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Why are you running a custom rom?

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abadasstanker69

Senior Member
Mar 24, 2009
1,928
797
Phoenix, Az
www.facebook.com
OnePlus 7T

I wanted to GTFO Google and (ONE) single ROM has been developed for this phone on XDA without Gapps and it's not even maintained any more. I tried out Lineage with Micro G and I was pretty happy. I asked if anyone here would be interested in GrapheneOS and got no reply. I built it for myself and was happier with the spoofing in Lineage so I went back. But that brings me to the OP question...​

I guess I just don't understand why anyone would build a custom ROM that allows Google to spy on you completely unchecked. I thought I must have been insane since literally nobody here seemed to agree. Then I found this write up......I immediately decided to post it. Not because I want to piss people off. Not because I'm unappreciative. But because WTF ARE WE DOING??​

Why are we even running custom ROMS? Xposed came out and Google screwed us with SafetyNet. Then you had Substratum that got checked from Google but it's being "allowed" right now even though they tried to patch it out. Then Magisk comes and Google buys him out. This has always been a "cat vs mouse" game until recently. Now it's just a "cat vs customizable cat" game. Did we lose? Or is it that people would rather trade their privacy for convenience? The direction we are headed as a community is allowing Google to slowly close off and become Apple pt2 and nobody seems to mind much. But this is XDA! How will it exist without people caring about this?​

Here is part of the write up that applies specifically to the OnePlus7T. Hopefully I'm not alone. Hopefully we can get this train back off the tracks where it belongs. Barreling through the unknown in defiance of these huge entities trying to control you. Link is at the bottom of the write up.​

crDroid​

LineageOS-based custom ROM designed to increase performance and reliability over stock Android for your device while also attempting to bring many of the best features existing today, according to their intro & how I think its grammar should be.

Personal remarks: A very good heavyweight ROM (and the best Limbo ROM at the moment), burdened with a soydev website (at least there's no BlockAdBlock unlike Arrow) & lack of Vanilla/GApps enforcement in a way similar to Bootleggers - no Vanilla/GApps branding

Advantages:

  • Per-app data restriction (Pie, A10, A11)
  • Signature spoofing (A10 & A11: no toggle)
  • Inbuilt App Lock
Disadvantages:

  • No signature spoofing (Pie-only; forgiven & redacted starting with A10, 12/4/2020 build)
  • If you look at the official site, there's a screenshot that shows this feature, on a toggle. Should have been available at Settings > crDroid Settings > Miscellaneous; but it's not there.
    Tested the 12/4/2020 build & found out that microG support is enabled without toggle. This anti-feature is redacted.

  • Poco X3(N) only (confirmed on 23/3/2021 build) - USB debugging enables itself on boot (redacted per 22/4/2021 7.5 build)
  • 28/4/2021 Update : With inbuilt vendor on 22/4/2021 7.5 X3N build, USB debugging no longer self-enables on boot (it's enabled at 1st boot, but can be disabled without enabling itself on subsequent boots). Welp, guess it's like the F1's Pie era all over again, where most builds (especially userdebug ones) enable USB debugging on boot until developers starts to include vendor partition in their builds.

  • Poco F1 (A11) : No force encryption
  • No Vanilla/GApps enforcement, in addition to lack of Vanilla/GApps labeling
  • List of GApps-infested builds :
    • OnePlus 7T & 7T "Pro"
    • Not having an active TWRP development for a device does not excuse the maintainers for releasing GApps-only releases, unless they also make a Vanilla variant. And, since there is an active TWRP development, there shouldn't be any more reason to tolerate a lack of Vanilla build (other than the maintainer being too lazy / unwilling to develop a Vanilla build, in which case per should be replaced).
    • Poco F3 (switched to Vanilla builds as of 9/7/2021 builds, but still listed for reference)
    • Redmi K20 / Mi 9T (davinci) (Vanilla build available on GDrive, FWIW.)
    • OnePlus 9 "Pro"
    • When its non-"Pro" (the vanilla OnePlus 9) variant gets a Vanilla build (despite a lack of functional TWRP for either) there is no excuse to be lazy & provide GApps-only builds

 

nagi_007pk

Senior Member
Aug 23, 2012
238
73
OnePlus 7T
I read through your entire post and while most of the things you have said could be attributed to a subjective basis depending on person to person basis but the overall idea has a couple of inconveniences that I would like to add some insight of my own and would like to explain without sounding too brash

This is just my own personal impression that I have witnessed being part of the greater Android ecosystem in general starting from the early days to where we are now

In my opinion, the lack of interest by developers that originally gave their time and effort into working hard and fixing things has generally not kept up with the pace of Google's development efforts to curb these "hacks". The cat and mouse game what the post you quoted said is nearly at an end. I think Google is winning with everything in broader terms and despite the conveniences offered by microG and custom roms using that implementation, it doesn't come close to what Google offers.

The hassle of finding workarounds to make even the basic of functionality to work on Android requires time and effort which as I have already said earlier, it's something no one can commit to these days. The "enthusiast" aspect of custom rom development has really taken a dive over the past few years as manufacturers generally offer good enough functionality (at least for my use case as I am heavily reliant on my phone for work and general personal use) and Android has come a long way since the early days.

All of what I said boils down to the cost of convenience vs concern for issues that are really issues for a specialist segment of users within the entire community. People de-google their phones to focus on privacy and prevent data mining from these data hungry corporations and I for one for wish I could have something that would decrease my overreliance on Google's services but it is just not possible as the majority of people just use their phones and expect things to work just like that. So, the long lived idea of if it ain't broke, don't fix it plays very well into this. The trouble is generally not worth the inconveniences that come with it. Lack of interest of users therefore means lack of options and thus a lack of development.

Here's my 2 cents
 

ej8989

Senior Member
Jul 8, 2012
1,728
580
Manila
I think for devs or hobby-coders who do this for free, time is more valuable than the luxury of "privacy" (which doesn't really exist if you're using any form of social media, like XDA).

Things changed. Android is more polished now than the Nexus days.
 
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    I wanted to GTFO Google and (ONE) single ROM has been developed for this phone on XDA without Gapps and it's not even maintained any more. I tried out Lineage with Micro G and I was pretty happy. I asked if anyone here would be interested in GrapheneOS and got no reply. I built it for myself and was happier with the spoofing in Lineage so I went back. But that brings me to the OP question...​

    I guess I just don't understand why anyone would build a custom ROM that allows Google to spy on you completely unchecked. I thought I must have been insane since literally nobody here seemed to agree. Then I found this write up......I immediately decided to post it. Not because I want to piss people off. Not because I'm unappreciative. But because WTF ARE WE DOING??​

    Why are we even running custom ROMS? Xposed came out and Google screwed us with SafetyNet. Then you had Substratum that got checked from Google but it's being "allowed" right now even though they tried to patch it out. Then Magisk comes and Google buys him out. This has always been a "cat vs mouse" game until recently. Now it's just a "cat vs customizable cat" game. Did we lose? Or is it that people would rather trade their privacy for convenience? The direction we are headed as a community is allowing Google to slowly close off and become Apple pt2 and nobody seems to mind much. But this is XDA! How will it exist without people caring about this?​

    Here is part of the write up that applies specifically to the OnePlus7T. Hopefully I'm not alone. Hopefully we can get this train back off the tracks where it belongs. Barreling through the unknown in defiance of these huge entities trying to control you. Link is at the bottom of the write up.​

    crDroid​

    LineageOS-based custom ROM designed to increase performance and reliability over stock Android for your device while also attempting to bring many of the best features existing today, according to their intro & how I think its grammar should be.

    Personal remarks: A very good heavyweight ROM (and the best Limbo ROM at the moment), burdened with a soydev website (at least there's no BlockAdBlock unlike Arrow) & lack of Vanilla/GApps enforcement in a way similar to Bootleggers - no Vanilla/GApps branding

    Advantages:

    • Per-app data restriction (Pie, A10, A11)
    • Signature spoofing (A10 & A11: no toggle)
    • Inbuilt App Lock
    Disadvantages:

    • No signature spoofing (Pie-only; forgiven & redacted starting with A10, 12/4/2020 build)
    • If you look at the official site, there's a screenshot that shows this feature, on a toggle. Should have been available at Settings > crDroid Settings > Miscellaneous; but it's not there.
      Tested the 12/4/2020 build & found out that microG support is enabled without toggle. This anti-feature is redacted.

    • Poco X3(N) only (confirmed on 23/3/2021 build) - USB debugging enables itself on boot (redacted per 22/4/2021 7.5 build)
    • 28/4/2021 Update : With inbuilt vendor on 22/4/2021 7.5 X3N build, USB debugging no longer self-enables on boot (it's enabled at 1st boot, but can be disabled without enabling itself on subsequent boots). Welp, guess it's like the F1's Pie era all over again, where most builds (especially userdebug ones) enable USB debugging on boot until developers starts to include vendor partition in their builds.

    • Poco F1 (A11) : No force encryption
    • No Vanilla/GApps enforcement, in addition to lack of Vanilla/GApps labeling
    • List of GApps-infested builds :
      • OnePlus 7T & 7T "Pro"
      • Not having an active TWRP development for a device does not excuse the maintainers for releasing GApps-only releases, unless they also make a Vanilla variant. And, since there is an active TWRP development, there shouldn't be any more reason to tolerate a lack of Vanilla build (other than the maintainer being too lazy / unwilling to develop a Vanilla build, in which case per should be replaced).
      • Poco F3 (switched to Vanilla builds as of 9/7/2021 builds, but still listed for reference)
      • Redmi K20 / Mi 9T (davinci) (Vanilla build available on GDrive, FWIW.)
      • OnePlus 9 "Pro"
      • When its non-"Pro" (the vanilla OnePlus 9) variant gets a Vanilla build (despite a lack of functional TWRP for either) there is no excuse to be lazy & provide GApps-only builds

    2
    I read through your entire post and while most of the things you have said could be attributed to a subjective basis depending on person to person basis but the overall idea has a couple of inconveniences that I would like to add some insight of my own and would like to explain without sounding too brash

    This is just my own personal impression that I have witnessed being part of the greater Android ecosystem in general starting from the early days to where we are now

    In my opinion, the lack of interest by developers that originally gave their time and effort into working hard and fixing things has generally not kept up with the pace of Google's development efforts to curb these "hacks". The cat and mouse game what the post you quoted said is nearly at an end. I think Google is winning with everything in broader terms and despite the conveniences offered by microG and custom roms using that implementation, it doesn't come close to what Google offers.

    The hassle of finding workarounds to make even the basic of functionality to work on Android requires time and effort which as I have already said earlier, it's something no one can commit to these days. The "enthusiast" aspect of custom rom development has really taken a dive over the past few years as manufacturers generally offer good enough functionality (at least for my use case as I am heavily reliant on my phone for work and general personal use) and Android has come a long way since the early days.

    All of what I said boils down to the cost of convenience vs concern for issues that are really issues for a specialist segment of users within the entire community. People de-google their phones to focus on privacy and prevent data mining from these data hungry corporations and I for one for wish I could have something that would decrease my overreliance on Google's services but it is just not possible as the majority of people just use their phones and expect things to work just like that. So, the long lived idea of if it ain't broke, don't fix it plays very well into this. The trouble is generally not worth the inconveniences that come with it. Lack of interest of users therefore means lack of options and thus a lack of development.

    Here's my 2 cents
    1
    I think for devs or hobby-coders who do this for free, time is more valuable than the luxury of "privacy" (which doesn't really exist if you're using any form of social media, like XDA).

    Things changed. Android is more polished now than the Nexus days.