Differences between Launchers, Rooting, and Custom ROMS

Jan 15, 2011
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hey guys, i hope you can answer this question for me.

I was wondering if you could tell me what exactly a custom ROM does for you; cause it seems like most of their benefits actually come from the launcher you choose:

LAUNCHERS let you:
*change your theme(graphics and animations)
*change your icon/app drawer layout
*get new widgets
*adds power control settings to the notification shade

ROOTING lets you:
*remove carrier bloatware apps
*gets you access to the filesystem(not too sure about the benefits of this)

ROMS let you:
*change your kernel(for battery life)
*allows for overclocking(by changing the kernel)
*removes the carrier/manufacturer skin(but doesn't the launcher do this already?)


is there a ROM that duplicates the STOCK android experience? essentially turning your non-nexus phone into one: the same performance, default apps, and graphics.
 

takeshi

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Jan 27, 2010
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Rather than focus on what each allows you to do, you should look into what each is, IMO.

LAUNCHERS let you:
*change your theme(graphics and animations)
*change your icon/app drawer layout
*get new widgets
*adds power control settings to the notification shade
You can change themes without changing launchers. Think of your launcher as the piece that drives your home screens, app drawer, etc.

ROOTING lets you:
*remove carrier bloatware apps
*gets you access to the filesystem(not too sure about the benefits of this)
Rooting just gives you admin rights on the phone. There are countless advantages to this.

ROMS let you:
*change your kernel(for battery life)
*allows for overclocking(by changing the kernel)
*removes the carrier/manufacturer skin(but doesn't the launcher do this already?)
Kernels may be included with a ROM but they're technically separate pieces. You can change your kernel without changing your ROM. Overclocking is really handled by the kernel.
 

ls377

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Aug 6, 2010
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is there a ROM that duplicates the STOCK android experience? essentially turning your non-nexus phone into one: the same performance, default apps, and graphics.

Depending on your phone, you can use Cyanogenmod, which is as Nexus-like as you can get (with extra goodies added).
 
Jan 15, 2011
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Rather than focus on what each allows you to do, you should look into what each is, IMO

can you give more details? everyone says there are "countless advantages", yet no one gives any details. see how that is confusing to a newbie?

everytime i see a review of CM or another rom. everyone starts talking about widgets and how they have power controls in the notification shade...when that is just really the launcher doing its thing.

and yes, i know you can change theme without changing the launcher. i just put it under the launcher's list of responsibilities.
 

RHChan84

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Dec 6, 2010
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Launcher changes your home screen icons/docks/behavoir and app drawer.

Rooting gives you superuser access which gives you ability to remove bloatware, free wifi, over/underclocking/nandroid backup/screenshot/access to root file system

ROM is changing the entire phone looks. New notification bars/battery icons/make your motorola device look like HTC device or either device with gingerbread looks.
 

RHChan84

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Certain launchers have different ways of changing the way your screen changes from side to side. One does it like a normal behavior, one does it as it was a cube, and some does it like it flips. I believe GoLauncher has that option or ADW.

Also pinch to preview all screens on ADW and LPP and GoLauncher has swipe up to see notifications and swipe down to preview all screens and so on.
 

greydarrah

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I think you should first try a launcher (like Launcher Pro or ADW) and see how you like the way they change your home screen experience. If you want to go further, root. It just gives you access to system files that are otherwise hidden. In other words, rooting itself doesn't have any noticeable effect on your phone, but it lets you do things (only if you choose to) that will be noticeable.

When rooted, you can install Wireless Tether to use your phone as a wifi hotspot without being charged extra from your carrier. This is very handy if you have kids/friends/spouse that want to us their laptop while your cruising down the road on a trip. You can also install apps like Titanium Backup that can "freeze" some of your bloatware (so that it doesn't run in the background using up resources) as well as providing superior backup services. Other useful apps (like SetCPU) let you better control your CPU to conserve battery power when the screen is off or the battery is getting low.

You can also make a nandroid backup of your phone, so that if you want to try 10 different custom ROMs, you can switch between them or go back to stock in a matter of a couple of minutes.

You never said what phone you have, but here's a link to a thread that has detailed instructions (including videos) of how to root as well as how to install custom ROMs on a Droid X:

From Cyber Warrior...Guide to rooting and ROMing with great video links:

http://forum.androidcentral.com/mot...ooting-backing-up-installing-custom-roms.html
 

EVO-lutionary

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As I understand it most of what makes ROMS worthwhile isnt obvious. For example, ASOP ROMS(which are your vanilla Android based rom being that they have not SENSE or BLUR in them) might look like stock android but often they have a lot of things added which for example might overclock or underclock your CPU to save battery or boost performance. They might have a hodgepodge of various things people like from many types of non ASOP roms or stock ROMS(for example a 2.2 Froyo based ASOP ROM which gives you the gingerbread keyboard and gallery). Basically if its a stable, fully working ROM your phone WILL last longer run better and have more functionality. It's as simple as that.

If your phone already runs smooth as butter lasts as long as you want it to and does everything you can possibly want, then a custom ROM and Kernal wouldn't be needed except as possible Eye-candy. For me, mine did none of those things. My phone only recently got 2.2 Froyo pushed to it while I am already running 2.3 Gingerbread thanks to Cyanogenmod. Thats a pretty damned big deal since 2.3 is a far more polished and stable OS. And since the CM team got ahold of it, it's even MORE stable and polished than stock.

Since there are Nandroid Backups and Titanium backups, you can play around with as many ROMS as you like till you find one for you. I personally suggest CyanogenMod but if you like SenseUI you might go with Fresh or Evio. To me Non-ASOP is really pointless, but i know a lot of people wholeheartedly disagree with that. The big advantage of ASOP tho is that we get our updates months before your non-ASOP roms sometimes. If you want a sense gingerbread mod for example, you gotta wait til HTC makes one then people will go from there. At least thats how it was explained to me. So while i have been running 2.3 for a while now those who prefer sense may never get it on their phone or at the very least not soon.
 
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