[AT&T] How do ROMs work? What are my options?

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  1. mindstormer

    mindstormer Member

    I have a AT&T Samsung Galaxy S4 and I am looking for a ROM to replace the carrier version for the following reasons: bloatware, carrier IQ keylogger, and a dislike of TouchWiz. However, I want to keep certain features unique to the S4, which are Airview, Air Gesture, Smart Stay, and Multi Window. How exactly do custom ROMs work? Am I supposed to look for a ROM that has all the features I listed (those are the only ones I need), or can I just get any S4 custom ROM and then somehow install these features through APKs?

    What exactly are my options? This is my first Android phone and I really want to get to customize it to my likings.


  2. pool_shark

    pool_shark Well-Known Member

    Unless I'm mistaken, the features you like are part of touchwiz which you dislike.
  3. starkraving

    starkraving Well-Known Member

    :confused: that's a conundrum lol.
  4. SiempreTuna

    SiempreTuna Well-Known Member

    I could well be wrong about this, but I'm pretty sure I've read that rooting will allow you uninstall the bloatware - presumably that would include the IQ keylogger - without you needing a different ROM.

    Also, I wonder if maybe there are launchers that would improve things without you losing the Touchwiz functionality you like ..

    Hopefully somebody who actually knows something about this kind of thing can comment :D, but maybe there's a reasonable half way house in there somewhere?
    funkylogik and Hadron like this.
  5. Hadron

    Hadron Well-Known Member Contributor

    For most people the way custom ROMs work is that you find one which has what you want. As SiempreTuna says, you can remove stuff once rooted even without a custom ROM.

    What is it about Touchwiz you dislike? The launcher can easily be changed, and doesn't even require root. You may be able to do something about some of the other look and feel aspects (menus, icons, colour schemes etc) with a custom ROM or the deeper theming that root allows. But if you want those features you name you will have to use a Touchwiz-based ROM, since they will rely on Samsung's framework rather than being stand-alone apks that you can add to any ROM.
    funkylogik likes this.
  6. nickdalzell

    nickdalzell Well-Known Member Contributor

    not every feature is part of TouchWiz. i found the APKs that i liked using that were supposedly part of it in /system/app. that was how i managed to keep SVoice on a custom ROM on my S3.
    funkylogik likes this.
  7. pool_shark

    pool_shark Well-Known Member

    S-voice is not part of TW, it also isn't listed in the OP.

    Multi-view is part of TW as are the air features, and smart stay.

    So people think of TW as just the launcher, but TW is more than that.

    You can get a different launcher if that's what you dislike about TW, I use Nova.

    I wouldn't delete the pre-installed software because doing so will cause OTA updates to fail.
    Though if you root and install a custom ROM you shouldn't take OTA updates anyway.
  8. nickdalzell

    nickdalzell Well-Known Member Contributor

    since the same features (smart stay, etc) work even when using a custom launcher i am assuming it's NOT part of TouchWiz since you wouldn't even be using it. i am just suggesting the features, like SVoice and S-Notes, might be separate APKs. i never used them so i never cared to back them up.
  9. pool_shark

    pool_shark Well-Known Member

    TW is not just a launcher, it the Samsung skin throught the OS.

    That's why those features aren't in AOSP ROMs. Multi-view, air, s-pen (Note series), etc are not just apk files that you can install and have it work.
  10. mindstormer

    mindstormer Member

    Alright, so I guess I am looking for a TouchWiz-based ROM. I tried googling for a list of TouchWiz-based ROMs so I can pick which one suits me, but there isn't a coherent list and the options available are confusing for me (things get technical too fast). Basically, I want a debloated TW-based ROM with only the features I want, which are Air Gesture, Air View, Multi-window. My phone is the AT&T version (SGH-I337). Any recommendations?
  11. airtioteclint

    airtioteclint Well-Known Member


    First things first. Are you currently rootedwith custom recovery installed? If not and you're on mf3 firmware then just forget it. The bootloader is currently locked and thoughit can be rooted i wouldn't recommend it as there is no return to stock method so one false move and your phone is done.

    Now if you're on mdl or already rooted with recovery then this rom has all you're looking for.

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