Personal rules for advantages & disadvantages found in my PDA OS page.
These are features that's so essential to me that not having them counts as a disadvantage.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 (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.
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 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.
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.
This section applies to developers & maintainers.
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:
Obviously, a custom ROM can't be made available without someone to make them available, so let's discuss about the maintainers - those who make it possible for a PDA to receive a custom ROM.
The maintainers are, obviously, developers who make sure a custom ROM works on their PDAs, as well as the users who use the ROM.
Sometimes, a maintainer's actions can expose a ROM as a Limbo. The BlissROMs example above should suffice for an explanation.
There are also cases of maintainers releasing Official builds with PocoParts / Mi Extras, "advanced" settings that don't belong in Official builds thanks to the footguns that often come with them.
This mostly covers highly subjective stuff that may (not) improve your experience with using a custom ROM.
The 1st thing you'll see while booting to the system. Normally, most of them are generic, boring, and/or not worth looking at; save for the top 3:
This "advantage" is highly subjective, & thus shouldn't really be considered a factor.
After seeing a screenshot of A12's Wallpaper & style menu, I felt that I might have undervalued the dedicated theming options found in some custom ROMs (AOSiP is a good example). Therefore, this may be an advantage if A12 stable only comes with "Material You", which will deny users a chance to personalize their Android devices as they see fit, without any arbitrary interferences.
One "advanced" settings won't be enough to sin a custom ROM, since basically everyone except Lineage & Arrow are using this. However, bring 2 in (such as BaikalOS in A10) & it's a disadvantage. Putting basic stuff such as dark theme (RR & Nusantara are examples of those guilty of this) will also warrant calling it a disadvantage (this is a repeat of the Dark Theme section found above).
An exception that will immediately make me remove any recommendation for a ROM on a device would be "advanced" settings with SELinux switchers, such as PocoParts & Mi Extras (both have a tendency to provide a SELinux switcher toggle). They're probably fine in unofficial builds, & any maintainers and/or developers who adds these settings on Official builds must immediately lose their rights to maintain their "official" builds unless they remove it.
Permissive SELinux is only fine if it's on initial Alpha build & the developer(s) (and the users too, if they're willing to help out) are actively doing work to ensure that the next release would have Enforcing SELinux. Otherwise, keeping SELinux in Permissive even after at least 3 builds are released is equal to giving an unofficial backdoor to custom ROM users who might not know what they're doing. This is a flaw that will make me remove the link for a ROM.
This flaw can also apply if a custom ROM has the ability to switch SELinux mode directly from the settings (For example, the aforementioned PocoParts & Mi Extras), since anyone with physical access could just toggle something in the settings to deactivate a good chunk of Android security. While the user should always be able to choose which spectrum of security they're at (secure but limited applicable mods / unlimited mod potential but insecure for example), the toggle being there gives anyone the ability to decide which side you're on, if they can use it.
References & explanations for SELinux can be found in :
More readings as to why Permissive SELinux is bad :
A bug that resets time to a certain preset time on each boot. A minor but annoying issue for anyone who has a habit of powering off their PDA before sleeping & enabling it after waking up.
This feature is better off contained in an app, such as SD Maid. Having the ability to remove system apps without having to either boot to recovery / install the likes of SD Maid could leave the user with a non-functional system, especially if they're deleting system apps they don't know they need. This is also a flaw that will not allow me to link a ROM.
This flaw is found in (at least) AICP & Baikal; & I hope other ROMs don't include these in the settings. In their defense however, you could deny root access to advanced settings / Quickstep & they won't work. But still, a better alternative would be to not include them in the first place.
Back in the Pie era, when Poco F1 builds didn't have prebuilt vendor partition, various ROMs for F1 enable USB debugging on boot, which enables itself every time it boots, even if USB debugging had been explicitly disabled.
This "feature" is a flaw that gets annoying especially for ADB-hating game (such as Fate/GO) players who reboot their devices every once in a while, because they will also have to remember to disable a setting after a reboot.
I'm fine with USB debugging enabled on 1st boot if it stays disabled after I explicitly disable it in Developer settings.Back to top