In today’s post we are going to try to explain in a more or less detailed way how we can install a custom ROM or “cooked ROM” for Android on our smartphone.
Normally, mobile devices are equipped by the manufacturer with “capped” versions of Android (stock ROMs) that prevent us from doing certain things (such as having root permissions ) and that also come with a lot of apps that we cannot uninstall.
Do you want an improved version of Android that is faster and better manages the resources of your phone or tablet? So the best thing to do is to install a custom ROM . Or not.
I explain. If you have a mid-low range mobile phone, you may be able to get more out of the device with a custom ROM. Many cheap smartphones are cheap in part because they use more affordable components, but also because the manufacturer does not usually dedicate many resources (what has been “money” of a lifetime) in keeping the device up to date through system updates.
In these cases, it is interesting to install a custom ROM, since we can update the Android version even if the manufacturer has not released an official update for our phone. In other cases, however, if Android is working well, the customization layer is efficient and it receives regular security updates, the truth is that it is not really worth wasting time and effort installing a custom ROM (we must bear in mind that It is an arduous and very delicate process).
Previous steps to install a custom Android ROM
In any case, in order to install a custom version or custom ROM you will first need to do a couple of things:
- Get root permissions on your device.
- Instalar un custom recovery.
- Have the bootloader unlocked .
Root permissions are not strictly necessary in principle, but I recommend that you root your phone before anything else. This way you will avoid any type of error due to folder permission problems when installing the new ROM. All the necessary information to root your phone is in the post How to root any Android device .
Regarding the installation of the custom recovery, I recommend you take a look at the article “ How to install a Custom Recovery on Android ”. You can also see how to unlock the bootloader of your mobile in the post « How to unlock the bootloader on Android «.
What are the most popular custom ROMs?
One of the most popular and most supported today is LineageOS , a true wonder that revitalizes any device that falls into its hands. This is a very clean version of Android, with fair applications and a really efficient use of resources.
How to install a custom ROM
The process of installing a cooked ROM is always the same: The standard recovery mode of the device is flashed to install a custom recovery, and from that recovery install the ROM that we want .
This is true in 100% of the devices that work with Android, but then each ROM has its own particularities to take into account during the installation. Therefore, it is very important to read all the specifications of the developer whenever we are going to install a custom ROM on our phone or tablet.
The best way to find a ROM that is compatible with your device is to search for it directly on the Internet:
“Device make/model” + custom ROM
You can also check the XDA Developers forum , where you will find plenty of ROMs available.
Download Google apps (GApps)
Except for a few custom ROMs, most do not include Google services natively. So if you want to use your Google account and use apps like Gmail, the Play Store, Drive and other Google services, you will have to install them on your own.
They usually come in a package, known as “GApps”, and there are currently multiple variants available. In THIS XDA-Developer ENTRY you can see all the types there are and how to ultimately install them.
- Copy the ROM you want to install and the package with the Google apps (GApps) on an SD card ( ROMs usually come in a .ZIP or compressed file, and this is how you must copy them to the SD memory for installation ). Important: do not unzip the ROM!
- Insert the SD into your device and boot it into recovery mode to load the custom recovery. Access to recovery is usually achieved by pressing the power button + volume up or down for about 5-6 seconds.
- Once inside your custom recovery (such as TWRP or ClockworkMod Recovery) you just have to go to “ Install ” to start the installation process. Once the ZIP of the custom ROM is installed, proceed with the installation of the Google Apps package.
- Once both packages are installed, clear the cache (Wipe Cache) and restart the phone. The first boot usually takes a long time, about 5 or 10 minutes until the system loads completely.
Also indicate that it is advisable to do a factory reset before doing the installation, in order to avoid possible bugs or errors during the process.
Also remember to make a backup of all your files and photos if you don’t want to lose them when you change your Android version.