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If I root and flash my phone, will I get some limitations? I understand that I will lose any carrier and manufacturer specific apps/launcher/widget (and this actually may be a bonus); however I want to know:

  1. what will happen to my gmail/calendar/market account? Will it work as before?
  2. will I get battery/radio/GPS issues?
  3. will I lose some compatibility with apps (Is a custom ROM less compatible)?
  4. can I still use the phone for developing apps?
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Just have one thing in mind - CyanogenMod is even better for developers than stock row as it provides some more options for that (mocking locations, etc), but I had some problems when I was trying to test applications on my S2 phone from within IntelliJ Idea. –  zeroDivisible Dec 8 '11 at 17:17
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up vote 15 down vote accepted
  1. You google apps will work exactly the same as before; either they'll be prepackaged with CM or you will download an update pack that will install them for you.
  2. Battery/radio/GPS issues are mostly related to specific hardware. You'd have to check the CM forums and wiki for your phone model to answer that one.
  3. Compatibility is an issue for some apps, but in the vast majority of cases the answer to this will be no (and in fact, some apps are compatible with CM but not with stock ROMs).
  4. You can most definitely still use the phone to develop apps :)

The nice thing with flashing a new ROM is that you can go back to the stock experience anytime you like, either by making a backup or downloading the stock ROM and keeping it around to flash later if you want it. So you aren't really risking anything except some time invested in fiddling the ROMs.

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I would add that you do risk losing the warranty you have with carrier and/or manufacturer, since installing a custom ROM often means unlocking the bootloader. –  Chahk Dec 6 '11 at 14:16
    
@Chahk Apart from possibly for the Nexus devices, I don't know of any agreements that let you flash ROMs without voiding the warranty even when the bootloader came unlocked ;) –  Matthew Read Dec 6 '11 at 18:11
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@Matthew Read: true, true. However if you didn't have to unlock the bootloader (or could re-lock it,) how would they know of your flashing shenanigans if you restore the device back too stock? ;) –  Chahk Dec 7 '11 at 0:53
    
@Chahk I like the way you think :P –  Matthew Read Dec 7 '11 at 0:54
    
And of course you may well get a later version of Android than is supplied for your phone by the carrier. My phone went from Android 2.1 to 2.3 with Cyanogenmod 7 meaning I could install a lot of apps that won't work with 2.1 –  pelms Dec 7 '11 at 18:05
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