What’s in a ROM?
I’ve mentioned a few times in my older posts that custom ROMs for the Galaxy Nexus aren’t really needed anymore, because of where stock Android is. JellyBean is a fantastic OS, but luckily with Android we are spoilt for choice, and although we don’t need them, using custom ROMs, which are stable, is a lot of fun and they do offer a number of awesome enhancements to an already great OS.
I’ve been using Rascarlo’s RasBeanJelly for the past three weeks and I have to admit, I don’t see that changing any time soon. It’s built straight from the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), so it’s lightweight, void of bloat and fast as lightening. It’s always up to date with the latest version of AOSP, so currently I am running JRO03R, as opposed to the OTA update of JRO03C which my Nexus received a while ago. The sound output is louder than the stock ROM, which is a huge boost, because it can be a little hard to hear at times.
Now I’ve written a bunch of posts about custom software available on Android, but this ROM review will be different, I’ll be writing less and attaching screenshots instead, so you can see what you’ll be getting if you choose to flash RasBeanJelly.
Let’s start with the most obvious thing about it, it’s slightly themed. Gone are the grey gradient backgrounds and white icons, instead they’ve been replaced with solid black backgrounds and a blue “holo” glow around the pop up dialogs. You will also get screen off volume button controls and the volume rocker wake, to help preserve that fickle power button.
There is also a dedicated menu option for system tweaks available in the ROM, you can customise the navigation bar (at the bottom with the three buttons) by adding more buttons, if you like, as well as being able to hide the clock, set the brightness by sliding your finger over the top status bar and add a battery percentage, which is pretty useful if you are a little OCD about your battery level.
You can assign custom lockscreen targets as well, mine are current set up to select my camera while swiping left, top left is an “action” assignment, so selecting that will open Instagram in the “capture” frame and I’m ready to go. Straight up is Google Now, top right is Twitter and to the right is, like with stock, unlock. Under the Language and keyboard settings, you’ll also find “Volume Key Cursor Control” which lets you use the volume buttons to navigate through text to fix those pesky typos.
Other tweaks include a power menu when long pressing the power button which gives you some useful options and of course, the notification toggles in the notification bar. These can be customised to any number of options, have a look in the screenshots, they’re extremely useful and once you get used to them, they’re really hard to live without, although there are apps in the Play Store which can do the same thing, but I like having it all baked in. The “Long press back to kill app” is another great feature which I actually use quite a bit, because sometimes rogue apps need to be stopped in their tracks.
In a nutshell RasBeanJelly is a pretty stock AOSP offering, with a couple of useful tweaks, and fantastic battery life. I never liked themed ROMs, but it does make my device feel unique and I think that’s the whole point of Android. +1 from me, head over to the Trinity XDA thread for support, and to the Euroskank site to download RasBeanJelly for the Nexus S, Nexus 7 and Galaxy Nexus.
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