Your device comes shipped with Stock Moto ROM and although it’s pretty decent, it’s really not optimized for performance and speed the way custom ROMs are. Many people root their phones and go the route of removing the bloat, which is a process of removing/freezing the bloatware apps on your phone (skype, amazon.mp3, kindle, CityID…), this is an okay approach however it does not offer the nice features that custom ROMs offer like zipaligning your apps (optimizing your apps for speed) on boot and coming pre-configured with some of the nice system tweaks I have already mentioned in this write up. Regardless, removing the bloat from Stock Moto ROM will in fact improve your battery life and overall performance, so if you want to try doing that before venturing the route of custom ROMs then check out this thread for information on how to do it properly; Removing the Bloat 2.2 OTA – (3 Ways) Super Easy & Safe, Safe & Easy, Free. Now, if you really want to improve your battery life and speed, then loading a custom ROM is the way to go. Each ROM brings something a little different to the table but they all share one thing in common and that is that they are all significantly better than stock ROM regarding how they allocate your system resources (hardware), furthermore custom ROMs are built by independent devs rather than Moto which makes it really nice for end-users because they are updated far more frequently. Understanding the differences between the custom ROMs available will help you to make an informed decision, however the only way to really ever know which one you like the best is simply to try them all.
A common misunderstanding amongst end-users is that some ROMs are in fact faster than others, or use the battery more efficiently, however this isn’t entirely true; the main reason why some ROMs may appear to be faster or have improved battery life over others is because of all of the other things I mentioned in this post thus far; what I mean by this, is that a lot of the popular custom ROMs available come pre-configured with both sysctl.conf tweaks and build.prop edits which greatly affect how they perform because all the independent devs are fully aware that these are the settings that really boost your phones performance. However, like I mention before, regardless of your ROM, all of these settings can be tweaked by the end-user, so theoretically, with the right system tweaks, you could obtain comparable performance out of all the custom ROMs. So then how do you choose? Good question! Each ROM has it’s on unique flavor, overall feel, and extra features which sets them apart from the others; like offering a nice graphical interface for ROM customizations, different scripts the user can run from terminal, different boot animations and/or logo’s and a bunch of other subtle difference’s that truly give them their one of kind identity. Another difference between ROMs you may notice is transition animations but this to can be changed using JRummy’s app Anim MOD. That aside, there is one major difference between custom ROMs which really sets them apart and divides them into to two primary categories and that’s Blurr vs Blurrless (AOSP).
All of the system apps and/or their corresponding widgets built by Moto; stock camera, gallery, backup assistant, accounts, universal inbox, social networking service, stock toggle widgets, weather & news widget, messaging widget, ect… Some of these apps are really nice, however, the main difference between blur apps and those built from source code by independent devs (blurless) is that not all of them are optimized for speed and performance. Therefore a user may be able to obtain improved system performance by replacing some of their blur apps with a blurless alternative.
Android Open Source Project (AOSP); all of the system apps built by independent devs from google source code to replace blur apps, which offer improvements in speed, reliability and overall efficiency regarding their use of system resources. Almost all blurless apps can be installed on blurry ROMs, therefore its recommended to always use blurless apps if you feel that you are getting the necessary functionality out of the them.
One thing that must be clearly stated is that not all blur apps are necessarily reliant on the blur framework, that is they don’t require blur-res.apk, a framework component that is only present in blurry ROMs, so therefore they can in fact be installed on blurless ROMs; these apps include stock blur camera, gallery, moto dock, battery manager, and moto’s music app. However, there are some blur apps which can only be run/installed on a blurry ROM and some of these apps give the end-user access to features on their phone that otherwise they wouldn’t be able to access/use on a blurless ROM, these apps/features include, HDMI support, DLNA support, Backup Assistant, Social Networking Service, and Moto’s widgets. There are also other blur apps that can only be used on blurry ROMs but can be replaced for a blurless alternative, these apps include; Blur Phone, Blur Email (Universal Inbox), Blur Camera, Blur Gallery, Moto Dock, and Blur Messaging (blur based text messaging). Since there is so much crossover between blurry and blurless ROMs, choosing which kind you want to run really comes to weather or not you want to use HDMI or DLNA, all the rest can be accomplished with blurless alternatives.
So what are the ways can we can improve overall system performance on the Base/Framework level?
1. Simple! Load a custom ROM:
Honestly… like I said before, all the custom ROMs are great and if you know how to tweak them you can make them even better! Try them out and decide which one you like.
2. Modify your ROM:
If you are running are stock ROM then I already mentioned where you can go for information regarding removing bloatware. If you end up choosing to load a custom ROM however, and are looking for a good place to find mod’s, extra’s, blur/blurless apps, or basically anything you’ll need to customize your ROM, check out this thread [One Stop] ROM goodies, extras, MODs and more!