One of the great things about Android phones is that you are not restricted to the crappy software which comes with the phone. Every phone manufacturer is inevitably spending much of their efforts on fabricating the hardware. With Android phones you can gain what is called root access and then you can change the firmware (rom) which runs the phone. The process is called reflashing.
I use a Samsung Galaxy S. Undoubtedly this is a piece of top notch hardware. Samsung’s stock rom for it is poor though. It has a problem with its file system which causes lagging. There are other issues too, too many to list here but, for example, they have set the camera to stop working when the battery is lower than 10%. Why shouldn’t it be my choice how I use the battery power?
Yesterday, I reflashed a new rom onto the Galaxy S. Consequently I can do all sorts of things which were previously impossible. I can use the camera for as long as the battery has life in it. I can change all the fonts on the entire phone. The phone performs faster but uses less battery power. Should I want it, I’ve got two-way call recording. The list goes on and on and if you want, you can read it all. Here’s a video guide to this process:
Once I’d flashed the base rom from Darky, I downloaded Darky’s Configurator from the Android Market. Can you imagine Apple allowing a rom configurator in its market? The configurator allows you to make some more precise tweaks which suit you. For example, I told it to only look for European GPS satellites, which speeds up the business of getting a GPS lock. I use any rom with ADW Launcher which tunes the look and feel of the screens themselves. It’s difficult to describe how amazing these hacker’s roms really are without putting the thing in your hand and showing you
No more guesswork as to how much of your battery life is left: it is much easier to see how much of the circle is remaining. If you want to read more about the useful work being done by rom hackers, check out the XDA Developers’ Forum. Need I mention that all of this software is free? Finally here’s a picture of the 18 year old who produced this amazing rom and promises it will always be free!