PDA OS rules

Still a stub. Expect some changes & rewrites.

Last update : 9/8/2021

- Introduction -

- Major Features -
- Per-app network restriction -
- Signature Spoofing -
- App Lock -

- Minor Features -
- Dark Theme -
- Full Screen Apps / Expanded Desktop -
Navigation bar layout customization
- Setup Wizard -
- Smart Pixels -
- Prebuilt Simple Mobile Tools Apps -

- People's side -
- Vanilla / Goolag variant distribution -
- The maintainer -

- Other advantages -
- Boot animation -
- Customizations options -

- Other disadvantages -
- "Advanced" Settings -
- Permissive SELinux -
- System app remover -
- Time reset on boot- - USB debugging self-enabled on boot -


Personal rules for advantages & disadvantages found in my PDA OS page.

Major Features

These are features that's so essential to me that not having them counts as a disadvantage.

Per-app network restriction

This feature increases privacy protection by blocking internet access to apps. It can be found in Settings by entering Settings > Apps > App info (select an app) > Mobile data & Wi-Fi.

While this feature may be irrelevant with the usage of firewall apps like AFWall+ (and network & sensors permission maybe), it will always be a nice component to have.

Signature Spoofing

This is an important permission required by microG to replace Goolag dis-services. However, on the flip side, this could also be a security risk, especially if you install questionable apps. Well, that's what one should expect with workarounds - not as good, but at least it kinda works.

If your ROM lacks inbuilt signature spoofing, you could theoretically patch it with Smali Patcher / NanoDroid's own patcher. However, since both may bring their own risks & requirements, I won't delve deep on how to apply them.

App Lock

This feature is a recent addition to custom ROMs (if we're counting app locker apps, not so recent) that allow you to lock down any app (from sensitive ones to what you think are sensitive), which should prevent anyone from being able to access that app without your permission (and/or your lockscreen password).

Similar to the per-app network restriction, it can also be a neat addition rendered irrelevant with an app locking app (which may also bring their own issues).

LineageOS also has implemented something like this in the form of Hidden & Protected apps, but it's tied to the stock Trebuchet launcher, meaning it will tie you to the stock launcher if you'd like to use it.

Minor Features

These features don't really matter when they're there, though having them would be an advantage. However, sometimes not having these features can be a disadvantage, depending on your device and/or preferences.

Dark Theme

Generally found in Settings > Displays > Dark Theme in A10, this feature can be used to save battery on OLED displays while making the interface far less annoying in the dark.

If this feature is tossed into the "advanced settings" menu, I consider this a disadvantage since it's far less intuitive to dig deep into the settings just to change something that belongs in the basic settings.

Full Screen Apps / Expanded Desktop

Full Screen Apps (or Expanded Desktop if you're running Pie Lineage builds) is a feature that allows apps initially made for 16:9 to stretch themselves to fit taller aspect ratios.

Not having this feature would be considered a disadvantage if you're running a device with 18:9 display / taller. However, it doesn't matter if you're running 16:9 devices (or are used to pillarboxing / letterboxing), so there's no point in considering them a major feature / advantage.

Currently, I don't consider this feature to be an advantage as I no longer check it.

Also known as the traditional 3-button navigation bar, which existed long before the dawn of gesture navbars introduced in Pie & A10. Personally, I'm not a big fan of gesture navigations, even though I can agree that A10 gestures are better than Pie's half-assed one (also, keep in mind that it's a low bar to pass).

Not having this feature is a disadvantage, unless you're used to gesture navigations and/or traditional Android's Back > Home > Recents setup.

Setup Wizard

Also known as the thing that stands between you & the system that's found in LineageOS, Lineage-based ROMs, & CarbonROM. For those 3, unless it's replaced with Goolag SetupWizard, you don't need internet connection to get through.

As I also mentioned Goolag SetupWizard, I don't consider them as a part of this, since it could force you to connect to the internet on 1st boot.

Smart Pixels

Smart Pixels shuffle & disable the pixels of a display in order to prevent burn-in & reduce battery usage. So far, I'm not quite sure whether the former is true / not, but at least having something to mitigate burn-in is better than nothing. On the bad side, it reduces your display's viewing quality as long as it's enabled.

Since this matters only to OLED display users, I can only consider this feature an advantage if you're using OLED. Otherwise, this feature is redundant to LCD users unless you want an even darker display than what the brightness slider could provide.

Prebuilt Simple Mobile Tools Apps

Not counting Simple Music, Launcher, Camera, Calculator, & File Manager (at least), Simple Mobile Tools' apps are generally the best apps I've ever used. Having it prebuilt essentially allow me to keep prebuilt apps (like calendar & gallery) when I'm debloating.

People's side

This section applies to developers & maintainers.

Vanilla / Goolag distribution

Generally, a ROM can be exposed as a Limbo ROM if at least 3 have a Goolag-only release while the rest of them are either Vanilla-only or Vanilla/Goolag. However, if at least 3 devices are available as Vanilla-only builds & there are no Goolag-only builds, this doesn't apply, though their consistency should be questioned.

Here's some examples: