Posted in Android Experiments

Flashy Flashy ROMs

It all started with that one crash. New Year, 2016 and WhatsApp apparently couldn’t take the load. It gave in. Frustrations ran high, the impossible had happened. No WhatsApp? How were we supposed to convey our heartfelt greetings to people we probably hadn’t had a human interaction with in a  year? Oh well, my frustration was more rooted in being a developer. Locked out of an application! Oh, the horror! Long story short, a blend of too much ego and an aimless day led to me wiping my phone’s data.

What’s done is done right? Can’t cry over spilled milk and I had always fancied trying on the custom ROM variants of android. (I know many question my even being a developer if I hadn’t done this already. I have one word for you – Laziness) . Luckily I own a nexus 5, Google’s own play toy.  I cant even take credit for all the work I did henceforth.

What ensued was a hurried backup(not much was left to be honest), a quick unlocking of bootloader and then flashing a custom recovery (all child’s play in nexus really). But now came the hard part. Which ROM to choose? Should I leave it to simple stock? Or the evergreen Cyanogenmod 12? And then there’s a tirade of choices by very attractive names. Eeny-meeny-miny-moh.

I tried Stock Rom for a bit, but it didn’t seem worth the effort. And as everyone was using CM, I had to do something different. Typical right? Of all the options available I picked Paranoid Android to be my test mule. Disappointment wouldn’t be the right word to convey it, dissatisfaction it was when I saw it load up. I gave it some 30-45 minutes but I knew this wasn’t it. Hover, peek and pie…eye catching but not long lasting.

Time to be daring, CM 13, here I came. Against all the advice of it being unstable, I installed and ran it and it was just right. Slick animations, minimalistic features, so many options, everything was in place. I paired it up with the Dark Material Theme: and it was like strawberries dipped in chocolate. Just the boot animation! After some tweaks here and there, I was set. But alas, every beautiful story has to have some tragic element or it isn’t complete.

The headphone jack wasn’t working! The music just stopped as soon as they were plugged in. So this is what unstable feels like. After a frantic search and some amount of self cursing, going to CM 12 was the only viable option.  My heart broke a little but the alternative wasn’t a survivable option. CM 12.1. Grudgingly. Stable and all. To be fair, it’s good, like a smaller brother to its newest variant. Though I am missing the multi-window option and cleaner animations, this will have to do till 13 gets more stable. Now as a senior rightly pointed out, if I was worth my metal, I would provide a patch for the bug. I wish I could, but baby steps for now. The future is wide open….

The hardest part of losing your data?  Google keyboard forgetting all your custom words, and I thought we were so close, completing each other’s sentence 😥


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