One thing that custom ROM’s don’t benefit from, the way stock ROM’s do, is a good way of checking for updates on your phone and then being able to update the ROM with the latest version from there. If this were to be done easily and painlessly, I think a lot more people would be interested in using custom ROM’s for their phones.
Some use custom ROM’s just because they like being on the cutting edge, even if they already have a phone with the latest version of Android. Others do it out of necessity to keep their phones on the latest version of Android, long before the manufacturers have abandoned them. Either way, the easier it will get for users to use custom ROM’s, the better it will be for everyone.
Some developers have decided to make it easy not only for users to be able to update their custom ROM’s easily, but also for developers. With the OTA Update Center, developers can host all their custom ROM’s on their site, and the whole process is centralized removing all the hard work for developers! It’s also free for them to use, which is a very compelling reason for developers to prefer it over alternatives. The features of this centralized system include:
- Add and remove OTA Updates in a centralised database.
- Check for updates on boot of devices.
- Check for updates manually when the person wants to.
- Download the rom and flash it directly.
- Download the rom without flashing.
- Wipe data and or cache/dalvik before flashing the update.
My opinion is that the sooner all developers start using this, including the CyanogenMod team, the better. CyanogenMod has historically used the ROM Manager app to update most of their ROM’s in a similar way, but I don’t see why they couldn’t use this instead. It seems a lot more intuitive for users. If it becomes the standard way for custom ROM’s developers to update their ROM’s then the CyanogenMod team should use it as well.