If you just rooted Android, then you may be excited to try out one of the hundreds of custom ROMs that have made Android rooting famous.
What are the best custom ROMs to try in 2015? Here are our updated rankings in no particular order:
CyanogenMod 11 and 12
When you think of custom ROMs, you think of CyanogenMod. It’s as simple as that. The creators of CyanogenMod took custom ROMs from a niche corner of Android rooting to a complete platform capable of competing with the industry’s biggest players.
CyanogenMod is probably the most stable custom ROM out there. With versions available for more than 50 devices, it’s stylish, stable, and frequently updated. No wonder it’s the world’s most popular Android custom ROM.
Many versions of CyanogenMod are also updated more frequently than Samsung, LG, or your carrier updates their OS.
Some of the unique of CyanogenMod include Trebuchet, which is the ROM’s custom app launcher, as well as the left-handed viewing mode in landscape. Lollipop updates are already rolling out for some devices, so check here for the latest news on CyanogenMod 12: http://www.cyanogenmod.org/
If you want a custom ROM that looks as close as possible to stock Android, then Paranoid Android is your best option. This ROM has nearly the same level of support as CyanogenMod and has been on the internet since early 2013.
Instead of giving your device a radical design overhaul, Paranoid Android emphasizes smoothness, a convenient notification system, and immersive full-screen displays. It has beautiful aesthetics and is available for most popular Android devices. It’s particularly popular on the Nexus and the OnePlus One.
View the latest news and downloads for Paranoid Android here.
If CyanogenMod is the most popular custom ROM in the world today, then AOKP might be number two. AOKP, which stands for Android Open Kang Project, is the custom ROM you install when you want to customize everything on your Android device.
AOKP isn’t for the beginner Android user. It’s for serious Android modders with strong technical knowledge.
The ROM has been widely available since September 2013 and has released updated versions for most popular Android devices. Users love unique features like the Navigation ring, which lets you quickly access apps on the fly from the side of the screen.
Right now, AOKP hasn’t released any Lollipop builds. But as of mid-2015, it was actively working on them with the hopes of releasing them later this year. Stay tuned to the AOKP website for the latest news and updates: http://aokp.co/
If you rooted Android exclusively to remote bloatware, then SlimROMs may be the right custom ROM for you. This is one of the most stripped-down versions of Android you could ever find. With SlimROMs, you can select exactly which Google Play services you want to run on your device.
SlimROMs is also a little more customizable than the other ROMs on this list (except for AOKP). SlimROMs lets you change settings like the DPI of fonts and icons, which means you can make everything as tiny as you want it. If you’re in favor of small icons, minimal text, and an overall reduced interface, then SlimROMs could be the custom ROM for you.
Download the latest updates here: http://www.slimroms.net/
OmniROM was developed by a team that split off from CyanogenMod in late 2013. Like Paranoid Android, OmniROM focuses on providing a stock Android experience with small extra features.
Some of the cool features on OmniROM include the ability to launch apps by tapping on the time and date in the notifications menu. You can also add a notification counter in the status bar that lets you know how much notifications you’ve received – which is useful if you’re really popular or get a lot of emails.
One final key feature is the OmniSwitch shortcut, which is a quick-menu similar to the Navigation ring that lets you jump anywhere on your phone – including to and from apps.