CyanogenMod is the most popular aftermarket Android ROM today which has more than one million registered users world wide. They are custom ROM are so popular because they are available on almost all Android device and they offer many great features that are not found in the official Android ROM. This aftermarket ROM’s features include the ability to customize the home screen shortcut dock, advanced sound panel, extensive launcher options, improved camera app, theme control, status bar customization, special lockscreen shortcuts and much more.
MIUI is among the most popular custom Android ROMs, second only to cyanogenMod. It became popular because of its beautiful iOS-like interface and tons of extra features like flashlight, a notes app, weather, and a lot of fantastic security apps and themes. If you’ve become a bit bored with the way Android looks and works, this is the ROM that’s worth trying out.
- Paranoid Android
Paranoid Android is another great custom Android ROM that you can use to customize your Android device. It is an AOSP build that is based on the CyanogenMod, but has come into its own since the move to Jelly Bean 4.2.1. The unique thing of this ROM is its hybrid mode that allows you to switch among smartphone, tablet, and phablet user interface. It comes with a hybrid engine which allows you to define the DPI on a per-app-basis. This means that you can use an app in phone mode, while using others in tablet mode, or a hybrid of both. You can also set custom colors for apps so that the notification and menu bars match the colors of the app you’re in.
The other major features of this ROM are PIE controls and Halo. Pie controls is a radial menu where selection depends on direction. In a nutshell, PIE mode remove the navigation bar and status bar so that every takes up the full screen. To access the controls, just swipe from the side of the device and a pie menu will appear.
Halo is basically a smarter notification drawer that works on the same premise as Facebook Chat Heads, but more robust.
They currently only available for the Nexus devices and the OPPO Find 5, but they have been ported to several phones such as the the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy S3, Galaxy S4, and many other devices.
- AOKP (Android Open Kang Project)
AOKP is one of the more popular Android ROM’s to date. Just like Paranoid Android, the ROM lets you customize the interface of your Android device. It is great for Nexus devices as it allows you to change the color of the on screen softkeys. It also has the option to make the status bar and navigation bar transparent along with LED notifications. Stability is also one of their major priorities. AOKP supports tons of devices like the Nexus devices, Galaxy S3, Galaxy Note II, Motorola Droid 3, Droid 4, Droid Bionic, and more.
SlimBean is a very light and feature-rich ROM while maintaining stability. It has its own custom kernel which allows you to under-clock and overclock the CPU, theme engine support, and lots more. Along with better performance, the ROM’s kernel also offers better battery life. Another exceptional feature of SlimBean is the Real Dark Slim. Through this, you can invert the colors of your interface with one touch. The ROM supports a multitude of devices, including the Nexus devices, Galaxy S3, and all of the Galaxy Note variants.