3 reasons to flash a custom ROM on Robin
Nextbit Employee Khang
Nextbit Employee
‎10-13-2016 10:03 AM
‎10-13-2016 10:03 AM

Right from the start, Robin was designed as phone for the Android enthusiast. Whether that meant you wanted to use a different launcher, or install a custom ROM, we gave you the freedom to do so without strings attached. Our bootloader is easily unlockable and we offer a one-year warranty that covers software-bricked devices.

 

The dev community's response has been overwhelming. There are so many great custom ROMs to call out. First, Steve Kondik, Cyanogen himself, brought up CM13 on Robin, and since then, several others have popped up including (in alphabetical order):

 

  • AICP
  • AOKP
  • BlissROM
  • CyanogenMod 13 (CM13)
  • Dirty Unicorns
  • OmniROM
  • PACROM
  • Paranoid Android
  • Resurrection Remix
  • XOSP

 

Haven’t tried a custom ROM? Here are some reasons to take the plunge:

 

#1 Customization - This is by far the best reason to try any of these ROMs. Here are example of things you can do on Paranoid Android, PACROM, and Ressurection Remix, that you can’t do on stock Android and NextbitOS.

 

Paranoid Android’s Immersive Mode: Think your Robin could use some extra real estate? Try Immersive mode on Paranoid Android. It allows you to hide the status bar and navigation menu so that you can use extra space on your homescreens. More screen is a beautiful thing!

 

Screenshot_20161012-165320.png

 

PACROM’s Status Bar Mods: Ever wanted to dim the brightness by just swiping across the screen, or control which icons appeared in the status bar? Well now you can. With PACROM, you can easily customize the settings so that your status bar looks, and feels unique. 

 

Screenshot_20160101-045513.png

 

You can even change the date and time location and content. Here, I've added the day and month, and moved things over to the left side.

 

 

Screenshot_20160101-213012.png

 

ResurrectionRemix’s App Circle: This is a great way to launch apps quickly and multitask with ease. You can customize the gesture and where the app circle launches, as well as add specific apps you want to appear in the circle. When you enable the app circle, you can swipe and tap to launch your favorite app and keep your homescreen clean.


Screenshot_20160101-070801.png

 

#2 Performance - The best thing about custom ROMs is that some developers create specific software to tweak the performance of ROM. Sometimes, they use apps to allow you to tinker yourself and scale back performance for battery saving qualities, or push your phone to the max so that you get a faster experience. One example is deadman’s Deathly kernel from our community that allows for added functionality that reduces the brightness of the LCD screen further than stock.

 

# 3 Having the latest security patches and Android builds - Many of the developers we work with have access to the latest code and patches from Google from Nexus devices and implement them into their own ROM to give you the security that you’re looking for. Some OEMs are slow to update their devices to the latest Android OS, for the sake of quality and stability, but you can rely on the development community to work very quickly. 


Before attempting any flashing of custom ROMs, it’s important to unlock your bootloader, and make a backup of your data just in case. Also, using a custom ROM will bump you OFF the OTA train (so no OTAs for you). If you have any questions on how to do this, hit us up in our community! Well, what are you waiting for, it’s really easy to try and flash a ROM! Of course, you’ll lose our Smart Storage feature #sadface, but there are features that might be really enticing for you to try. Huge thanks to our dev community - their response has been amazing!

 

NOTE: Currently, many of the developers our team is working with are already working on a N ROM. So you can try these in the meantime, and prepare for a sweet Nougat-ey future soon. 

 

For more information, and a list of available ROMs, visit:

23 Comments
Nextbit Product Expert devin
Nextbit Product Expert

Amazing post @Khang! Now I wanna give PAC ROM a try even more. I know what I'm doing today!

Rebel on the Rise _New_To_Android
Rebel on the Rise

Totally Amazing! Nextbit can raise up a few flashaholics! Smiley Very Happy

GamesOfRobin
Rebel 3.2
Custom ROMs are always exciting! I remember flashing 10+ times a day when I was using OnePlus One Smiley Happy
Nextbit Product Expert Darragh
Nextbit Product Expert

Great article!!

shimondas
Rebel 3.2

Eat.
Sleep.
Flash.
Repeat. 😂

Bring it on, my body is ready for Nougat! Smiley Very Happy

SwordLaker
Rebel 3.0

Can I check with people on CM13 that if the battery issue has been resolved? I absolutely love what it has to offer, but the horrible standby time makes the entirely phone unusable.

 

Was on Snapshot 0820 and nightly 1001 when that happened to me.

Irvin792
Rebel 3.2

Anyone have opinions on which is the best?

mjadhav570
Rebel 2.8

Nice post Khang. I really love the way you remain active always among the community. Thanks so much for your time. here's my article about why you should root your phone and few more reasons to install cutsom ROMs. :-)

 

UchihaHogosha
Rebel 2.8

I want to flash a ROM but am working off a Mac and it will be the first time doing it. Where is the best place to go for step by step instructions for this whole process?

XDeathy
Rebel 3.2
UchihaHogosha
Rebel 2.8

@XDeathy So the toolkit is a .exe and not a .dmg, since I'm running Mac it doesn't really do me any good. I've threaded the XDA Forums -

(http://forum.xda-developers.com/nextbit-robin/orig-development/paranoid-android-6-0-3-aospa-nextbit-...)

- and even watched some videos by TheUnlockr

(ADB and Fastboot: https://theunlockr.com/2009/10/06/how-to-set-up-adb-usb-drivers-for-android-devices/)

-and

(How to Root: https://theunlockr.com/2016/08/27/root-nextbit-robin/#A-Downloading-Required-Files).

 

As a first time Flasher... LoL, it reads funny as I write it, it all seems a bit overwhelming because I don't want to brick this beauty. Tips and tricks? Should I be following the instructions from Unlockr since the toolkit won't work for my Macbook?

mkbomb
Rebel 3.0

@UchihaHogosha here is a Mac tool, thanks to @Baymax and @david !

https://community.nextbit.com/t5/Tools/Rooting-Tool-Easy/td-p/10992

Let us know how it goes Smiley Happy

UchihaHogosha
Rebel 2.8

@XDeathy @mkbomb Thanks for the help. I'll attempt this evening. Still a little overwhelming after having looked at XDA forums, seeing a Toolkit, and not having rooted / flashed before. I may just wait for the nougety update... idk.

mkbomb
Rebel 3.0

@UchihaHogosha have you gone ahead and tried the Mac tool? Let me know what you're intimidated about. I'd be more than happy to help you!

UchihaHogosha
Rebel 2.8

@mkbomb I did try and wasn't very successful in having the Mac recognize my phone to even truly begin the flashing process. I don't want to lose all of my data, etc. but I would like to unleash the phones customization. 

mkbomb
Rebel 3.0

 @UchihaHogosha did you successfully enable OEM Unlocking and USB Debugging in Developer Options? 

 

Below, I'm including some relevent info from other users like @Baymax:

 

Also, you must place the extracted application in "Desktop"

 

To have the device connect to the computer you have to set it to USB debugging and also go to Developer Options>Networking>Select USB Configuration and set it to "Charging Only"

 

To confirm it is connected, one should open up command prompt and type in "adb devices" and also check the always allow checkbox on the device which one should see if it is connected correctly.

 

Last, successfully unlocking the bootloader WILL wipe the device. What data are you concerned about losing? You can back up the vast majority of your data utilizing a combination of Nextbit and Google Cloud services. 

 

UchihaHogosha
Rebel 2.8

It's trivial really. Saved game data, etc. Minute things that are not of huge concern. I will give it another shot today and try to flash the Paranoid Android ROM - unless there is a better one you would recommend.

UchihaHogosha
Rebel 2.8

okay, so a little more progress with recognizing the device. however, the RobinRoot program has a fault in that it looks for adb devces, not ./adb devices so it won't recognize my phone... however, when I type in ./adb devices I can see it. How do I get the program to recognize the code flaw?

mkbomb
Rebel 3.0

@UchihaHogosha here, I've edited @Baymax's script to include ./ on all commands. Download link is below.

I would probably delete the old app and reboot prior to trying, though. Remember to put it on the Desktop. Please let me know if this works!! Smiley Happy

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6F99Z-fytrYRjlPQnp2djFiaUU/view?usp=sharing

mkbomb
Rebel 3.0

@UchihaHogosha the suspense is killing me! Have you had a chance to try with my altered version of the Mac app?

UchihaHogosha
Rebel 2.8

@mkbomb Haha. Sorry for the delay. I hadn't noticed you posted this until recent. I will give it a shot and let you know what the outcome is for sure. I've made it as far as unlocking the bootloader on my own and have the custom ROM from Paranoid Android that I want to try - so i'll keep you posted.

UchihaHogosha
Rebel 2.8

@mkbomb The program still won't recognize my device. It will in terminal if I do it manually. Thanks for all the help so far but I've conceded to running stock ROM and riding it out til the Nougat update.

mkbomb
Rebel 3.0

@UchihaHogosha OK, I'm just excited for you becuase you're SO close! Now, all you need to do is download TWRP custom recovery for Robin. You'd place the TWRP zip in the same folder as fastboot/adb on your Mac(likely the Desktop), and once the Robin is recognized in fastboot, just copy paste this into Terminal: 

fastboot -i 0x2c3f flash recovery

you can then drag and drop the TWRP recovery img file to the end of that command, which "tells" Terminal the path to the file. Then, just press "Return". You should see Terminal then write the TWRP recovery img to the device. Now, this step from @ChumpistOnce this command is done, remove your phone from your computer. Hold the power button down until it powers off completely, and then boot into your brand new recovery by holding down volume down and power button and selecting recovery from the boot menu.