AOKP is a popular new ROM, but what are the differences to CyanogenMod?

by: SamApril 10, 2012

We’ve been running more and more articles on AOKP lately, and many people keep asking what AOKP is. Well, within this article I would like to explain it to you.

The CyanogenMod ROM is based on AOSP (Android Open Source Project). These CM builds often contain a few extra features and tweaks to improve the overall Android experience. Users get to enjoy the stock Android experience and not the skins and additional clutter that manufacturers slap onto Android when distributing devices. CyanogenMod is hugely popular, supporting over 70 devices. I proudly run it on my own Desire HD.

There is a new kid in town, though. AOKP (Android Open Kang Project) started out as a Computer Science College Major’s past-time and has blossomed into a very popular project. Powered by pink unicorns, AOKP is a powerful contender to CyanogenMod. I suppose contender isn’t the best word really, so let’s say friendly rival!

So, what are the differences?

When you take a cursory glance at the ROMs, there doesn’t seem to be any real difference. That is because they are both running the purest Android Ice Cream Sandwich build (with their own additions, of course!).

Scratching the surface (especially in the Settings Menu), reveals the first key difference. Whilst CyanogenMod 9 has moved to filing ROM-specific configurations under their respective settings category, AOKP has carried on with the idea that custom tweaks should be kept in one area – ROM Control! There are far too many tweaks to list, but the number most certainly exceeds that of CyanogenMod 9. As you can see in this screenshot, you have plenty to tinker with.

Although the AOKP ROM has more features than CM 9, this could be because the CM team has a lot more work to do than the AOKP Team. Remember that the CyanogenMod team tries to bring new builds of Android to older devices, so their first objective is to brew a version of Ice Cream Sandwich that can do this. From there, they can start piling on the features.

My personal experience with AOKP

My fun with AOKP has been with Builds 28 through 31 on the Asus Transformer. Though I picked out one or two bugs here and there, I noticed they were gone in the next build that was released. Stability has never been a problem either. Once or twice, my tablet rebooted over the night, but this hasn’t occurred with the newest builds.

As for speed, I’m confident that AOKP is a little faster than CM 9. Only marginally, of course, since they run pretty much the exact same software. Here and there you notice subtle differences, such as when opening the App Drawer or re-launching an application, and AOKP usually wins.

The customization has to be my favourite feature in AOKP though. I can have a line across my nav-bar to represent my battery life, and change my Wi-fi signal rating to be displayed as a percentage  rather than an approximate icon. The colour of the clock and transparency of the navigation bar? Weather report integration with the notifications area? All present and accounted for.

Your Experiences

As always, at Android Authority we are keen to know the experiences of our own readers. Have you tried both of these ROMs on a device and have something to say about them? Did one disappoint and the other delight? Let us know in the comments section below!

  • Lerkamed

    I like aokp on my sgs I9000. Very fast and stable. In fact Cm9 for my device is great too, but some features are missing.

  • gbgamer

    I used to have Touchwiz Kang, for the T989, and I must say that all the extra options were very appreciated!

  • Ive tried them both, i use to be a die hard cmod user, that is until aokp came along, to me aokp has been better in every aspect, i dont know if cmod is changing the way they run things or theyve just been lazy as far as coding goes on cm9, by i gotta say AOKP is blowing cmod (all due respect to cyanogenmod team) out of the freaking water… Times have changed and it’s AOKP time to shine!

  • Jaonea

    I tried both and stayed at CM9 because of Reloaded ICS but still remember AOKP is often based on CM9 so thank CM9 for having AOKP (start hatin ^^)

  • AOKP is AMAZING on my Galaxy Nexus… I was a die hard CM fan on my nexus one, but they are taking forever to get a stable build for the frigin device ICS premièred on!!!!
    I understand the CM team have many more devices to deal with and this is now their Achilles heel. CM also seems to be more serious (dare I say ‘commercial’) these days, with a new logo. I love the cheeky gay unicorn of AOKP.
    On a negative note… I tried it on my Transformer and it was choppy and slow, so I went with Revolution HD instead. I can’t see me changing to CM mod when it finally comes out (stable) for the Galaxy nexus though. Respect is also due to Franco kernal though… that made my phone rock even harder!.
    They all share code… so full respect is still deserved by the CM team.

  • Roberto

    I’ve always used CM but changed to AOKP now. It’s settings tree is more logic and built into the rom. Even my girlfriend can handle AOKP while she gets problems with CM (to deinstall apps keep icon for several seconds on remove until it changes to deinstall). These small differences make a good or less good user experience.

    • Sam Cater

      That is a neat feature I never knew about, thank you :)

  • Cguella

    This is a great ROM. I am on build 31 on a cdma galaxy nexus. It fixed all issues I had with stock 4.0.2. except Mic mute issue which some are saying is a network issue.

    • Thomase7

      Can’t be network as switching speaker phone on off fixes it.

  • Blah

    I have AOKP (modified with some of CM9)on ZTE blade – provided by BURSTLAM. Faster App drawer experience ever…..

  • Stanley Watson

    What is the most popular, or some of the most popular, AOKP ROM’s? I’m going to try WESTCRİP’S RESURRECTION ROM . Is that OK?

    • i m using it from past 3 months ,and havent even tried other roms
      its best out there

    • Stanley,

      Yes Westcrips Ressurection ROM’s are brilliant, lots of cool features.
      I’ve run a few of them in the past. In fact I switch between another
      popular ROM called Rootbox currently on v2.2 or build JR–3H, which I am
      currently running. Highly recommended. The reason these two stand out
      is the AROMA installer. You just select the options you want installed
      and the rest is done for you.

  • Ckad817

    I have the samsung galaxy s2 i777 on att. I’ve been running a aokp/cm9 for the last couple weeks and its the best possible android experience in my opionion . Teamed with either siyah kernal or the neak kernal and you got an awesome device. =]

  • lvjohn

    I am on build 34, its a very very good rom.

  • lvjohn

    Milestone 5 is the best and I have tried a lot of roms.

  • skopp

    AOKP FTW hands down. CM team needs to stop lifting its nose a bit and go back to their origins, so to speak.

  • chisny

    I’m currently using the Resurrection Remix Pro by Westcrip and it’s really AWESOME.
    and it’s a combination of AOKP and CM9. I bet you won’t be dissapointed! xD
    if you want to try :
    btw my phone is SGS2

  • SilverKing

    I love it !
    I’m running it on my Galaxy2 SGH-I777 (AT&T) and it is the best I tried so far.
    The only thing that worries me is security, how can I trust a ROM without been
    paranoic about my sensitive data to be stolen.

  • rainedfond

    I’m using AOKP… on my… Galaxy Mini. and it’s an amazing experience.

  • I used to be a big fan of Cyanogenmod in general, but I’ve moved on to using EliteMod ICS (CM9 Kernel, but with AOKP rom) for my T-Mobile G2 (HTC Vision/Desire-Z). I do like the fact that most of the customizations and such are placed in a rom control area. Though I kind of miss some features like profiles in CM.

  • mjs1231

    galaxy S III


    benchmark app used

    DX toolbox

    I have found some interesting results.

    The AOPK roms all score 50 % higher in ram bandwidth tests.

    I have tested all the CM roms i can get my hands on.

    The exact same results.

    All other tests were right on par with AOPK based roms.

    There is something the CM folks are missing.

    I believe this ram bandwidth issue is killing the CM roms

    This is exactly why you are seeing many folks going back to AOPK from CM

    i tried ICS and Jellybean roms

    All the CM roms are loosing 500 points out of roughly 1000 in the ram bandwidth tests.

    CM has a severe ram Bandwidth issue.

    I switched to the following

    Blazer rom 1.8

    Blazer rom 1.9 lags too much.

    so my current rig is blazer 1.8 and a custom kernels

    I use the Trinity GS3 and KT747 kernels

    GS3 is what I settled on until a viable JB OAPK is released.


  • jake

    AOKP 4.2.2 build 7.2.2013 on my s3 and must say my phone spanks any other as far as how freak in amazing it is. you can pretty much customize every aspect of the phone. and no bloat wear .