I’ve been running a few different ROM builds on my Tmobile G2. We have a number of customized Gingerbread ROMs well in advance of Tmobile’s delivery of the build. Probably one of the best known is CyanogenMod 7. If you look at the XDA forum, you’ll see a stable release and what are called nightly releases. These are cutting edge releases which may or may not have issues.
But Android is about choice. One of the most interesting of choices is the MIUI distribution which originates from China but is redone here in the US and produced on a growing number of Android phones.
So what’s special about the MIUI build? Well for one its completely different than anything you have seen before on a phone. People may say its iPhone looking but its much more flexible than an iPhone could ever be. It extends a user interface which is very unique to the phones. The way we interact with the phones changes. How we manage them changes. Yet the builds are based on Gingerbread at the latest level.
The other cool thing is that they come out each week and then the ROM chefs take them and rebrand, redo, and release. Its what Android is all about but at an international level. If you don’t like the rebranding just download the original and install the english language pack.
So the other question is how in the heck to not have to re-install the whole shebang when changing ROM loads. The answer is nandroid. How this interacts with the phone is perhaps best explained here. The really nice thing though is you can have multiple backups of different ROMs and then just restore them. Very nice functionality for testing ROMs.
Lets face it; one of the greatest things about “got root” is installing other stuff that makes the phone look completely different. The MIUI world takes you there. Its not for everyone definitely. It does give you a different window on what Android can look like. Different tools, different form factor of a UI. Different ways of use.