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

April 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!