean the team's work is without merit.

  • Citypoint

    Ahh, its like the old saying...opinions are like a-holes everyone's got one.

  • jc

    Either you want freedom of choice or you want Apple. You can't have it both ways with Android. If you went through all the various ROMs there is a borderline addiction going on. Like Cyanogenmod, it doesn't matter how many others there are if your work is quality it will rise to the top. Once we start dictating who can and can't make a ROM Android will be no different than Apple. I have never used a custom ROM...but i'm glad I have that option. If you ask me its the custom developers work that fuels the innovation in future Android development. It gives Google a true gauge of what the Android community as a whole likes and dislikes. If I don't want to get sick of a candystore I simply don't go in eating on everything they have to offer. If that doesn't work start a support group like Addicted to ROMs Anonymous :-)

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      Nobody's dictating anything - it's a suggestion that rather than 20 guys starting 20 ROMs, maybe some of them should collaborate and start 5 ROMs with a few people on the team.

      • Brando

        I don't like this blog, the colours are bland, the commenting system is crap, I can't like or report a comment, the notification system is crap, the font is lame, how about all the people that work on this blog close it and go work with the writers at the other blogs that are better looking and better organized

        This is my opinion, please take it to be the LAW and put it in place

        • Jason

          "This is my opinion, please take it to be the LAW and put it in place"

          You really should read the post you're replying to. Artem just said that nobody's dictating anything. It's a suggestion.

  • AppleFUD

    Precisely why I will not buy any other "Android" handset that is not "the Google experience" device (Nexus line at this point in time).

    And why I'm still on Windows--Linux is the same mess, every distro has to have it's own little tweaks on a previous distro and each with its own repository. . . bla, bla, bla.

    While this "variety" may seem "great" to many developers who love open source there comes a point when end users just want their gadgets to work and be supported, and that's why apple & Microsoft still dominate and Android is NOT a community driven project.

    • Brando

      I am having a time on my SGS2, in the custom community, I bought a device from Samsung that has great devs working on a lot of roms/mods for it

      If there were poorly released roms or mods, I won't be able to tell you, because I do a lot of READING before I install stuff on my device, both by what the users say and also what the dev says

      Some people don't read, so they always find themselves in unhappy places and just this one person decides to call out the "community" because he has had frustrations with what, a Droid Bionic, Motorola phones are the bastards of the dev world, he has absolutely no right to call out the community based on his experiences with a couple devices, there are a great many people that are satisfied with the work being done

      • AppleFUD

        Anyone has a "right" to say whatever he/she wants as long as it isn't slanderous.

        The writer is just pointing out an issue, and a valid one imo. The discussion has been going on over Linux desktop for ages and it's chaos and NOT successful because there isn't that one or two flagship operating systems that say, "this is Linux" and it will work without you being a programmer--Ubuntu is trying but look at all the distros off it instead of support to make Ubuntu better.

        No, you go and hunt through tons of distros, try them endlessly to end up saying, f' this--none of them work unless I can program drivers, etc. Back to Win or Mac for the "average user" => Linux @ <1% market share.

        My main point and I believe it's also the writers, is there needs to be more organization when it comes to custom ROMs so noobs can find their way to the one that works best for them out of the few *supported* ROMS. Instead they land in a minefield of custom ROMs that are hit and miss similar to Linux desktop distros.

        I don't think anyone is saying that no one can go off and do his/her own thing with a custom ROM however, those should not be front and center when looking for custom ROMS on the xda forums, and in all honesty those hackers' efforts would be better utilized putting aside their egos and supporting a few major ROMs.

        In other words, when I look at how to jailbreak an iOS device I quickly find "the simple proper way" and I know it will be supported long term.

        When I look to root or flash ROMs on Android. . . like you said, it's time to spend days reading, and I have no idea of what will be supported long term--after all it's "donation based and the user has NO right to expect anything."

        That's a turn off for "average users" that will then think, I might as well have purchased an iphone or WP7 because Android really isn't "open" to anyone other than a programmer and support for updates/upgrades SUCKS--OEM's abandon hardware whenever they feel like it, Google doesn't support anything other than one device, and the community. . . well, it's chaos and not really supported--they can pack-up anytime and drop support any time, etc. The message is clear! Android does NOT have good OS support for updates & upgrades!

        It really comes down to a perception thing--make Android user friendly & supported or make Android geek only?

        In order to make it "user friendly" the community needs more organization and compromise with less ego. Or let chaos reign--it's worked so well for Linux desktop distros. . . what 1% market share?

        In all honesty, coming form someone that really likes Android and has recommended it from the start and gotten many to use it, I'm sick of the lack of support for updates & upgrades, and I can't tell friends to hit the forums and flash a custom ROM--they will brick their device.

        So, what do I do?

        Recommend something other than Android if the Nexus won't fit what they want.

        That sucks! I feel like I'm in apple's ecosystem! F#@K! I've even recommended the iphone lately. . . just shoot me now!

        • http://schpydurx.livejournal.com ProfessorTom


          Excellent post.

        • Craig

          Fantastic post

          Team Bamf has been trying to create some type of uniformity for the Thunderbolt community.... and of course they are not on XDA *facepalm*

  • Kev

    I love the eris forums, everything u need to know is in the title and everyone helps out. The cool thing is that the eris devs are actually "collaborating" with other devs from other phones for the making of ICS rom. All the time you will see posts about others coming back to the forums even though theyve upgraded a long time ago. Out if all the phones/tablets ive rooted...the eris had the best help and greatsst ease

  • http://droidsamurai.blogspot.com PixelSlave

    To be honest, I don't think it's a problem. As big as the CyanogenMod is, it still only represent a fairly small portion of the Android user base. The smaller custom ROM you talked about? Their developer would be lucky to see hundreds of users. Some of them might only see dozens of them, or less. And, I would assume that most people who try these ROMs know what they are doing about, and would know that when things aren't working out, it's the ROM's problem, not Android itself.

  • Edd

    Agreed with the article. Again it's onw of those difficult "...keep choice without sacrificing freedom..." and I'd rather take the current situation rather than a lack of roms (I say all this as an owner of the HD2 and the SGSII).

    The difficulty is how to highlight the best or most complete ROMs without a rasting system, as XDA never wants to promote competition or egos.

    Maybe forums for each device could have a "Recommended ROMs" subforum for recognised developers or ROMs voted up? However again that might ot be the ideal solution.

    • Brando

      Threads are rated, each user can only rate a thread once, and if you read the actual threads, you would get a feel for how good a rom is.

      Many people come to the forums and refuse to put in the leg work (reading) to find out, so they just look at some screen shots and they flash away, these people can always be identified because they go into a lot of threads asking stupid questions.

      What would be nice is to get the XDA username of the person who wrote this article to see what type of comments he makes, put his money where his mouth is figuratively speaking....

  • http://genesischess.com/ Micah

    It's been awhile since I've read something on here that I disagree with so strongly. Perhaps flashing ROMs just isn't for you...

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      The message is: maybe sometimes it's worth teaming up rather than have everyone work alone. I am willing to bet that most people who are reacting so negatively didn't read the post past the title and maybe a few sentences.

      • http://genesischess.com/ Micah

        Sorry, but that either isn't being clearly communicated or that isn't the message of the article.

        A huge theme of this article can be seen in this single sentence.

        "I'm fine with people doing their own thing. I'm not fine with people doing their own thing just to do their own thing, and doing it in a sub-standard fashion."

        He's calling out the community for being basically selfish douches that want recognition, and I'm calling the writer out and saying he appears to be an self-entitled user that probably shouldn't be using roms in the first place if he doesn't understand the rom community.

        • Brando

          Correct is right Micah, these type of users are the bane of XDA, believing they are entitled to something, if the community isn't producing good enough work for you, stay away, stay stock, it is a lot easier than to attack the whole community based on your poor experiences......

    • Carlos

      I disagree with the article as well. I love custom roms for the same reason i love Android. As many devices that are out there that run Android, each phone provides a unique use case that may fit perfectly with what someone is looking for. Same thing goes for custom roms. While collaborations are far and few between, i like choice. Like most people my appetite is always changing, and only through the process of trial and error can i know what rom to flash depending on what I'm in the mood for.

  • Andy

    lol this does seem a bit biased towards cyanagen and im glad we have other choices but i do also agree there are a lot of 'similar' choices. I have a galaxy i19000 and i have Darky rom on it. I was put off by cyanagen with all the amounts of bugs they seemed to have in them from reading all the posts about problems. then i read the darky forums and it was like mmm much better, 95% seem happy......installed and never looked back :)

    if we didnt have different roms to choose from, we may never find that brilliant rom because the would be creator is just working on a section of a rom for someone else. If he CAN do it better, LET him do so

    Big thanks to all those who put the effort into rom creation

  • jjsoviet

    As a mere hobbyist, all I can contribute to the community is just a bunch of suggestions and feedback - but that doesn't mean I haven't had my fair share of observations. I don't generally have an issue with the ever-growing number of custom ROMs across a gamut of devices, but there has to be some sort of moderation.

    True, letting independent developers create their own ROMs does in fact help diversify the 'flavor' of their respective phones, but at the very least make those ROMs worthwhile to use. I've seen some that are just plain hack-jobs with tons of bugs, lose support in a matter of days, or are "different" from the others in terms of mere themes. Some are needlesly created to rival the other person/team's ROMs for the sake of - as the OP puts it - popularity and download count. I'm all for diversity, but a line has to be drawn somewhere.

    To those kinds of developers, please do make a habit to make quality control first before releasing them into the wild - and even then, expect bugs to happen and fix them immediately. If you REALLY feel your ROM is unique and worthy of being developed separately from established teams, then make it so and keep that promise. It's because, in my own opinion, some ROMs are too similar to one another that it's just logical to just combine the efforts of the respective developers and create something truly great. However, I do understand that some devs would prefer to go it alone or their schedules are conflicting with their potential partners - that indeed hinders the formation of a good ROM team.

    Again, my two cents. :)

  • Mike

    I remember trying to write my own J2ME app on a flip feature phone a few years ago...
    now we have roms, widgets, lockscreen/launcher replacements, themes, half million apps...
    seems like an impressive pace to me.

  • Martín

    you are right, i don't know why developers won't work together and make the best custom rom for each phone! if all developers work together they could make good roms, and everyone upload his themes! i've a Huawei IDEOS, it isn't a famous phone, it have 2.2 but it can't have gingerbread or ICS. There are 2 or 3 developers which do the best roms, the others... (is better don't talk about them) if they made a developer team, this would be a really good phone, because everyone know how to do something better. it would be great!

  • Andrew – Des Moines

    I used four custom ROM's on my Captivate when I had it. Two were very stable, the other two were CyanogenMod (the nightly and the supposedly more stable version). CM was a bug infested, nearly unusable load of crap. The official installation wiki was incomplete and inaccurate. The support system utilized some cryptic posting apparatus that was right out of the early 90's. I will never use CM again and it will never touch my GSII. Kudos to the independents who build reputations and take ownership for their custom ROM's -- I would trust them over a mob of nameless hackers any day.

  • benrees21

    Only article on AP that i don't agree with. All custom ROM's have their own little tweaks and also different things included. I don't think any of the devs do it to show off! like someone else said they do it for themselves and then share their work with everyone, + i would rather have quite a few ROM's to choose from. they are all different you just have to look beneath the surface!!

  • Norbert

    well. the same can be said with kernel variants. too many kernel variants with different mods but hey everyone has their own tastes. i bake my own rom and kernel to suit my "personal" taste. maybe cyanogenmod is ok for some but for me it's far too far bloated. again : "personal taste".
    this is not actually a problem with android or community per se. if you want stock, use stock. if you want cyanogenmod, fine too.
    i don't need to post any recognition from xda forum or similar, as long as i'm happy with my phone (and some of my friends that are using it), that would be enough. besides, i do not have the time to support and fullfill any requests of my possible users.
    it is just that baking my rom is where i feel my phone is "mine" and if you don't feel it, just simply stick with the stock rom or any rom of your choice and just let other rom developers do what they want.
    if most of the end users want their devices to "just work (tm)", then they can stick to their stock rom. if it doesn't just works for them, well they had a wrong choice in buying that phone as the one they bought didn't suit their needs.

  • Casavapiece

    If you don't like it, don't use it... Hmmmm, How am I going to know if a particular "custom" ROM is any good if I don't try it in the first place? The inconvenience of having to sort through 22 of 23 ROMs for the Thunderbolt to find 1 (one) that actually works close to bugless is absolutely the work of folks putting their own idea out for others to try, at our own risk, like they all state, mind you. You all would have jumped ship if any of the big 4 carriers released a phone with incomplete, or buggy software, you would be calling for their heads. Well I don't hear the same discord when so called developers put out buggy ROMs. Get together and pool your resources and make something that works well, and people will come...

    • Norbert

      well, there's a thing called nandroid backup. if you don't like your new custom rom, just revert back to the original one. those rom developers aren't paid anyway. most of them are just doing it for a hobby.

      • Casavapiece

        Nandroid backup doesn't stop the custom ROM from being buggy... Why should I have to deal with buggy in the first place? I think we all acknowledged that these were the builders "own preferences" built into the ROMs, well email to their friends then and sort it out properly before posting it for us all to field test..

        • Norbert

          well, it can get rid of that buggy alpha beta version of custom ROM you have just installed. it's their choice to post them on forums and you have the choice to test them or not. if you do not want to deal with it, do not attempt to install it and test it. hear the reviews, feedbacks and comments of some of those who have the guts to test and properly report a buggy custom rom.

        • Casavapiece

          Link me to a "popular" developer that has pulled a buggy ROM..

        • Norbert

          why would i link? still it's your choice and you're not paying them. they're doing it as a hobby. still my point is, you have a choice whether to "trust" that rom baker or not. if you feel it doesn't suit your needs or feel it is very buggy for you and are sick and tired of those buggy roms you're testing and still don't trust the feedback from other users of that rom, you have an option to not test those and just use stock or bake your own.

        • Casavapiece

          Okay?! Thanks.. If I don't like it, then I have to go through the inconvenience of searching through all the crapware to find a gem.. Or like some folks feel, don't use it.. Wow, lack of quality control..

      • Norbert

        if you're expecting a commercial grade qc for somebody's hobby. you're expecting too much. i suggest you use a stock rom, it will save you so much time finding that gem on a hobbyist's lobby.

  • GraveUypo

    so much whining in a rather funny perpective here. it's like you guys actualy own android / have a lot of money invested in it and are having a brand meeting.

    i know this discussion has some merit, but it's blown completely out of proportion here (both the article and the comments).

    • jc

      Now that's the most common sense approach. I actually have come to accept that there are just as many idiots on the Android side of the fence as Apple. What's even more ironic is the ones complaining aren't the developers but the ones who sit waiting to try every ROM that comes out. Alot of us actually have a life outside of technology.

  • Cyberpyr8

    You're right in thinking that these individuals are putting out poorly built roms. However, I have an issue with the title "developers" for most of these guys. The term kang is what I would say the majority of these roms truly are. They are other roms that have been tweaked to the devs liking and add a new splash screen and background, add/remove a few apps and bingo, a new rom. The Vibrant community had a few teams that worked on roms much like Cyanogenmod but the majority were just re-hashed versions from someone else. But even those teams are mostly gone. Most roms were truly ports of other phone roms that were made to run. At this point I really want ASOP because I want to put my own launcher and backgrounds in. I stopped changing boot animations and the other stuff a long time ago. I have my set apps that I load and a way I like to configure it. I don't need a skinned launcher or anything fancy added in. I know how to do that myself. I want a stable rom that I can customize. It isn't worth flashing your phone daily to get these features. A smarter user would realize that a stable rom with good battery life can be made to look and feel as good as these custom roms anyway.

  • Irish_iiii

    You call it fragmentation, I call it choice. Can't speak for noobs but I'm fine with trying different ROMs. I tried Cyanogen and didn't like it on my OG Droid. If there weren't other choices, then what? Might as well use Apple like the other lemmings. It's not a cop out. Don't like it? Develop an alternative for yourself. Don't complain for the rest of us who are perfectly happy.

  • Ruby

    I agree with David that it is messy out there. I've flashed a number of ROMS on my three android devices, and except for CM7 on the NookColor, I'm back to stock firmware with root to remove bloatware and some apps for backing up, etc. Stock works the best for me with fewest bugs and best battery life.

    What makes me upset is how intermediate to advanced users are so rude and presumptious to newbies, or those who are less technically savvy but still daring enough to try roms and kernels. The dev's instructions are usually poorly written, with steps left out or completely vague. I can print them out and re-read them a few times while flashing a rom, and still brick my phone. That was in the beginning of course, now if I do get a bootloop I can solve the issue quickly.

    I believe XDA was developed for intermediate to advanced users, but there are a lot of android newbies who could do with more kindness, hand-holding, and clear instructions instead of "You didn't do a search; you can't follow instructions; you don't belong here, you should get a fruit phone..." The whole idea of open source is just at odds with the antagonistic, arrogant and elitist attitude that many people have, which is quite sad to me.

    By being seen as a friendly, helpful and unintimidating community, we android users will have a better chance of winning more iphone and windows phone people onto our camp. I see ICS as moving towards that step as it aims to be more beautiful and user friendly.

    BTW, I'm not saying XDA or the devs suck. I've learnt a lot and am deeply grateful to people who share their time and talents, and try to support them when I can. The occasional sterling people--including many devs who are quite responsive when I PM them for help--do make the place more tolerable for people like me. I think we--myself included--should all aim to be more kind, tolerant and helpful, so as to embody the open source spirit, which is a community working for the larger good of all.

    Wishing all peace and a fruitful day at work, study and play! :)

    • Steve

      I agree, kindness is the route to opening Android (and more knowledge of the processes behind the OS and development of it) up to more people. Of course people should search, but some of these people are even new to the concept of forums, so at least give them a kind word and point them the right way instead of scaring them off and ruin the possibility that the current noobs will grow to be knowledgeable assets to the community.

  • http://www.androidauthority.com Brandon

    I love Steel Droid on my Droid 3. The thing is rock solid, debloated, and modded with my own little tweeks to the camera.

  • Steve

    I'm also kinda on the fence on this article. Some of it is totally on the money and some of it isn't, but the overall intention was good and that I respect.

    The core of the problem here though, in my humble opinion at least, isn't so much the raw chaos that is XDA, because that chaos is also some of the source of its power as a dev portal. The problem is that laymen don't have an easy interface to deal with flashing, ROMs and kernels.
    We don't necessarily need XDA or the devs to change, however I do agree on some points that at times, less is more. More devs working on a single, powerful vision can be better than many devs working on single elements and some other dev putting all their changes into one package, because it can lead to more bugs than one unified project. Now I'm not saying cooperation doesn't occur, but it could potentially work on a whole different level if the organisation was better. Theoretically.

    Now for my main point though, sorry if it feels like I'm rambling, it's very late over here :P
    We really, desperately need a well-maintained central database for flashing, ROMs and kernels alike. Unfortunately I lack the means and time to organise such a project, but I'll present my vision of it anyway for someone else to possible be inspired by.
    Essential would be:
    -well-updated, though devs could do this themselves. Also clear indicators of whether a ROM is risky to install or still in development, unknown or cancelled.
    -database should cater to all devices to truly make it the central gathering point for everyone.
    -Clear desciptions of what the ROM offers with (if necessary) explanations for those not in the know. (this could even simply be a general section that explains the most common things, like odexed/de-odexed, leaving the more unique things to the descriptions of the ROM.)
    -some sort of updatable (in case issues are fixed/the user-experience gets better or worse) rating/comment system like the Android Market, so users know which ROMs work well and which have issues for their device. A two-pronged approach (one comment thread for questions/issues/bugs and one for ratings) might be better because it'd hopefully keep the personal problems from affecting the overall user-experience ratings too much.

    Now, I realise that you here at the AP team are probably already very busy, but unless I'm missing some site that already does this, I see a niche here that you could possibly fill to attract more users to your site. *hint hint* :P

    tl;dr: Everyone should cool down, intentions of the article were good, if sometimes a little direct. At the very LEAST we need a central database that makes the ROM world more transparent to laymen that allows users to make an informed choice, or we potentially risk losing Android to a giant forest-impossible to see trees any more syndrome.

    • Steve

      Just wanted to quickly add that this database idea will (hopefully) syphon off many of the noobish questions (such as ETAs or "will this brand-new alpha be stable and support everything?" etc. etc.) from the development forum, where they don't belong to a site dedicated to helping people find the answers to these kind of questions in a quick and easy way and leave the development threads clear for more constructive work.

  • akshunj

    This is linux a ddecade ago. Its a good thing. The cream rises to the top like cyanogenmod, but niche rom's will exist for specific needs. Give it time

    • Steve

      The problem with that is that this isn't the world of technology of 10 years ago. Linux is still (but somewhat less so) a fragmented mess of systems supported by people that don't like giving customer support beyond "you should figure it out for yourself, all the information is there." While this empowers users like you and me and most of the tech world to learn, some people may not have the time or the inclination to learn all that and want an easy solution to their problem.

      Android in a few years will hardly be recognisable compared to Android now (at least, I hope so) and even today it's an evolve-or-die world out there for ROMs, we should be working together towards solutions, not bashing each other for pointing out the problems (not that you were bashing, more of a general observation).

  • http://mexdroidmod.com mjybarr

    I'm a happy camper.

  • Genisis

    Sorry David, but I have to disagree with...."Saying "if you don't like it, don't participate" is about as big a copout as I've ever heard, and it's an excuse I'm very tired of hearing - no disrespect intended."
    I started out with the Liberty ROM after I first rooted my Droid2 but then I started getting auto reboot issues and a terrible amount of FC's on many apps. This was after DONATING to the dev for his work and trying to support him to repair issues that I had reported as well. This dev seemed to TAKE FOREVER to update anything. SO...in summery, "I didn't like it, so I didn't use it." If there were NO CHOICES, then we would all have the mind set of Steve Jobs, which by the way is the way your article sounded to me in some ways. It sound a little to "proprietary" and THAT is why I LOATHE crApple products....NO FREEDOM. Freedom of choice is what the Android community is all about and I for one DO NOT EVER want to see that change.

  • Mike

    Whiny bitches or not...I can attest that bamf forever 1.09 runs FLAWLESSLY on my TB OC'D at 1.9 undervolted.

    I actually laughed when wirefly did their shamckdown between the razr and rezound and they quadrant scored between 2200-2300.

    I'll take my 2828 to the bank with my single core TB :)

  • Worknman


    I don't think you'll have much luck trying to convince people who are still in high school and/or live with their parents, and thus have time to try a dozen different roms every day, that the complete clusterf**k of roms for each individual phone is a bad thing. Trust me, I've had this argument countless number of times with Linux zealots and their 900 distros, but never does any good.

    Therefore, I think what we need is a better way to organize them all, something like Distrowatch for Android. Instead of just having a bunch of random threads on xda and elsewhere, what we really need is a site where roms can be listed, organized, filtered ('show me only roms on phone xyz that are vanilla), and most important of all, reviewed. I'm sure a lot of egos would get bruised this way, where you have some 15yo who decides to upload his buggy-ass custom rom and waste everybody's time, and then gets trashed by the people who are unfortunate enough to bother trying it, but it's probably what we need.

    • polo7o

      Solution: go apple :)

      • http://www.theandroidsite.com Ben Marvin

        Have one night of bad sex with a woman. Better go gay.

    • http://www.travisepperson.com Travis

      I agree... It's about the presentation... I don't think there is anything wrong with having TONS of bad roms out there as long as there is some organization so that the GOOD roms can float to the top.

    • Brando

      Worknman has the exact thinking of someone who wants to do something just for the sake of doing it, and wants to be spoon fed the quickest and shortest answer.

      Why do you even want a custom rom in the first place, I am sure you CANNOT answer that question, and I am also sure you do zero reading, that's why it all seems like a "clusterf**k" to you, your brain is "clusterf**ked" when you go there and realize you have to do some reading and research before you flash away....

      I have a SGS2 and I did lots of reading and research before I flashed a custom rom, but before that, I knew what I wanted, and I got exactly that, I have now gone back to using stock roms, why, because the community is so brilliant, I am able to get exactly what I want from a stock rom with a few mods by alone developer, and I know for sure he works alone, because he takes days to release his beautiful works when a new rom comes out..

      Worknman and the writer of this article probably think the same way, they all suffer from "clusterf**kism" to which the only cure is research and reading or total abstinence. And there is an outbreak of this disease over at XDA......

      • Worknman

        Actually, I could give you at least half a dozen very specific reasons why I wanted a custom rom, but they all boil down to this: vendor bloatware sucks ass.

        Anyway, as to the clusterf**k comment, you will have to forgive myself, the author of this piece, and a few others for actually wanting things to be presented in an organized, logical fashion. I know this sort of common sense may be too much for some of you to comprehend, so I apologize for the confusion. As I hinted at before, some of us who have a need for a custom rom aren't in high school any more and so don't have time to comb forumes all day, trying a dozen or more shitty custom roms in order to find something that's actually stable.

        But I see now that the custom rom 'scene' is what it is, and you either take it or leave it. I'm guessing that those who are into the scene see it as a rite of passage, with nobody being worthy of entering unless they sleep with their phones and tablets. For this reason, I am staying as close to 'vanilla' as possible from now on. Hence, as far as I'm concerned, the Nexus phones are the only ones to consider by anybody who doesn't get sexually aroused by the thought of screwing with their phones for 6 hours a day.

  • justin

    Sorry. I completely disagree.

    Anyone who bought the G1 when it cameout will remember having only 2 developers. Now we have almost a dozen for each phone. I look at this as a good thing. Not everyone wants CyanogenMod.

    Threads are rated and it is easy to tell from views and comments which ones I want to look at.

  • Aaron

    SDX FTW! And since i have to make my comment longer, sometimes you aren't supposed to wipe everything before flashing a rom. Sometimes you need a different recovery or filesystem. It's hard to cover everything in the instructions for a rom.

  • garrett

    Trying things that don't necessarily work out is half the fun. Trying to fix it, adding to it. Like someone else said if you want something that works, you bought it. If you want to experiment and take chances visit the forums. People who have no computer skills shouldn't be messing with this stuff anyhow, and if u do be ready to accept the consequences. Nobody is paying theses guys they do it for fun. Unless you want to hire them you have no right to criticize. The forums are open to everyone to post and try their hand and learn, that's what their for.

  • http://forum.xda-developers.com/index.php Sally

    There is a daily up-to-date long list of XDA roms available for the HTC Desire HD listed at http://www.grantbarker.com/#roms.
    There are also some screenshots to show the various visual differences for just a few roms on the same phone at the same site http://www.grantbarker.com/#screenshots
    I think it's good to have a selection but some are quite similar. I personally stick with the main developers unless I see something very different, fast and great to use. Current rom: MIUIAndroid.com

  • Han

    I agree with the concern of this author have. As a user, he wants to have a good and workable ROM. But perhaps collaborating may not the best solution for this.

    When it is called Custom ROM --> it means build for individual or for small group that want some features that the ROM provide. And there will always have people who ask more customization for their own use. In this case developer need to provide ROM that is one fits all. I don't think it is as easy as we suggest.

    Not mentioning about the skin and theme, even in the tweaking of the kernel, so that the ROM can work faster than before, every developer has their own belief and often time they cannot agree with one another. so it's not possible to make one ROM.

    Not every developer is looking for their own fame. There are some made for their own use, and they are not expecting any donation. But even though they are looking for fame, it isn't necessarily wrong. Competition always provide better solutions/options --> iOS, Android, WP7, WebOS.

    So my opinion is not about collaborating. It's good if developers can agree into one thing and develop ROM together. But we cannot stop people for sharing their work. Perhaps what we need is better information for user to choose which ROM to use without spending too much time reading a thread that has few hundred pages for particular ROM.
    And I think Android Market concepts is one possible solution.
    when one people can download and give the rating.
    so new users can roughly know what they are getting into.

  • randy

    XDA can allow those roms to be rated.
    Not sure, but this can be a part of each thread where users rate the ROM.

    This works like the way it works on the Market - where crap apps get rated out of the game, while solid and sturdy apps keep being rated high.

  • Al McDowall

    Read about half the comments but ran out of time. Here's my take, for what it's worth.

    If it wasn't for the developers on XDA I would not have been able to run Android on my poor, doomed, three month old HTC HD2 (originally WinMo 6.5).

    Six or seven months later, if it wasn't for the XDA devs and community, I would not have been able to flash a NAND rom onto the same phone and enjoyed the massive leap in efficiency and battery life.

    XDA strikes me as a place where people can share their work with anyone who is interested. You have a wide choice of which ROMs to try out, plus a wealth of support information and tuts.

    The Devs on XDA are in service to no-one, they owe nothing to anyone. Those who team up, team up. Those who work on their solo projects and post the results, do so.

    If I was asked to create a web-site or a piece of digital art, I would anticipate the 'customer' to want some input into what I do and how I do it.

    If I make something for my own amusement or benefit and then choose to share it, I would not take kindly to someone telling me I'd get 'better' results by working with someone else who was doing something similar.

    I understand David's point, but I think it was made in a somewhat overbearing way. If he wants to see more devs working together to create a smaller number of top quality roms, he could perhaps consider overseeing the project, rather than seeming to demand it.

  • Polo.79

    Anyone with time on their hands should go back and read some of the first pages of some of the more popular roms on a given phone (older ones like n1, evo 4g etc etc). I did one day and I specifically remember laughing about all the ish some of these great devs got for even making the rom in the first place. This article has alot of similarities to those ignorant posts. Sorry dude, totally disagree.

  • http://www.connexxion9.com blast0id-_-b

    I know these devices were the ones mentioned because they are newer, but I have a Vision, and there are a few teams putting out some GREAT collaborations for my device and several others, they are the "Virtuous" devs, RCMix3D team, CoreDroid team, and the folks responsible for Android Revolution HD... hell team Virtuous are the guys responsible for reverse engineering sense mode10 files and creating the tools to completely customize and resize sense based roms... Just because there isn't good collaborations for your particular device don't mean they aren't out there... p.s. I am part of none of these teams, but I have ran at least one of almost all of their respective roms... I personally hope there are some good devs around when the HTC Edge comes out, really looking forward to owning that device...

    • polo7o

      You bring up a good point blast0id. I highly doubt anyone with a g1 is going to be pissed if someone drops a new rom for their old phone. Even if it were a POS.

  • ABT Benjamins

    As far as I'm concerned, 1000 cutsom ROMs could exist for the Thunderbolt, and it would still be sluggish, unresponsive, slow, and a battery sucker. The only saving grace for my TBolt is the 4G radio, and I'm only in range of Verizon's LTE network for a couple days a week.

  • Marco Duran

    First: the sign of a good editorial: incites massive flamewars just as soon as it's posted. haha, j/k.... sorta
    As for the topic at hand:
    I mostly agree with the author, although several commenters did bring up good points.
    I think the ultimate take-away here was that he wished the Dev community was a little more structured, and was capable of improving the overall quality of the Android OS, as opposed to creating a seemingly infinite number of ROM iterations that may/or may not be an improvement over others.
    I also think a lot of comments missed a very crucial fact about this article: it was a rant, from a customer of custom ROMS, wishing that his experience with the dev community was better.
    Being a rant, it was in no way responsible for suggesting a better method of doing things. It's only purpose was to give the author a public forum in which to vent his frustrations.
    Was an article on Android Police really the best place to express those frustrations? Maybe, maybe not.... I'm not really sure. But it's the one he chose, and in doing so he opened himself up to attacks from people who felt personally attacked by the things he was saying.
    Personally, I don't think a lot of those attacks were justified. It's easy to point the finger at people that complain and say "if you don't like it, don't use it" or "if you want it to be better, do it yourself." It's much harder to take an objective look at what's being said, and wonder if there aren't any ways that you could do things better.
    So where does that leave us?
    1) Devs - have fun making Roms, but if you publish crap remember that the people who try it will complain. Don't take it too personally. Just make your shit better, then go back your detractors and rub your awesomeness all over their face.
    2) Customers: have fun trying Roms, but keep in mind that the people who make these roms are mostly doing it for themselves. They don't have time for your complaints. You may not like it, but that's the reality of this community. Just go buy a Nexus and tell someone that *might* care (i.e. Google, 'cause God knows the OEMs don't give a damn either)
    PLEASE NOTE: this comment is in no way meant to be serious. It was designed to be light-hearted, fun, and potentially sarcastic. Well... definitely sarcastic.

  • madddev

    Eff you, clown! The rule has always been *ROM at your own risk* If you need to have your wittle hand held, and your poopy bottom wiped by every Dev, stick with stock and STFU.

    • eliasadrian

      I just typed up a great support reply to this, but then it disappeared because I didn't put in my email...I wish this said I had to do it or my comment would disappear.

      The point of my comment...the G1 was hard to root and forced users to read and understand the risks involved, which leads people to be cautious and read more. Today people are impatient and don't read, instead they try to inconvenience devs because they feel the dev should make a ROM just for them when in reality they don't owe you anything and if you read the OP you would know what you're getting into.

      There are a lot of ROMs, but if you read the thread for the whole 5min to an hour that it would take, you'd know more or less what you're flashing. Devs spend crazy amounts of time doing this, spend an hour reading about what they did; otherwise you deserve to get flamed for asking something that's clearly stated in the OP.

      Hopefully all these "terrible ROMs" that are put out by people will veer noobs away from rooting their phone, or at least teach them to read. Either way we'd all be happier.

  • Nicholas Rishel

    You're not complaining about development, you're complaining about the lack of a dedicated channel for finding good ROMs. That's a failure on your part, you're the reporter. You're the one who should be reaching out to the community to figure out what is stable, what needs effort, what is just a one of project that is being shared. I do appreciate you writing this article, it has emphasized your lack of value to me as a reader. You don't communicate what is happening with Android, you communicate the easy stuff, you communicate what companies hand to you. I have their well documented sales pitches to look at for that.

    • Jason

      "...you're complaining about the lack of a dedicated channel for finding good ROMs."

      You read, like, three paragraphs and posted that, didn't you? Reading is fundamental.

  • Shamal

    think you got it right there, we need custom rom devs to work together like CM do.

  • Regi Camacho

    What makes you think that these developers are sharing their stuff out there to brag?

  • Will

    tl;dr: You are a CM fanboy and you don't like other custom ROMs because they aren't CM.

    How much are the CM team paying you to discredit yourself by writing this garbage?

  • kuztumrawmur

    wow, this is the worst article I've ever read on android police. I have a thunderbolt and love the fact that I have so many roms to choose from, it's what makes Android Android! If we didn't have so many people working on custom roms, then we'd be no better than *phone users. I think you just don't get it.....

  • josh

    The comments were very informative...oh, and the article was good too :P

  • josh

    The comments were very informative...oh, and the article was good too

  • alang

    Android is all about openess, we do have lots of repeatative rom with minor change, we could not consider as a flaw because everyone likes to contributes because its android is open source & free.

    If they should consider a law to work as 'team' I think it would cost you. They could change from "obligation" towards fans to "commercial" reason, which corporate company would not sit easily, & perhaps doing something,

    So in the end we dont get nothing

    I agree Android rom now has more quantity over quality. But as a HD2 users, a small change was huge appreciation, because we couldnt tasted Android without them (DFT & Cotulla)

    Pardon my poor english -_-

    • Bolski

      Alang, excellent response. I said the same thing in my post, albeit it was a novel.

      Sorry, I'm pretty passionate about the open-source community so it can cause me to become a little OCD about how much I post.

  • Michael

    Its easy to view screenshots and impressions of a new ROM. That should pretty much do it. And if someone doesn't really want to experiment with new ROM's, they should just stay on stock or JUST get CM.

  • Dward2828

    You soon learn good devs from bad. Cyanogen, Paul O'Brien and AdamG are fantastic, as are their circles of contributors. Ask yourself this: is the dev taking donations, or have they already received so much support that they're embarrassed and are now collecting for charity instead? Good indicator!

  • Tony

    You should know when you address XDA, you always get a rude and negative response, no matter how nice you are about it. Unfortunately most people on that board are arrogant and extremely rude. Just gotta live with it and not let it get to you.
    I dont have much to say about the actual topic at hand, but I would be interested in reading about a custom ROMs in general. IE how does rooting and overclocking affect your device in long term. How much of the phone lifecycle you lose when you overclock it. Are there any details about these things at all... I think it's kinda important to know, especially if you've got an expensive model that youre planning to flash.

  • Robert pendergest

    I would love a little more organization and collaboration on the focus and purpose of the roms.

  • Lazarus Dark

    I am running CM 7.1 on my OG Moto Droid. Why? Support. I don't have time to flash a dozen roms. I have things to do. I'm a busy guy. Moto would not update to Gingerbread, I wanted an upgrade that just works. CM works, and I know it will continue to get updates even if some people move on to other things. The average user wants to flash and go. For that, only a largely supported project will work. There are tons of linux distros, but I can only name a couple. Because as an average user, I could only use a well supported one.

  • Subliminal

    You guys are ridiculous. If you don't like em, don't use them. If you do a backup before you install it, how much of your time does it take before you find out you don't like it? 15 minutes? Less? I installed 3 roms yesterday. I didn't like any of them and went back to MIUI.

    I love the developer community for the Tbolt. And I'm glad there are people who are 'noob developers'. Without the noobs you'd never have the experienced...everyone has to start somewhere.

  • Bolski

    Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but I for one like the choices. WHY limit people to just a few? And who is forcing you to root and flash a new ROM? Again, it's a choice. You don't HAVE to flash the ROM.
    Just like you found out, you would rather root, change the launcher and stick with the stock ROM. That's fine and there's nothing wrong with that. But, why are you trying to stifle the creativity out there? What you may look at as being "rip offs" may not be at all. The Linux, open-source, GNU community was BUILT on reuse, enhance, etc. Without it, we might have never had Linux if Linus didn’t release his code. Without Linux, there would be no Droid.

    We could go the way of the iPhone: closed, can't modify easily, stuck with one type of phone and manufacturer, etc. I myself like the choice. Do I want iPhone to disappear? No. With the iPhone and the Android competing, it generates creativity, it causes each manufacturer to try and do the other "one better" which in the end benefits us the consumer.

    So goes the same with all the ROMs. True, maybe some guys out there are trying to "one-up" the next and scream "look at what I did", but I have yet to find one that way. I have a Droid X2 and let me tell you, the ROMs are few and far between, but the developers out there (ryman, nitro, kejar, jrummy) are VERY passionate about their work and are always quick to fix any bugs they have.

    Also remember, these people are doing a lot of this work WITHOUT PAY! Why are you going to bite the hand that feeds us? Keep up rants like this, and you won't have ANY custom ROMs coming out if people keep complaining like this.

    Why can't we just be happy that there are individuals out there taking their spare time to create these ROMs? I don't know if you are a developer or not, but for developers like me, there is a passion for creating things. When you create or enhance something and release it, there is a euphoria associated with it, but most if not all want to share what they've created. Not because of status, but because they want to share. They want to contribute to the community, but rants like this will discourage them.

    This is part of the open-source community and Android. You're going to get some bad apples in the bunch. But, that’s also the beauty of the open-source community. Release it and get feedback on how to improve it. It’s what makes Linux and the Droid my choice of phone: freedom to choose. But with that freedom comes some responsibility on the user’s part: being vigilant about what you install and taking responsibility on those choices.

    Remember, you are responsible for rooting your phone. No one forced you to do that. Once you've rooted your phone, you've voided your warranty. That's not the fault of the developers or anyone else. You chose to do that. So, when you flash, it's your responsibility to follow the instructions. I've only soft bricked once and that was because I didn't wipe the cache and data, even though it was spelled out in black and white at the top of the instructions. I didn’t ignore the instructions (on purpose), but in my fit of impatience, I forgot to do it. It was an easy fix. Reboot back into recovery and wipe data and cache and reboot and I was back up and running. I mean, what else do you want the developers to do? You can only find so many bugs yourself. In most cases, what I’ve seen is they release what are called release candidates which are “try at your own risk” but it’s also to get what we call in the development community “user acceptance testing” or UAT. It’s a way to have users test what is possibly release candidate code to ensure that things are working they way they should because no developer can find ALL the bugs. Remember, programs are written by humans. We are not perfect.

    If I do find a bug, posting it back at XDA or Twitter or other forums results in a pretty quick turn-around from either others in the community who have discovered a solution or the developer is working on a fix and it comes out pretty quickly. Would you ever get that kind of response from Apple? No because they have their own QA process which usually takes months because they have “release schedules”. They are going to allow the bugs to pile up and then fix them all in one release. That’s fine, but it takes longer because of unit testing, regression testing and eventually some sort of user acceptance testing.
    Those are the trade-offs. You can go the route of Apple which means possibly better Q&A (they have the funds to pay for that) which means longer delays in updates. Or, you can have Android where custom ROMS can get fixed quicker plus gives you the choice to have a better functioning phone.

    For me, on the X2, Verzion put SO much bloat on it that music skips, performance suffers, etc. Since going to the Liberty ROM, my phone has had better battery life, faster response, music skips are pretty much gone (unless I do some pretty intensive tasks while listening to music) and I've been able to customize the phone to my liking.

    I understand your frustration at times, but that's part of having an Android and I don't want it to change. If you ask me, I feel that the ROMs that are good and stable outweigh the ones that are bad. Also, remember when you have a new phone like the Bionic, it's going to start out having unstable ROMs at first. I mean, come on. How quickly do you think developers are going to be able to come up-to-speed in programming it? It takes time and patience and testing.

    Cyanogen has been around a long time and it took them time to do what they wanted. They are the exception but still, it all depends on who has what phone. If you don't have a Bionic, you can't program a ROM for it because you have no way to compile it and test it for that phone, so it also depends on which developers have which phones.

    Hopefully, that helps you understand better what goes on with the ROM development community. I for one appreciate what they do and for any of you developers reading my post, keep up the great work! It doesn't go unnoticed and the majority of us appreciate the work that you do. Please keep doing what you do.

  • kinnyfaifai

    I can see where the complaint comes from, I've had numerous poor experiences, but never once have I wanted to openly share my thoughts. I understand that the devs are doing this as a hobby, they do it for free, the least we can give them if not our thanks is constructive feedback and not to complain. They deserve our respect for taking on the task of building a ROM single handedly when the likes of HTC, Samsung, Motorola spend how much on their DEV and TESTING teams to come up with crap buggy stock ROMs?!?!?!

    To say there isn't collaboration across all ROM developers is kind of naive as well, yes there's loads of ROMs released, but that's because each dev has their own objective in making something that fits THEM, and them only. The important point is if you look at credits they give, you find quite often ROM dev A will credit ROM dev B, C etc for helping them. There's proof of collaboration!

    For me, the other problem you'll find is as a ROM gets more popular the more members comment, praise, complain, the ROM dev has no time to read all replies and something useful might inherently be missed.

    A difference between CyanogenMod team and other ROM devs out there is that the CM team changed their vision to build something that will work on as many devices as possible, whereas individual ROM devs will do it for the device they own and for themselves. Maybe they haven't even thought about teaming up, or don't want to spend all their time co-ordinating dev activities.

    I have to thank all ROM devs out there for their time and effort and most importantly for giving us something for FREE!!!! The fact they release updates is a bonus, they have no obligation to do any of this.

    We should be asking how we can help improve the community?!

  • http://www.travisepperson.com Travis

    Isn't the real problem in the presentation? I have never understood why Forums are where ROMs are listed/kept. It's one of the WORST ways of organization for a release/project. What we need is a sourceforge.net style site that can truly break out these roms into categories and give them organization. Somewhere that people could comment (moderated comments), and vote on their favorite Roms. Somewhere were authors could update information about their roms so people don't have to dig 5 pages in to see an update or a "Fix" for a problem that's been cropping up. I have no doubt that there are sites out there, but their either not well done or simply not well known. Android police? Maybe a project for you?

    • Donna NaQuin

      Travis: perhaps u may want consider setting this up yourself

  • Questachio

    How is it "confusing" to look down a list of <10 ROMs?

  • Dan

    Essential flaw: There is no "dev community".

    Noun: a unified body of individuals

    What you call the "dev community" is just a bunch of guys who happen to all use the same forum to discuss their work. All of the people working together on Cyanogen Mod are a "community of developers". All of the people who hang out on XDA are, at best, a "community of discussers". You're expecting/wishing-for the latter to act like the former and that's just fantasy land.

    * Yes, "discussers" is a word. George W. Bush used it somewhere about something.

  • http://schpydurx.livejournal.com ProfessorTom

    Is it possible that you're just bumping into the age-old phenomenon of The Need to Meddle™? If I understand the situation correctly, it's not trivial to produce a ROM, but would be trivial to take an existing ROM, theme it and release it as a new ROM.

    I'm willing to speculate that if it's that difficult to understand the difference between ROMs, the majority of the 52% of smartphone users who bought an Android device aren't doing so for the openness of the platform.

    Remember Winamp, back in the day? Remember how cool it was to skin it and to write plugins for it? Yet, how many people just downloaded the labors of love without trying their hand at such development? How many dreamed of doing so but never did?

    I do agree with you: the noise to signal needs to go way down. But I don't think it will, just like I don't think we're ever going to get down to two or three major distributions of Linux. There will always be the one-off distros that have that one peculiar feature which could easily be rolled into one of the bigger distros one day.

    As for the developers of these "ROM"s, there's no incentive for them to not peddle their wares on the Android community. In fact, the Android community is set up precisely to encourage that behavior. In order to solve this problem, you need to give these "modders" a heavy disincentive for their work and oppositely attractive incentive to reinforce the behavior you desire these modders to engage in.

  • Jose

    Wow this article would hold the record for the "essay type" comments no?

    It's a good topic, but who the hell would install all 10 or so ROMS to find the one best suited?

    Reading the changelog, comments and features of a rom helps to pick the one which will probably work best for you.

    • Smileyguy

      Bet you never had the HTC HD2 right? :P At least 10 ROMS... that phone... at the VERY least tried 10 different ROMS, from Android to WM6.5 to WP7 to Ubuntu... shessh...

      The changelog, comments help, but... never know until you flash one. I'm sorry, I have ROM flashing compulsive disorder :P

  • Joshua Garrard

    That's a total win! Despite my limited experience with custom ROMs, I can tell you that you nailed it. Shopping for ROMs has become as ambiguous as Helen Keller mail ordering textiles for her new Interior Design project. Accountability has gone to shit. While at first I would want to suggest the EULA for the Android Source Code be reprovisioned with certain regulations on development, I suspect that would be against GPL. Idk. Perhaps, instead, Android might recognize or endorse a third party authority who keeps up with all the new releases, takes the B.S. and bashes it to smithereens, like a consultant.

  • http://www.droidxforums.com Nerds Logic

    I do wish a few of these guys would work together....imagine a ROM that was a collaborative build between team Liberty, the CM squad, and others.

    Would be stable, fast, customization beyond belief, and mostly noticed by all manufacturer. Joint efforts like this would be awesome.

  • jc

    The commenters outside of the immature few all have valid points...here is a thought...why not create an Android Market for custom ROMs complete with ratings, descriptions and comments for each ROM? Donations would give users first dibs at testing out the newest versions. Have the categories range from most popular to new developer so ROM users can at least have some type of gauge of experience, consistency and quality of each developer. I know some will shoot down this theory but there are quite a few who will agree to my method of madness.

    • Michael

      This kinda goes along your idea (sorry I typed this up before reading your post)..

      I never flashed a custom ROM but I've always wanted to. I looked at instructions before and decided I didn't want to take the risk. As an Android user I want to be able to take full advantage of my phone like many others are doing. If ROMs were at least managed so people like me knew simple facts about them (features, performance, known issues, difficulty installing, etc.), more users would benefit from the work of others. So if devs choose to collaborate together or not, something like this would be so benificial to the community as a whole.

      • Donna NaQuin

        @Michael I sooooo agree with u. I'm also a noob. all I want is a consistent stable platform where my screen is responsive and doesn't jitter, jump and jive and lock up on me. Where I don't hafta remove battery and sim card to get the dang thang working properly.
        Ordered new sim card, but its still doing same thing.
        I tried flashing jelly bam and it soft bricked. Thank God I was able to restore it, but I'm a Lil gun shy bout trying again.
        Some of these XDA devs are super nice and helpful but others of them get a MAJOR tude if u didn't read all 450 pages of comments to find an answer.
        I know they're busy, but by golly so am I, and alot these devs speak another whole dialect that An artistic social animal like me just doesn't comprehend.
        I need some thing simple, Straight forward and easy to understand.

    • AppleFUD

      I'm actually surprised that some innovative dev hasn't started a "stock Android" site for supporting hardware with stock Android--making it uber easy to switch to stock and guarantee timely support & bug fixes.

      I'm sure a lot of users would be willing to pay for that. $10/upgrade with free updates between major upgrades? I'd pay that if I knew they were serious about bug fixes and long term support.

  • Roon3y

    about dyam time someone speak for me :P

    • http://schpydurx.livejournal.com ProfessorTom

      Why do you not have the ability to speak for yourself? Why do you need someone to do your speaking for you?

  • LG Optimus V

    Do what some of us in the LG Optimus V community have done, started up a wikipage so people can document & update the differences among them, then point everyone to that wikipage.

  • Hmmmm

    What is this post all about? The guy's whinging that roms for his BIONIC is shit? Well of cause it is, He's got a locked bootloader and roms for his machine are stuck on having to use the kernel that is locked to it.

    He should go get a HTC (unlocked) or Samsung device and try out all the modded Stock roms, then CM7 then Miui and all of their modded varieties.

    I have no idea what the point of the article is about as he has one of the most restrictive devices known, If anything the article should be about how BAD locked bootloaders are!

    If the article writer knows anything about Android then he should have avoided the Bionic like its black death incarnate, It's no use buying such a crappy locked device then complaining, He should be grateful that there's actually some 2nd init level roms out there.

  • elijahblake

    I learned from my first Android Device that it's more important to ME that a device is supported by GREAT devs rather than having a awesome spec'd phone...

    I actually bought the inspire 4G instead of the Atrix b/c i knew CyanogenMod supported the Inspire 4G.. I now have an Atrix as well since it's supported by CyanogenMod..

    If you're into 3rd party ROMS, it's actually better to wait a couple months to see how the DEV support is going to pan out IMO. I know that's easier said than done when the new flashy Monster devices come out...

    Me personally, I won't buy another phone unless I know it'll have cyanogenmod support!!

  • fins71

    I love xda. I pick what my next phone will be based on community support for it. Read a lot. It may seem mundane, but if you take the time you will see what roms are the best. Follow a great dev or dev team. If you like their roms, keep using them. I only use roms from Virus, and he never disappoints. Just my personal favorite developer. I think your problem Dave is that your phone of choice just doesn't have great support. Motorola with their locked bootloaders. Go figure. HTC has great dev support. I buy HTC just for this. That's why the tbolt has 23 roms and the bionic has 7. Not to mention the tbolt was released 9 months ago. My EVO3d runs like a beast with no bugginess, or lagging to be found. Read chsngelogs. Read the entire thread. You will see what bugs come up, and in what version. In most op's I've ever read they will tell you to use at your own risk. Most have detailed flashing instructions. They don't guarantee you happiness. While I don't think you have any ill will towards rooting or the community, the article did sound unfair. These guys do it for all of us to enjoy. They put a lot of their time into it for us for free. I have nothing but the utmost respect for the devs at xda. Virus has made my phones run like Beasts! I am forever grateful.

  • James

    I find the noobs that want to root and just to debloat should just get an iphone.

    • http://schpydurx.livejournal.com ProfessorTom

      So you're saying that n00bs should either deal with bloat or become l337 h@x0r$?

    • Genisis

      People like you make noobs WANT to go to an Iphone.

  • Freak4Dell

    I agree and disagree with the editorial. For one, you have a great point about the ROM scene being complete chaos. Hardly any of these ROMs have any thing different from each other worth mentioning. It's unfortunate that people misunderstood your article to mean that you wanted all development to stop.

    I tend to buy devices that aren't all that popular, because either the form factor appeals to me, or because I'm trying to avoid Sprint's bullshit fees. This means that the developer support for them is pretty much non-existent. Thus, I am thankful for the few devs that are willing to work on the device, even if it's as little as a root method.

    However, I would love to see more collaborative ROMs as well. The reason CM works so well for so many different devices is because there's such a large number of developers behind it. There's ones that take care of little details in the ROM in general, and others who oversee the development of the ROM for a specific device. They all work together to make sure that the user experience is as consistent as possible across every device they support. Imagine if there were a dozen teams like this working on a dozen different ROMs. We'd still have friendly competition and choices, but they would be high quality choices. No reason to limit it at a dozen, either. As long as there are plenty of people willing to work together, there could be countless teams that are pumping out solid ROMs, instead of lone developers who put out crap. Sure, the laws of numbers say that there would be less options overall, but when the multitude of options that existed weren't actually different from one another, they might as well not be options in the first place. I'll take 20 solid options over 200 half-assed works.

  • Vip_blast

    I quite understand the point of view of this article. I'm currently using an HTC Desire with MIUI, but before that I had an LG Optimus One P500.

    At first things were great, dedicated developers worked hard, the community contributed extensively and great ROMs were achieved. That's no more the case now, noob devs create a new thread for each new ROM they 'develop', and its basically the same ROM.

    E.g. Analyse this case (that's only one.):
    You have developer X who works hard and ports CM7 to the LG P500, then Y comes in, and 'makes' a new ROM with CM7 as base, and a MIUI layout on it, followed by CM7 with Sony Ericsson layout, and then another combo with iHero, etc etc. Heck, one even starts a thread saying "I'm gonna port ICS to LG P500!" then few days later he makes another thread, "I could not port anything, but dont worry, I'm gonna make a mod of CM7 which looks like ICS! :D". Not to mention the 1st thread he made gets stacked somewhere. That's not development, that's BS.

    Because of this, the actually recognised AOSP ROM/Kernel developers and such stopped supporting the phone because of the toying around with their work, and not even giving them some slight credit for their efforts. Some even created a separate forum just so they can work in peace, e.g.:

    It's all about freedom of sharing, but without some kind of guidance, it's gonna be chaos at the end. :/

    PS: not to mention that on XDA the report feature does not work, same for the search engine.

  • Timothy Roberts

    Can't we all just get along?

  • luke

    Thunderbolt also has roms that are on rootzwiki and not on xda.

  • tinky1

    You lot miss the KEY point here, there are DEVS and there are CHEFS. CHEFS then get divided into sub categories, Great Chefs and Wannabe Great Chefs( some succeed, others SUCKceed).

  • Turge

    I have an idea.. Why don't you apply your recommendations to this website?

    We only need 1 website reporting news about Android anyways. After all, you're all regurgitating the same thing anyways. How many times do I have to read about a video of Android 4.0 running on the Transformer Prime?

    You should have a poll about which website will remain.

    In the meantime, we'll have a meeting about cleaning up our ROMs.

    an Android ROM developer

  • thetruth

    READing between the lines
    The moral of this story is don't buy a phone with locked bootloaders.
    This is not a potshot but you would think a android blogger would know better...

  • http://www.unwiredmedic.com Christopher Matthews

    I keep reading people regurgitating, "Why have a custom ROM?" Isn't it so you can get rid of bloatware, get a stable overclock, and push the limits of the device or expand unused hardware features (like the stock Nook Color didn't come with BT, but had the hardware already onboard, so a hack enabled it or other devices with poor memory mgmt can be made more efficient or disabled FM radios can be activated).

    I'm not a device dev, so correct me if I'm wrong, but if you want a custom theme or a special program, isn't there an app for that? Why would you flash an entire ROM for a theme? In web programming, we don't create a separate web page just to change the layout/fonts/colors, we just change the CSS file (ref to: http://www.csszengarden.com if you don't understand this). At least on my own PC, if I want to run MS Office, change my live wallpaper, use a new sound scheme, change the boot animation, or screensaver, or something else, I don't install a new version of Windows, I just change the thing I want different. Maybe it takes a line of script or something a bit more technical like a registry edit, but I don't have to reinvent the proverbial wheel. Why should the custom ROM thing be any different?

    I remember flashing my HTC Tilt/8925 a couple of times when I first started down the root/ROM trail. There were a few dozen ROM options for that device too. I didn't touch many of them because many were just someone taking another's work and removing their default apps and hard installing their favorites or themes. What for?

    How do you like your coffee? Plain, watered down, expresso, sugar, cream, milk, half & half, flavored creamers, and then how much of any of these options do you use? A teasoon, a tablespoon, a dash or jigger? Do you follow it with a Red Bull chaser? Just a plain ROM and install your own flavorite apps and theme packs would save a lot of headaches and criticism. Then it would boil down to who offers the best hardware tweaks. Less to go wrong that way too. Seems to me that would mean less ROMs and more personalized customization. If something goes wrong, you just have to fix an app, not the whole phone OS. But since I'm not a device dev, I may be way off the mark here, so feel free to educate me.

    This is only my perspective and you can feel free to ignore it or share your own (politely, please).

  • carhauler1969

    I am still amazed at the level of developer support for the original EVO, & the number of new users. This is the main reason I have resisted the urge to upgrade my device to a lesser supported device like the E3D, E4GT, or even the Galaxy Nexus (not that I would own a Samsung device).
    IMO, the Bionic is in the too little, too late group, as it should've been released in February, now 8 months later it's shelf life is already doomed. The rest of Moto's devices released this year have all been warmed over rehashes of existing devices, the lone exception being the Droid Razr. Anything with kevlar on the back has to be cool.
    My wife wanted an EVO Design 4G, but a month after it's release there is still NO DEVELOPER SUPPORT!!! None, nada, zip. No root access means we'll wait for something better, or I'll buy her a used OG & root and tweak the daylights out of it, and save the full upgrade on that line for the next great device. There is no other device currently available that even sparks my interest. I'm still waiting for the next EVO 4G to rear it's head, & knock the smartphone world on it's ass again like the OG did.I am still amazed at the level of developer support for the OG EVO, & the number of new users. This is the main reason I have resisted the urge to upgrade my device to a lesser supported device like the E3D, E4GT, or even the Galaxy Nexus (not that I would own a Samsung device).
    IMO, the Bionic is in the too little, too late group, as it should've been released in February, now 8 months later it's shelf life is already doomed. The rest of Moto's devices released this year have all been warmed over rehashes of existing devices, the lone exception being the Droid Razr. Anything with kevlar on the back has to be cool.
    My wife wanted an EVO Design 4G, but a month after it's release there is still NO DEVELOPER SUPPORT!!! None, nada, zip. No root access means we'll wait for something better, or I'll buy her a used OG & root and tweak the daylights out of it, and save the full upgrade on that line for the next great device. There is no other device currently available that even sparks my interest. I'm still waiting for the next EVO 4G to rear it's head, & knock the smartphone world on it's ass again like the OG did.

  • fins71

    You have a forum here to be part of the solution you seek for. Do a custom ROM review every two weeks. Take a poll from your readers to select which device to select next. Hire a flash a holic who knows what he is doing, and get the best roms out there known. Put exact flashing steps. Your flashaholic will find out what versions of which roms are best and why. You have the power to be part of the solution. I for one would love reading this type of in depth reporting. Screenshots, videos, and benchmarks. Users of those roms can explain and help new users feel comfortable about flashing. I know you have done some of this before, but making it a weekly, or monthly article would help you filter out the best of best. Just my opinion.

  • fins71

    You have a forum here to be part of the solution you seek. Do a custom ROM review every two weeks. Take a poll from your readers to select which device to select next. Hire a flash a holic who knows what he is doing, and get the best roms out there known. Put exact flashing steps. Your flashaholic will find out what versions of which roms are best and why. You have the power to be part of the solution. I for one would love reading this type of in depth reporting. Screenshots, videos, and benchmarks. Users of those roms can explain and help new users feel comfortable about flashing. I know you have done some of this before, but making it a weekly, or monthly article would help you filter out the best of best. Just my opinion.

  • http://butlerpc.net Michael Butler

    Rubbish post. Sorry, but take out your frustration elsewhere. Having many good choices along with many bad choices is better than having only one or two good choices.

  • Just a thought

    I think both Devs and the Author have good points. The problem is the delivery to address issues on both sides. Constructive criticism is good, it should however be delivered in a way to avoid attacking creative minds. On the flip side one should always be open to new ideas and ways to improve upon.

  • amartyca

    This is the most ignorant, self serving, asshated article i have seen on Andriod police.

    David for you say that you participate on XDA forums is joke. To participate you must contribute, not criticize from your blog on a throne undo entitlement.

    If you are to lazy or to stupid to do a little research on a ROM before flashing it on your device then you shouldn't be flashing ROM's to begin with.

    Based upon your argument should we also say that there should be no paintings by one single artist? Should all painters work on only collaborative pieces of art, and if so how many artists must they collaborate with before they should be allowed to share with world? 2? 10? 100?

    Anyone who thinks custom ROMs are going to bring about the down fall of Android really needs to get a grip on reality.

    In summery David, you and all those who share your viewpoint in this matter can eat a bowl full of dicks.

    Peace & Love,

    • bobbutt

      "If you are to lazy or to stupid to do a little research on a ROM before flashing it on your device then you shouldn't be flashing ROM's to begin with."

      I think people with attitudes like yours are the number one problem. You failed to comprehend the article, then you wrote a very disrespectful and angry reply based on your misconceptions.

  • paul m

    I agree with a fair amount of sentiment.
    Long ago I was a Sharp Zaurus owner and a split in the small community led to duplication of effort and confusion.
    Some lessons can be learned from debian Linux where by making it easy to have a base layer people could build on top. Unfortunately some devs forked the project rather than simply add.

    My ROM of choice on my DesireZ/G2 is one from the virtuous team as they make it clear whether Rom is alpha, beta or release quality and release fixes when bugs are discovered.

  • http://ptext.net martin

    I think the article makes a very good point. I made the same experience with my old Win Mobile device. A lot of Roms floating around, with optical widgets that were far too slow for the device. And only one developer who actually cared about not copying the latest trends, but actually created a ROM that tried to take the strengths, weaknesses and typical usage of the phone into account. Then the guy left and only the bloatware ROMs remained.

    Lets hope that with Android one or two alternatives to CM appear, so that we actually have a bazaar and not only one market stand.

  • Conchchowder

    I think that if there was focus in the community then there would already be a SG-P1000 ICS version out already. Instead, they're still working on GB.

  • Z

    Open source is great, to a fault. Devotees of open source sometimes complain that they aren't taken as seriously as the closed source commercial stuff. Well, if half the content out there didn't look and run like it was coded by a 16 year old neckbeard in their parent's basement, they might get more respect. With some android apps, you can end up with a hundred different versions, none of which fully work. A little cooperation would make a world of difference. It frustrates me, and I love computers and love tinkering. I can imagine how it must frustrate the average person who is just looking for an app to do a specific task, and they have to wade through a sea of buggy ones, hoping to find one that works. I don't know the solution either, but it's frustrating as hell.

  • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii


    "We are sick of scouring fragmented code for fixes. The Moto devs have teamed up! Expect awesome things in the future."

    This is exactly the kind of things David was talking about. Great initiative, team MotoMagic and cvpcs.

  • bobbutt

    I am in the middle here.. I sucked it up and have gone with many failed roms without complaining, can unbrick my phone in my sleep, etc..
    The thing that gets on my nerves is roms that are clearly not free like Liberty. Where one must "donate" to get access to the recent downloads. The developers of that rom made tons of promises and abandoned the project.

  • BWR

    I am convinced that some of the attitudes displayed on this thread are at least part of the reason why David wrote the article in the first place. These attitudes speak volumes. The truth hurts.
    Good luck asking for accountability in today's self-serving ego-centric world that is void of much character. Let's face it, Android is the mobile free-for-all variant of Linux, and I honestly don't see much that's going to change that reality for the measurable better... unfortunately. The happy-go-lucky open source format comes with a pricetag. And these realities David writes of are that pricetag.

  • mary

    hey guys, there will be no end by arguing this. if you don't like then you should shut your mouth and make new things. make new ios, new roms, bla..bla..bla.. with your own or your team ideas without using the older versions' source code, test it by you or your team and release it to media..

    if you think you can not do that then stop arguing this and that!!