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Just how much can Android devices be customized?

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by dylane, Dec 29, 2012.

  1. dylane

    dylane Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    Android obviously has a pretty active development community and there seems to be all sorts of customizations and custom ROMs out there, but from my VERY limited experience of reading various descriptions, most of these ROMs seem to behave pretty similar to stock Android? A lot seem to focus either on performance, or on upgrading devices to newer versions of Android that are not yet available for the device, etc... What I haven't found is custom ROMS that fundamentally change the nature of the underlying OS, and I'm wondering if this is just because of a lack of interest, or if there are technical reasons why this isn't possible? Is it possible to install a completely different OS on a phone that originally came with Android?

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  2. pastafarian

    pastafarian Pâtes avec votre foie

    There are a few projects to run basic linux on some Android devices and there were a few old Windows Mobile devices that were adapted to run Android. I'm not a dev, but from what I've gleaned, the biggest issue is drivers for specific hardware. Not only are the drivers proprietary, but may not even exist for the OS you want to adapt to. AS for changing things up? There are several launchers that offer serious ui changes like the originally for WinMo SPB 3D shell
    dylane likes this.
  3. dylane

    dylane Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    Thanks for the information. Linux on the phone would be interesting. My last device ran Maemo, which to my understanding is basically Debian Linux with a UI layer over the top (grossly simplifying I'm sure). It tended to work much more like a full fledged desktop OS rather than an OS designed for mobile devices, which was something I appreciated.

    I'll have to check out the launcher you linked to. I've installed a few launchers on my phone and they have some useful features like increasing the size of the grid on the homescreen, but I'd be more interested in a launcher that got rid of the grid concept entirely and let you put your widgets anywhere (and at any size) on the homescreen.
  4. nickdalzell

    nickdalzell Extreme Android User

    ICS launcher 4.0 does a good impression of Android 4.0 to the point of being convincing
  5. breadnatty08

    breadnatty08 pain rustique

  6. krazyasif786

    krazyasif786 Member

    LOl you beat me to it ,..... got ninjad...

    ... yeah I customized my phone without any rooting. TBH you can do pretty much a lot of things that rooting can accomplish without any rooting ... There are launchers like apex, go launcher and another one that I forgot ... These can change the UI of the device. They introduce custom transitions and I find go launcher with the multipicture live wallpapers to be a lot more 'smoother' than the stock touchwiz ... it's more fun.

    It does take some time to do ... give it an afternoon ... but you only have to do it once and you can back up go launcher settings as well.

    IN terms of rooting... im a newbie to android but from what I gather the main advantage is for developers/ people who want root access to the device like so they can back up themes, wifi tether etc. You can really go deep into the operating system or its 'roots' and customize things like removing the wifi logo in the notifications menu etc. I may be wrong but customisation wize android play store has a lot more options than ios and other mobile platforms in terms of apps to choose from. The equivalent stuff like transitions to do on ios you would have to jailbreak. Plus 1 for android.

    Hope this helps, and yes please do check out the above post. Gives you a simple idea on what can be done without rooting. Credit for it goes to coldfusion as I followed his guide.
  7. dylane

    dylane Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    That is very cool. I like the look and will have to check it out more, I might want to do something similar on my Note 2. But still, this mostly seems like "eye candy" types of changes. I'm curious if more fundamental changes can be made, like changing the way that Android handles multitasking so that the user determines when a program is closed, not the system (I understand that there are good reasons that Android has developed their OS to work this way, I'm just curious if that could be changed by a 3rd party ROM so that it worked more like a desktop OS)

    Here's an example of a multitasking paradigm and I'd be interested to see if it could be replicated on Android.
  8. nickdalzell

    nickdalzell Extreme Android User

    That would require root as now you speak of adjusting things like VM Heap size and background task limits so programs exit when you back out of them; highly recommend Rom Toolbox for both

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