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I have a HTC Incredible running 2.2, and i understand you need to Root first before anything else, got that, but now I am confused about the ROM thing.

I would like to Root to uninstall the default HTC apps that keep causing my 'Low Memory Errors'.

If i install Gingerbread, is that a ROM like CM7 is?

Confused as to what exactly to do after a root, can i install Gingerbread without rooting?

If i want to install HTC sense, is that a ROM??

Thanks for the clarification here, i've searched numerous forums, but can't seem to find specific answers.

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5 Answers 5

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When you are talking about an Android ROM, you are really talking of a group of programs, including the Android base system, that are put together to work with your phone and that once installed are what you see and use when you start your phone without installing any app from anywhere else.

You can imagine that the ROM is the operating system of your phone plus the “default applications” that come with it.

The thing with Android is that is open source, so come people have managed to build systems configured to offer the user some things the original manufacturers of the phones don’t offer. This is the case of CM7 (CyanogenMod 7).

If I install Gingerbread, is that a ROM like CM7 is?

Gingerbread is the codename of a version of Android, the 2.3, to be exact.

  • Andorid 2.1 --> Eclair
  • Android 2.2 --> Froyo
  • Android 2.3 --> Gingerbread
  • Android 3.x --> Honeycomb (only for tablets)
  • Android 4.0 --> Ice Cream Sandwich
  • Android 4.1 --> Jelly Bean

CM7 is a ROM that uses as base system the Android 2.3 system, so you can say that CM7 is a ROM based on Gingerbread.

Confused as to what exactly to do after a root, can I install Gingerbread without rooting?

That depends. If HTC offers an official ROM upgrade to Gingerbread (version 2.3 of Android), you can. If HTC doesn’t offer this update, then you can only install an unofficial ROM (like CM7).

If I want to install HTC Sense, is that a ROM?

HTC Sense is a pack of applications developed by HTC to customize their phones and make themselves unique.

HTC Sense is not a ROM, but you can find ROMs for your phone that are based on the official ROM with Sense and some of the other parts of the system changed.

Rooting a phone is the process to gain full permissions. It is the equivalent of being the administrator of the system. Once you are root you have full access to the system, so you can change it.

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I believe "rooting" means as in Linux you become root (administrator) and the ROM is the binary file specifically for the hardware you are using; a Samsung phone and an HTC would require a different ROM binary. Now since you are root that allows you to change the ROM to a new binary file (Cyanogen's version of the Android OS) suitable for the hardware on your model of phone.

This may be completely wrong but I gave it an educated guess.

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This isn't meant as a complete answer, but only to address the issue of installing a ROM vs rooting a phone first.

It is possible to install a custom ROM before you root your phone (looking at installation directions for any custom ROM will verify this), and to my knowledge, most, if not all, custom ROMs are rooted, meaning that when you install it, you have full root rights.

However, you may want to root your phone before installing a custom ROM, simply so you can back up your entire phone. You can do this via Titanium Backup. I'm not completely sure if there is a way to backup your phone without rooting.

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Rooting gives you access to the root user (dah!) it basically allows you to modify the entire system. For example you can remount the /system partition to delete apps.

A ROM is an entire operating system that you install in your phone and it replaces your default HTC operating system (normally along with clockwork recovery which is a backup/recovery/installing tool). You can find many ROMs for many phones. Cyanogenmod is the most popular one. It is very nice but it does not include Sense (so you would lose any Sense based app like the nice dialer). You can also find some modified Sense ROMs, these might not be entirely legal (not sure about this) but you can find them normally in sites like xda-developers.

Sense is not a ROM, it is a framework that HTC uses to create a very specific look and feel for applications. you can only find it (legaly) in HTC phones

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Yes, HTC sense is basic ROM provided by HTC. If you want to increase your phone speed and internal memory you can keep your original rom and make it fast and full of memory by using link2sd with root privilege. Just root your device and use link2sd to create links of your apps to sd-ext

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HTC sense is not a ROM. –  bigbadonk420 Oct 20 '12 at 11:44
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