Legitimizing Android ROMs with Over the Air Updates

Community developed Android ROMs have come a very long way in a short amount of time. Many people now base their hardware purchase on whether or not they will be stuck running the factory ROM on it; alternatives like CyanogenMod and AOKP are simply better than what the manufacturer shipped the hardware with.

But for all of their improvements, custom Android ROMs fall short compared to their factory counterparts in a few areas: most notably, updates. Updating the factory ROM on your device (assuming your manufacturer is kind enough to update your device???) is so simple that even the most clueless of users will always be running the latest and greatest. The official Over The Air (OTA) update process is designed for the mass market, and it works.

But with custom Android ROMs, there is very little organization on how updates are distributed or even announced. Unless you keep a close eye on forums or the ROM’s site, there is a good chance you won’t even know an update has been released. Once you do, you have to go through the usual process of finding the download, hoping the mirror hasn’t crashed, and installing the updated ROM. All of which, incidentally, you probably did on your computer rather than on the device itself.

Surely, there must be a more professional way of handling things.