There’s hundreds (or at least tens) of custom Android ROMs out there, so many to choose from, so it can be a little daunting when trying to find one right for you. I’ve been using MIUI for a little over two years now and it has always suited my needs. There’s plenty of features I like about MIUI, but just to list a couple of the most important ones to me:
- Has a very clean, customizable interface, with great theming capabilities.
- Regularly updated, and has good support for older phones.
- Private messaging system (you can access a hidden set of messages for specific contacts.)
A phone is something you’re looking at a lot, most of the time without even thinking about it: whether it’s just to check the time; to see what your friends are up to on Facebook, or whatever. So it’s important that it’s ergonomically and aesthetically pleasing.
I had my Samsung Galaxy S2 for a long time, it was my pride and joy, I customized it to no end. When it got stolen from me ~4 months ago I bought another one straight away, it wasn’t easy, but I managed to find somebody with one that was pretty much new. The reason I didn’t go for a newer model like the S3 or S4 is simply because I couldn’t justify the price, a bigger screen or the latest processor just didn’t appeal to me.
Over the past couple of weeks the battery has started to let me down, though, and I’ve found myself having to charge my phone way too often. The first thing I did was go and order a new extended battery on Amazon, but in the interim I wiped everything and downloaded CyanogenMod.
I remember using CyanogenMod in the early days way before I started using MIUI, and always found the interface to be ugly and unintuitive. When I switched to MIUI I found the interface to be sleek, and clean, and everything appeared to run faster and smoother. Here’s why I’ve decided to switch back to CyanogenMod:
- No stable update has been released for SGS2 for at least 3 months, but the update that was released then is very stable and very fast.
- CyanogenMod have expanded greatly since I first used the ROM years ago, the team is much wiser, and the development is far greater.
- The community is great, the developers are friendly, and new features have since been added.
- I find that CyanogenMod is always the first out of the two to release ROMs for the latest Android versions (KitKat, for example.)
- You can hide applications from the drawer that don’t matter to you. This includes any stock applications you don’t like seeing.
Since switching I’ve found that my battery is going down at a much slower pace, but I was still heavily put-off by the interface design; that was until I found this:
Theme Chooser Themes
This is a great application that unlocks the true potential of CyanogenMod’s Theme Chooser, which is almost on par with MIUI’s theming system.
There are plenty of free themes to choose from, however I came across a premium theme called Simplex Blue Theme that I instantly fell in love with. It’s simple. It’s sleek. It’s all kinds of grey, and best of all it’s only £1.22. I’d spend double that on a coffee.