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The best thing about Android is that it’s completely customizable. There’s almost nothing you cannot change about it.

Many of the best tweaks can be done on devices that haven’t been rooted The Best Tweaks You Can Make To Your Android Without Rooting The Best Tweaks You Can Make To Your Android Without Rooting Customizing your Android device isn't only for the tech savvy. Learn how to get the most out of your unrooted Android phone or tablet! Read More , but there are many more advanced customizations you can make that make rooting absolutely worthwhile.

Here’s our pick of the best customizations that require root.

1. A Custom ROM

The most comprehensive way to customize your device, and one of the main reasons people root in the first place, is to flash a custom ROM What Is Rooting? What Are Custom ROMs? Learn Android Lingo What Is Rooting? What Are Custom ROMs? Learn Android Lingo Ever had a question about your Android device, but the answer had a bunch of words in it that you didn't understand? Let us break down the confusing Android lingo for you. Read More . For the uninitiated, a custom ROM is an entirely new build of the Android operating system that you “flash” onto your device to replace its original software.

Flashing a ROM often has practical benefits. Less than 3% of Android devices have been updated to Marshmallow — if yours hasn’t, you can flash a Marshmallow-based ROM to do the update yourself. If you visit forums.xda-developers.com and search for your device, you’ll find countless ROMs available to try.

miui

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The best custom ROMs What Are The Best Custom Android ROMs? What Are The Best Custom Android ROMs? The moment you realize you can flash your Android phone with a new ROM is a pivotal one. Suddenly, you're free: Endless customization options, no more vendor bloatware, and, best of all, you don't have... Read More contain new features and can also look radically different. The popular CyanogenMod includes a permissions manager, built-in equalizer, and comprehensive theming support How to Make Your Own Custom CyanogenMod Themes Easily How to Make Your Own Custom CyanogenMod Themes Easily CyanogenMod's theme engine is great for customizing your device, but what if you can't find that perfect theme? Easy, just make it yourself. Read More .

MIUI, owned by the Chinese handset manufacturer Xiaomi, enables you to turn your Android into something with a more than passing resemblance to an iPhone. And there are so many more options from smaller developers who build them in their free time.

2. Customize Performance

One step down from the custom ROM, but no less powerful, is the ability to customize your phone’s performance. For best results, you could flash a custom kernel Why You Should Consider Using A Custom Android Kernel Why You Should Consider Using A Custom Android Kernel Do you want the best performance out of your Android device? Or maybe you want the best battery life? Consider a custom kernel. Read More , which would then enable you to control the hardware, including how fast the processor runs.

Apps like Device Control or Kernel Adiutor are great for this, and they’re free.

temperature

Even if you don’t want to change your kernel, you can still makes tweaks to much of your phone’s hardware. With Cf.lumen, you can change your display’s color temperature to taste by adjusting the red, green and blue values separately — a feature that will be included in Android N Everything You Need to Know About Android N Everything You Need to Know About Android N Want to install Android N or just learn about the next Android version? We've got your back. Read More as standard.

By flashing Dolby Atmos, ported from Lenovo devices, you can enhance the sound quality coming from your phone’s speakers. And there are tons of root tweaks you can make to improve your battery life. 5 Advanced Ways to Improve Battery Life on Android 5 Advanced Ways to Improve Battery Life on Android If you've got a rooted Android device (or you're willing to root it), and you want better battery life, we can help you out. Read More

Usability Tweaks

It’s hard to find phones smaller than 5.2-inches these days. While the size makes them great for most things — browsing the web, watching videos, playing games — they’re not always comfortable to use, especially one-handed.

3. One-Handed Mode

one-handed mode

It’s possible to switch your phone into a one-handed mode, if the device is rooted. Apps such as One Hand Mode Xposed Mod (which uses the Xposed Framework Customize Your Phone Without Flashing a ROM With The Xposed Framework Customize Your Phone Without Flashing a ROM With The Xposed Framework It is common knowledge that the best way to customize your Android device is to flash it with a new ROM. It is also wrong. Read More ) and One Hand Mode Enabler work great for this.

These apps shrink the interface down into the corner of the screen so that it’s more accessible to your thumb. They aren’t perfect, and some apps don’t react well to it, but you can toggle the feature on and off, and choose when you you want to use it.

4. Thumb Friendly Controls

lmt

Along similar lines is LMT Launcher. Available for download directly from the XDA forums, this app places a pie-shaped control panel beneath your thumb containing a group of standard buttons, such as Home and Back.

These buttons perform the corresponding task with a single tap, but can be programmed to perform additional roles through multiple taps, long-presses, and multi-button combinations. If you’re willing to invest some time setting up and learning LMT Launcher, it can become a very efficient way to navigate your phone quickly.

5. Gesture Controls

gmd

LMT Launcher also supports basic gestures, but for a truly comprehensive way of controlling your device by swiping your fingers on the screen, look out for GMD GestureControl. The app offers a combination of pre-defined single and multi-finger gestures to do things like go back or open the app drawer.

You can also record your own by drawing a shape (such as a letter) on screen and then assigning a function or app to it. GMD is particularly good for multitasking, since you don’t need to exit your current app to use the gestures. Switching from one app to another, then back again, is done with just a swipe of the screen.

6. Ever-Present App Launcher

launcher

If multitasking is your thing, then you will love the omni-present app launcher you can set up using the Xposed module, GravityBox GravityBox Vs XBlast: Which Is The Best All-Purpose Xposed Module? GravityBox Vs XBlast: Which Is The Best All-Purpose Xposed Module? Out of the two great all-purpose Xposed modules for customizing your rooted Android device, which is the best? Read More . By first enabling the Custom Key under Navigation bar tweaks then picking your apps under Application launcher, you can assign up to 12 apps to appear in a mini-launcher on the navigation bar at the bottom of the screen.

Because the navigation bar is almost always visible, you’re never more than two taps away from opening your favorite app.

7. View Running Apps

recently

Once you start switching between multiple apps more frequently, you might need to keep an eye on which ones are running in the background.

Ever since Android 5.0 Lollipop, the Recents button has shown a list of every app you’ve recently used, which means it eventually just lists every app on your phone. With Recently you can change this to only display the apps that are still running. You can then identify which ones you need to close to reclaim your system resources 5 Apps That Really Clean Up Your Android Device -- And Aren't Placebos! 5 Apps That Really Clean Up Your Android Device -- And Aren't Placebos! Read More .

Customize the Interface

Customizations don’t always have to be purely functional. Sometimes they’re more about changing how your phone looks, giving it the personal touch.

8. Customize the Navigation and Status Bars

In GravityBox for Xposed, you can tweak the status bar in various ways. It’s possible to redesign the battery icon, move the clock, hide persistent icons (such as Bluetooth) and notifications, and also change the colors of the notifications pane and status bar.

buttons

You can also change the color of the navigation bar at the bottom of the screen, and with the app SoftKeyZ it’s even possible to change the navigation buttons themselves. SoftKeyZ gives you well over a hundred different styles to choose from, or you can design your own.

9. Boot Animations

An easy and fun way to personalize your phone is to change the boot animation. You can find animations online on various Android enthusiast forums and flash them manually, or you can do it the quick way using a root app called Boot Animations.

It comes with several dozen alternative animations to choose from and requires no more than a couple of screen taps to install.

animations

If you do decide to do this, it’s essential that you make a Nandroid backup What Is A Nandroid Backup and How Exactly Does It Work? What Is A Nandroid Backup and How Exactly Does It Work? You need that backup at the ready. Read More first. If something goes wrong with your boot animation, it can actually prevent the phone from booting altogether. Your backup will enable you to recover pretty quickly.

10. New Emojis

Finally, how about changing up your emojis? Every phone comes with its own set; they mean the same thing An Emoji to English Dictionary: Emoji Faces' Meaning, Explained An Emoji to English Dictionary: Emoji Faces' Meaning, Explained Confused by a text? Here are the commonly accepted meanings of popular emoji. Read More but look different. Some platforms may also have a few extra characters not seen elsewhere, and these won’t show up if your device doesn’t support them.

emojis

With the app Emoji Switcher you can choose between Google, Samsung, LG, and iOS emojis. If you have a lot of iOS-using friends, then this mod is well worth doing. You can even get those fancy new iOS 9.1 emojis How to View & Send the New iOS 9.1 Emojis on Android How to View & Send the New iOS 9.1 Emojis on Android Tired of seeing little boxes when your iPhone-using friends send you emojis? Well, no more. Now you can have all the emojis on your Android device too! Read More .

Your Own Customizations

Rooting your Android phone or tablet opens it up to a truly expansive range of customizations. You can tweak how the hardware performs, change how the interface looks, and even adjust how easy it is to use. From the fun to the functional, nothing is off limits.

What customizations have you made to your rooted Android phone? And what things would you like to change on it? Let us know in the comments.

Image Credits:DIY Tools by igor.stevanovic via Shutterstock

  1. Jony
    September 18, 2016 at 11:34 pm

    I can't find custom rom for galaxy j1 ace j110h.

  2. GodSponge (EB)
    April 14, 2016 at 3:36 am

    Just having root doesn't make you able to change your rom totally. I have a locked bootloader so the best I can do is get a customized version of Touchwiz.. I'd like to try Cyanogen or Paranoid, but my phone won't let me.

    • GodSponge (EB)
      April 14, 2016 at 4:15 am

      I do feel it necessary to mention the ROM I use since it is still updated even after Samsung mostly gave up on the Note 3. JasmineROM is my ROM of choice.

  3. David
    April 1, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    You forgot about ad blocking. Adaway:
    http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2190753

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