Android gives more freedom to users and this is why android owners prefer it to iOS. The large Android community has taken advantage of this freedom and started creating customized versions of the operating system, called Android ROMs, and many opt for one of these versions rather than the same-old stock version of the OS.
Replacing your stock Android with a custom ROM requires you to follow the instructions given by the ROM’s creator and the difficulty of the process depends on the ROM you choose and on your phone, but if you follow the instructions step by step it won’t be too hard and after doing it once you get the hang of it and you can start trying out ROM’s until you find the one you like the most. Installing a custom ROM will invalidate the warranty of your phone but just like with the iPhone jailbreak, the process is totally reversible and there’s no way to detect that you’ve done it once you reverse it.
A custom ROM can be very different from the stock version and totally change your phone’s menu, icons, homescreen and other interface and performance elements. Custom ROM’s are usually beta-tested before being launched so you don’t get a buggy version and sometimes even official android developers assist in their creation and update. They can make your phone faster, free up its memory and increase the battery life. These ROM’s are stripped of the useless junk that your carrier forces you to keep on your phone so they increase its performance. They also allow you to tweak some settings that you can’t access in a stock rom or to overclock the phone’s CPU.
There are many custom ROMs that you can install on your Samsung Galaxy S3 but here are the most popular and downloaded ones:
CyanogenMod: this is the most popular Custom ROM for Android and has reached version 10 now. It runs very smooth on the S3 and offers more options than S3’s stock OS, such as VPN, call screening and a large variety of themes. It gets frequent updates and is a good choice for beginners.
SlimBean: as its name suggests, SlimBean is a slimmed down version of JellyBean which does not contain any of the useless stock or carrier apps and has only the basic things included. The freed space brings the advantage of a greater speed, performance and battery life, so if you like to have many installed games and apps that require a lot of resources to run you could give it a try.
AOKP: a feature-rich ROM, AOKP offers more customization options than any other ROM and has received much praise from the community. Though it has many features, its performance is also very good.
Custom Android ROM’s are still a pretty new thing so they will probably get better in the future, and new ones are being released often, so good things are to be expected from them.