Android is a great operating system for phones, but it’s also one that manufacturers can tweak and redesign, within certain parameters. That means all the problems that we had with phones in the last decade linger on: Crappy custom software that breaks functionality (aka “skins”), bloatware, and your phone limited. Wouldn’t it be nice to just have a stock Android experience?
Now, you can, at least on the HTC One.
The Android mod community has essentially just dumped a stock ROM of the Google Edition (i.e. crapware-free) of the HTC One, and put it out on the Internet. Which means you can finally enjoy your Android phone the way it was meant to be enjoyed.
Needless to say, HTC would very much prefer that you use their terrible “Sense” UI, so this takes a bit of tweaking. But it remains fairly simple: First, you’ll need to back up your phone, so take care of that. Next, root your phone, using a free software tool. “Root” in this case means restoring total control to you, the user. Be aware that in most cases, rooting your phone wipes the phone’s contents, so make sure that backup is in place. Then just download the ROM and its “recovery” to your phone, and it takes care of the rest.
True, even though rooting your phone may be far less technically complex than it was, it’s still fairly complex and not something everybody cares to tackle. That said, it will likely make your phone faster, give you more room to download apps you actually want to use as opposed to apps your mobile carrier thinks you should have just in case you want to pay them twenty bucks to watch an episode of NCIS, and give you more control, so it might be worth tackling, just to stick it to the man.
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.