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Monday Poll: Root, ROM, Both or Neither?

With bootloaders continuing to be a popular topic these days, we started asking ourselves questions like, “Does a locked bootloader matter as much anymore?” And of the topics that were brought up, one was whether or not people are using custom ROMs and kernels like they once did back in early 2010. As someone that lives and breathes Android, I’ve got to admit that I get the feeling that as phones become more powerful and have more polished software, that custom ROMs and kernels may be less popular in the future than they once were (I’m sure the CM team will do their best to crush that prediction though).

Rooting on the other hand will always top everyone’s list of things to do as it allows you to take screenshots, wireless tether, etc. But, is Android as a mobile platform becoming optimized enough that less and less needs to be done to your phone out of the box to make it live up to your standards? We once tossed in custom kernels and ROMs with new features to help out our under-spec’d phones. With dual-core processors, loads of RAM and things like native screenshots, what does the state of the ROM world look like today? Going forward?  We ask you just a simple question below to get a feel for it.

And if you would, feel free to sound off on your thoughts on custom ROMs, whether or not you still use them, and if so, which you continue to use. Should be interesting to see if folks with newer phones are still opting to use a ROM rather than stock software.

Update:  Changed the poll slightly. Please re-vote if you will.

Is your phone rooted, running a custom ROM or plain stock?

View Results

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  • Anonymous

    If carriers can give out vanilla then they can send updates easily which will make no need of custom roms. That will attract more users as they can see updated systems on older phones. Why would any carrier put resources into modifying the vanilla rom and pause any further updates.

    I have rooted Droid Eris (with CM7) and works great. Time to upgrade but do not have any cash to spend for Nexus Prime…… 

  • Jamespope1

    OG Droid, Rooted. CyanogenMod -7.1.0. Android Version 2.3.7
    I purchased my phone the second day it was made available; 11/09.
    I am perfectly happy with it.  Runs perfectly Skype, Drop Box, Direct TV, Flash Player, Rom Manager, Superuser,Twitter, Wireless Tether. Droid Life has been invaluable. TY!

  • Anonymous

    Rooted Atrix 4G running CyanogenMod.

  • Wireless Tether Question

    I see this device in the screenshot is on Vz LTE… How are you getting Wireless Tether to work? I tried the settings change from a post a while back and it still didnt work.

  • Joseph Moreno

    Rooted and Rommed until i get my GNEXUS

  • Anonymous

    I pity the fools who have yet to root their Android devices.

  • Sdny8

    Im shocked at the number of droid life. readers on stock devices. I wonder why many are stock? By choice or fear of bricking your phone?

    • Festoon666

      If they are DL readers, then they want to get the latest info and possibly try rooting. I hung out here for months until I got the nerve to root my DX. For me it was fear. Now that I am rooted with CM7 I love it! Don’t be afraid to take control of your phone. Watch the youtube videos and read the articles here and take the plunge. You will be happy for better performance.

      • Irtechneo

        I did the same thing.  I put up with my crappy stock thunderbolt for about 4 months out of fear of bricking but I was able to research here and other sites and learned how to do it.  There are enough guides out there that the average person should be able to figure out how to root and install a ROM-I did after all.  Now my Tbolt runs great!  If you are on this site then you have at least probably considered it-go for it!  That poll really should have more rooted users.  

  • I have been rooted for a few months but just put CM7 on my D2G this weekend.  I am loving it.

  • Droids

    I don’t care for custom ROM’s much anymore, there’s always something buggy or missing from them and then lots of updates/bug fixes to follow. Remember BlackDroid and the never ending fixes? Nice ROM at the time but too hassle waiting on fixes.

    I do however, want my device rooted and free of crapware. That’s all I care about these days.

  • Anonymous

    Where does my OG DROID fit in this Poll? No core, CM7.1 ROM!!!!

  • Kevin Jellison

    My Thunderbolt has been a great phone because of rooting and custom rom’s. I know a lot of people have serious gripes about the T-Bolt, but for me this has been a great phone! The developer community has made it a great phone. I had a problem with the 3G/4G handoff, and GPS didn’t lock properly so I flashed a new radio and didn’t have the problem anymore. Every problem that people have been complaining about with the T-Bolt has been addressed by the developer community. Unfortunately, many people have not rooted it and are stuck with random reboots, Froyo, and countless other problems. Mine is running like butter on CM7 with ICS theme! And also, one of my biggest reasons for rooting is AdFree Android.

    • Ortizchief

      I have a thunderbolt too and I rooted and installed sense 3.5 from bamf is a great rom I tried before cyanogen and liquid gingerbread, and works awesome

  • Ravnos CC

    Just went back to BB on my OG after giving PE a few months of my life… We’ll see if I go back again or not 🙂  

  • When I get my GNex…I plan on rooting but not planning on putting a ROM on it.  I like the apps that I have available to me through the root…but I really feel that the reason my OG droid is sucking wind is because it has been ragged out with ROM after ROM after ROM.  I don’t know if everyone did the same as I did, but I would try out one ROM and then decide I didn’t like it and flash another one.  ROM Manager ended up making this pretty easy.  I’ve only changed ROM’s once successfully in the past 6 months or so because nothing will work on the phone anymore.  I’d flash a ROM and something wouldn’t work…every time.  Now I’ve got Liquids new 3.0 ROM and so far, it has helped me keep from stomping the thing to pieces.  Unless someone can tell me that absolutely had nothing at all to do with my phone dying a slow but steady death, I might reconsider….but the GNex is going to be fab on its own, right?

    • Why would you Rom a pure google OS?

    • Loki4Droid

      The only reason I can think of that your phone seems ‘ragged out’ after switching from ROM to ROM to ROM is that you may not be completely wipeing all the old data from the phone before the new ROM is installed.  ROM Manager is a great program, but it may not clear out all the previous data from your phone when it d/loads and installs the next ROM.  You will want to boot into recovery and do a wipe data/factory reset, and I would say do it at least twice to make sure every thing is cleared out.  Plus wipe cache as well, then after reboot into recovery you can install the new ROM under ‘install zip from sdcard’.  I have found that this is the best way to switch between different ROMs, and I haven’t experienced any slowdown of the OG Droid even though I have gone through many ROMs.  Hopefully this will help you.

  • Fastlane1000

    I think of it as follows:  If there is any reason custom Roms are down right now it is probably due to more and more locked bootloaders.  Its more of a hassle to switch Roms easily.  With the Droid X you have to make sure you are on the same kernel before switching Roms and if i understand correctly you have to be on a similar build I.E .602 or .605 to install a ROM on that source.  With the OG it didn’t matter switching ROMS is quicker and easier.  The other thing I see is developers like PE are waiting on the next phone too like us OG users are.  Once the GNex hits custom ROMS will be up and running as big as ever.  Can’t wait!!!

  • Anonymous

    Droid Inc rooted and running CM7. I’ll probably be getting the Rezound or G-Nex within the next few weeks, I was contemplating the Razr HD but definitely not getting one with an encrypted bootloader.

  • Anonymous

    I have to root and use custom GB roms on my Droid x just to use tethering. Otherwise I got to use Froyo. Bastards will have me paying when I go to Nexus prime (yes I said prime).

  • MightyT01

    It took me well over a year before I rooted my OG Droid.  Honestly, I was only interested in overclocking it, which I’m glad I did.  I run it stock 2.2.2 Froyo.  I do not care about custom ROMs.  I have PDAnet to tether, even before rooting, and it works brilliantly.  I keep it lean and crappy app free because she’s an old horse without much oomph for a lotta apps.  Also, Auto Memory Manager app rocks along with Launcher Pro.  But, you don’t need to be rooted to use these fine apps.

    With today’s beasts currently out and coming out, I can’t see much use to root for me, nor do I care about the bootloader being locked per se.  However, I do agree, in principle, that if I bought the damn phone I should be able to tweak it as I see fit.  Give me true open source baby!

  • Billy Jenkins

    Does anyone else notice a coincidence involving the Samsung Galaxy Nexus? Samsung has released alot of Android phones but most of them sucked. and Even the good Samsung android phones weren’t as popular and talked about as the Motorola and HTC phones because it still wasn’t as good as Motorola and HTC. But a few months ago one of the developers of CM7, the most popular android rom, got a job with Samsung and now they will be releasing the Galaxy Nexus which has tons of the most wanted and most popular features of some of the custom roms and launchers including CM7.

    • jason6g

      coincidence indeed… but a welcomed one none-the-less

  • Custom ROMs just add so many more tweaks and functions that stock android never has. Thank you CM

    • There has not been one custom rom for the X that functions 100%.

      • That’s why you don’t buy locked down phones. My OG D1 will be replaced by a Galaxy Nexus.

        • And Verizon has said it will lock the BL

          • For the Galaxy Nexus? I read for the razr dont know about the nexus

  • Morenoc12

    Don’t think roms will go out, there’s just too many features out there to fully integrate and people are always coming up with new great things, I ruin liberty on my bionic to remove the bloat and the cool features that ICS STILL doesn’t have

  • weapon x

    Rooted, the one and only OG. Running Liquid 3.0 with. ICS theme =awesomeness

  • QQMore

    I’d say ROM’s and unlocked bootloaders are still important to at least those who really want to tweak their phones.  If I understand correctly you need an unlocked bootloader to get a new kernel on the phone as the kernel is the only way to overclock.  Sure we don’t “need” overclocking with say a 1.2Ghz dual core on the Nexus, but if in the case of the Nexus the core is supposed to be capable of 1.5Ghz stock, then you need to be able to get a new kernel on there to get that capability.

  • Mjs1124

    Running Touch my BAMF remix 1.4 on my Tbolt, and loving it. To me its kind of funny that people now say they don’t have to root or ROM because of the Galaxy Nexus. ICS will be great but just like everything else after awhile you will be bored with it. People act like going from ICS 4.0.0 to 4.0.3 is going to be like going from CM7 to BAMF Forever. All those 2.3.3 to 2.3.4 updates in GB barely did anything. I don’t think these newer phones and software will change things much because people like to try out different options. Every time I try a new ROM on my Bolt it makes it like a new phone for me.

  • Anonymous

    Having the ability to have a full nandroid backup is still one of the more important reasons to root.  With the new phone specs and the ability in ICS (hopefully) to be able to disable bloatware, the ROMing is not near as big IMO.  However, if I have a phone issue that requires replacement, a full back-up lets me take everything to that new phone with virtually no hassle.

  • I am hoping that with VZW getting the Nexus and the release of ICS, there may not be as much of a need to flash custom roms. However, once you get addicted to the flashing process there is no way to stop it.

  • Anonymous

    Now, now I’m sure that us DInc owners take a nice piece of that single-core w/ root and ROM pie.

  • Matthew Merrick

    i said single core with root/ROM, even though i don’t have a ROM, because i really want one and would flash one in a heartbeat if i could find one for my phone (LG Vortex). Oly one ROM exists for this, and i’ts a 2.1 ROM, i’m already running 2.2.2 >_>

  • fastest most stable rom for droid 1?

  • Anonymous

    The only thing I need root for is Tether, but really as long as I can get PDAnet to work I could deal without.

    BTW. I never voted on the poll but it seems to think I clicked on single core rooted and ROM’ed… Which is correct.

  • Anonymous

    Was running CM7 GB on the DX, but just sold that puppy on ebay to buy the Galaxy Nexus when it comes out.  Can’t wait to see what kind of roms are made for it!  Until then, using an old Samsung Omnia pos.

  • DroidX Running APEX. Great battery life.

  • babadush

    Thunderbolt Cm7 android 2.3.7. I can’t live with out the power Widgets in the notification bar. They should have done that from day one (google)

  • Anonymous

    Just put CM7 on my DX on Saturday. Loving the features and speed. Battery life? Not so much…

    • Festoon666

      No  Shit. Fighting that everyday. Loving CM7 on my DX but wondering what is the best ROM for battery longevity?

  • I’m currently running Liberty RC1 on my Bionic.  Up until last week I was running stock root.  I have to have root to run titanium, get rid of bloat ware, creat backups, etc.  It’s just something that I do as soon as I get a phone.  I didnt run a ROM until now because there wasnt anything that I felt was better than stock root.  That is until kejar31 brough a fast and flawless ROM to the Bionic.  I know that the Liberty team will continue to make it better, and I cant wait!

  • Anonymous

    Root for overclocking & custom ROMs are a must for my OG Droid. I really don’t think I will give a damn when I get my hands on the new Nexus though. Android 4.0 has the polish I am looking for, and 1.2GHz w/dual core is plenty fast.

  • Anonymous

    Droid X, Rooted with Custom ROM(Liberty 2.0). Gonna format soon though, then install Liberty Gingerbread I’m thinking, but not quite sure yet.

  • Anonymous

    I went from a rooted OG Droid to stock X2. I don’t mind the blue blur, but I just want everything on my phone to match the same theme. Some of the widgets I used on the OG don’t have the blue blur theme. That is why I consider rooting, just so everything, both stock and third party will match.

  • Anonymous

    I’m rocking a rooted DX, otherwise stock.  I’d like to put on a good ROM, but I don’t know of any good ones since Gingerbread came out (stable, nothing broken).

    Any good suggestions?As a suggestion for Kellen or Tim, could you guys maybe dedicate a week where you have a “droid x monday”, “droid incredible tuesday”, “Thunderbolt wednesday”, etc???  It’s been awhile since I’ve seen any focus on the DX and probably even longer for other phones.  I feel like they’ve either been abandonded by the programmers around here or that everyone else has a new phone.  I know the latter isn’t true, and I’m thinking the former isn’t either.

    • Kuboo99

      I am running Vortex 2.9, it is mostly blur based but with speed tweaks and a slightly different look. So far that has been pretty stable. Also Liberty Gingerbread is good, and I think a new version is coming out soon.

    • Giants9856

      I just put Apex 2.0 Release Candidate 4 on mine with OTA Gingerbread and it runs like a brand new phone.  Highly recommended.    

      • Anonymous

        Thanks, I will give it a shot.  I had Apex 1.3-1.4 back on froyo and enjoyed it before.

  • Anonymous

    I’d rather have titanium backup be default rather than screen caps. This is something i feel is very important. Obviously the restore feature wouldnt be as useful on a nonrooted phone but the backups and profiles is very useful. 

  • Yeah I needed root and rom or else my OG Droid would be in the bushes somewhere.

  • Anonymous

    Had to retire the OG when the D3 came out…..The D3 is rooted and waiting for CM7/9…….The OG running gpa18(peter alfonso) @ 1Ghz……………..There might be a G Nexus calling my name though

  • Anonymous

    Since 2009 and Tim A Tato introduced me to the wonderful world of “ROOT” it was all good, exciting and fun keeping up with the latest and greatest custom ROMs.  I think the good OL days off Root pioneering was definitely back in the early days of Android with the OG Droid craz.

    kellex is dead on, I’ve noticed a slowing down so to speak with the devs custom Roms on DL and in the forums lately that could be from a number of things and as kellex has stated, the polish of newer devices taking on what some UI improvements are trying to give the consumer more of that type of feel and customization with lots of choices to make the device yours.

    And with the economic factor of a dev’s time and hours of developing, coupled with reward.  We are asked to donate and rightfully so by the devs for their hardwork and labor of love.  But after a while there comes a time of is it worht the amount of time I’ve put in to kep doing the developing , support, website and answering emails. Oh, keeping up with all of the devices that are out and future releases of Android.  That’s a full time job in the wee hours of the night. then turn around to get up and go to the regular 8 – 5 gig. I gotta give it to the devs man they are great and unselfish doing alot of work for us for peanuts.

    I think we might start to see devs like Cyanogen taking up all of the good dev’s to start their own business, or that one dev that is recognized by Google with a job offering for their work.

    Root is still the main fun focal point I believe as well as throwing on different Roms and playing into the wee hours of the night its pure Android addiction 🙂

  • Anonymous

    OG Droid rooted to run a few “extra” apps.

  • Non rooted….don’t need to and don’t have the time….I use too with my og droid but now I dont

  • Billy Jenkins

    Android phones are the best types of phones and will only get better. But by rooting you add more features to the long list of features that are already available. And adding custom roms changes the Android OS so you can change the OS to exactly what you want. And by rooting you can also install the boot manager app and have up to 5 roms that u can change between just by rebooting. It doesn’t matter how much better Android gets. Rooting and installing custom roms will always be a major advantage

  • Anonymous

    OG Droid rooted running latest GB rom from PeterAlfonso.

  • Steven Tolnai

    Will be rooted with custom rom when cm7.1 or liberty become stable for D3. The ole OG Droid is rooted with CM7.1

  • OG Droid rooted w/ Liquid Gingerbread 3.0

  • dblj

    Still rockin’ the OG and Chevy SS 5.5

  • perry

    bugless beast ftw!