Why I finally decided to put a custom ROM on my HTC EVO 4G LTE

Mean Bean splash1 - for some reason we don't have an alt tag hereFor the longest time, my HTC EVO 4G LTE was completely stock, except for being rooted. The phone’s stock software allowed me to pretty much do anything I wanted, and root access allowed me to install a few extra apps that did some extra things, too, like freeze a few system apps I didn’t use, roam on command, and tether for free.

Then Jelly Bean happened, and my EVO bliss soon died down.

Suddenly, a lot of those root-only things I used to take for granted stopped working, and I realized how much I actually relied on certain things that users of custom ROMs take for granted. After the Jelly Bean update, none of the changes I made to my system partition stuck after a reboot. Roam Control stopped working, and that is an essential app for me since Sprint’s service has degraded so much where I live. WiFi tethering got flaky, and sometimes I couldn’t connect at all. I couldn’t stop the shutter sound in the camera app anymore … I won’t go on, because we’ve already covered all of these problems (and then some) in the past few weeks.

HTC basically gave all rooted EVOs a big slap in the face – especially with the nonsense regarding the system partition. And that was finally the straw that broke the camel’s back and made me jump ship to a custom ROM.

Normally, I like being stock. I like being able to get official updates as soon as they roll out, and I also love playing around with and figuring out all the aspects of an official ROM that many other people consider bloat. (It took me a long time before I finally gave up on Sprint TV and removed it from my original EVO.) But more and more, I’m losing hope that carriers and manufacturers can actually deliver decent software updates in a timely manner.

Remember the debacle with the EVO View 4G being stuck on Gingerbread for the longest time? Or how the Ice Cream Sandwich update kept getting pushed back on the EVO 3D? And now, with all of these problems that Jelly Bean brought my EVO, I’ve determined that the ability to access Google Now was simply too high a price to pay.

So now I’m running MeanBean, and I couldn’t be happier. The developer has figured out how to make changes to the system stick. I can roam again. I can tether. And, I’m learning to appreciate all the extra little touches that are in this ROM, which are completely absent from the stock ROM.

Take, for instance, the ability to completely close an app just by long pressing the back button. Brilliant! Turning on the screen with the camera button. Genius! And now, with the latest release of MeanBean, fapple has been fully implemented, completely doing away with the app associations menu that so many people love to hate. And this doesn’t even scratch the surface on the little tweaks here and there this ROM offers, including some nice optimizations to increase battery life and decrease lag.

The only thing I keep asking myself is this: Why didn’t I do this sooner?

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John F

John was the editor-in-chief at Pocketables. His articles generally focus on all things Google, including Chrome and Android, although his love of new gadgets and technology doesn't stop there. His current arsenal includes the Nexus 6 by Motorola, the 2013 Nexus 7 by ASUS, the Nexus 9 by HTC, the LG G Watch, and the Chromebook Pixel, among others.

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16 thoughts on “Why I finally decided to put a custom ROM on my HTC EVO 4G LTE

  • Avatar of jordan
    January 16, 2013 at 11:25 am
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    I have stayed on ICS on purpose. My ICS set up is sweet, snappy, and does everything I could want and more. Some things on the JB ROM (Yes i have tried it) I just didn’t like- the new keyboard, some missing widgets deemed unnecessary that I used, etc.

    I will probably stay with my current ICS ROM for the rest of my phone’s lifetime. The same thing happened with me and my EVO 4G. I used Synergy ROM for over a year.

    Its all in what you find useful for yourself- like you using stock until now.

    Reply
  • Avatar of adam
    January 16, 2013 at 11:27 am
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    MeanBean 1# mikey is a beast thats all i have to say!! Best rom for the Evo 4G LTE hands down!!

    Reply
  • Avatar of Randy S
    January 16, 2013 at 11:46 am
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    I’ve been using MeanROM 4.6 for a LONG time and have been considering the jump to MeanBean. I think the only reason I’m tempted to switch is because I can’t get updates to Google Now because my device isn’t officially supported… but when the JB update broke everything else, I decided I’d wait a bit. Seems like all the major issues have been resolved, though, so perhaps it’s time.

    I have one problem with his newest ROMs, though: he seems to have gone a bit overboard with kernel options. The last several iterations of MeanROM (and perhaps MeanBean, Idk) include all sorts of swipe-to-do-everything and touch-this-thing-that’s-not-a-button-to-do-this-that-and-the-other-thing options. Why? I feel like that over-complicates what should be a simple and efficient ROM. That’s why I stayed on 4.6 instead of updating.

    Reply
    • Avatar of Don
      January 16, 2013 at 1:09 pm
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      Wow, no offense but you need to read what MeanBean is all about. He did have that in MeanRom but he cleaned it up way before he even started working on MeanBean. Take a look you might be pleasantly surprised. I am currently flashing MeanBean 2.5 while I type this.

      Reply
    • Avatar of Paul E King
      January 16, 2013 at 4:03 pm
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      There’s a folder on your sdcard called MeanBean – anything you do not like, you can turn off by flashing…

      I personally don’t like the longpress home for power, I like being able to press home, then say google, and have it pop up… but everyone’s different.

      Reply
  • Avatar of dana
    January 16, 2013 at 12:37 pm
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    I was an early adopter of MeanROM (ics), and had used that for a long time. I had some batter life issues with it, but other than that, it was great. I did not back to stock to regain battery life, and to get on Jellybean. But when MeanBean came out, I was on it like white on rice. I have absolutely loved it since the 0.6 version, when I first heard about it… As of now, it’s 2.5, and it is one of the best roms available (I hate to say best, because I have not tried any other jellybean roms).

    Reply
  • Avatar of Samson
    January 16, 2013 at 12:45 pm
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    I’m about ready to jump roms. thinking this or cm10? Can any sway me or tell me what works and what doesn’t? I’d like as close to vanilla android jb as possible.

    Reply
    • Avatar of me
      January 16, 2013 at 1:09 pm
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      MeanBean if you like sense. ParanoidAndroid if you like AOSP.

      Reply
      • Avatar of Samson
        January 16, 2013 at 2:06 pm
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        Thanks buddy! Anything not functioning on paranoid android? Like camera, GPS, etc

        Reply
    • Avatar of abbazaba14
      January 16, 2013 at 2:13 pm
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      I’ve been using JellyBAM and love it! After running CM10 since August (with brief periods of MeanRom/Bean) I found that JellyBam has most every thing I need. The only thing I miss is the easy method to adjust the auto brightness values in CM10.

      Reply
    • Avatar of spencer311
      January 16, 2013 at 2:40 pm
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      Totally disagree about paranoid android. I have tried it a few times and it runs like crap for me. Try slim bean or cm10. I’m running slim bean now and love it. Ran cm10 for a long time before that. Paranoid drains my battery and my phone gets hot and doesn’t connect to 4glte well.

      Reply
  • Avatar of NelsonTitua
    January 16, 2013 at 1:12 pm
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    i am on viperrom4g ics rom but the jb 3.0 is under way and its looking really good im expecting it to take another month or so before its released it could take even longer but its worth the wait..

    Reply
  • Avatar of jack
    January 16, 2013 at 11:02 pm
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    I used meanbean and its solid as a rock but if you like to experiment check out evervolv. They have a pretty stable aosp 4.2.1 rom. You’ll find a few bugs here and there but overall its pretty cool.

    Reply
  • Avatar of Simon Belmont
    January 17, 2013 at 9:15 am
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    MikeyXDA is the man. I’m actually running his MeanROM 2.6 on my EVO 3D as I type this. Fantastic ROM. Great speed, and great battery life. It’s the closest you can get to stock Sense 3.6 with ICS, but still have awesome under the hood tweaks. Shame, it’s no longer developed, but it really doesn’t need to be, as it’s perfect now.

    If I had an EVO 4G LTE, I’d definitely be checking out MikeyXDA’s ROMs. This is coming from a guy who loves AOSP based ROMs, so you know I’m not kidding with you. I went back to a Sense based daily driver because it’s so good.

    Reply
  • Avatar of Shaun
    January 21, 2013 at 12:43 pm
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    Wheres the link to MeanBean?

    Reply

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