You may want to try out a new ROM for numerous reasons, ranging from more battery life, better performance or just to just keeping a tap on the latest developments, whatever the reason, you can boot multiple ROMs on your Android device using a software known as BootManager, once installed you may choose which ROM to use on startup.
Being able to use more than one ROM can be very convenient, however having to flash them to simply test them out can be quite a hassle. If you are looking to test out a new ROM without flashing it using the existing ROM, BootManager can help. Using BootManager you can flash the new ROM (along with three others) on to your memory card which will let you seamlessly try several ROMs at the same time. You should be aware that memory cards are slower so the ROM would be slower as well. Additionally compatibility may be an issue but you should be able to use most ROMs for the purpose of testing without an issue.
The application is compatible with most popular Android models including the Droid, HTC Thunderbolt, HTC Desire and Droid Incredible. While official compatibility for other phones has not been acknowledged, it may be compatible with other models as well.
Note: Rooting, Jailbreaking or customizing your device can be risky, and you may end-up bricking your device! Follow the instructions posted here at your own responsibility as InspiredGeek will not be responsible for any damage to your device.
Note: The following tutorial comprises of intermediate to advanced technical information so if you don’t have experience with flashing or rooting a ROM, be sure to familiarize yourself with these procedures first.
Step One: Flash a Second ROM
As always, before executing any of these advanced procedures, be sure to backup via your Android of the existing ROM using the ROM Manager tool. You can alternatively use the recovery module as well. You may miss a step and find the process to malfunction in which case you can always revert to the previous settings using your backup.
The next step is to get BootManager, it can simply be downloaded from the Android Market. Once this is done, get yourself a ROM you prefer and copy the file to your memory card.
Once you initiate BootManager, you will be asked to make a backup of boot.img. This is an important step before you look to install your new ROM. Upon completion of the backup, navigate to the “Install ROMs” section and choose the ROM file that you copied to your memory card as aforementioned. Check all three boxes and begin the procedure. It may take a while to execute the process. Once the process is completed, you will be given the choice of booting up the newly created ROM. Don’t do it yet. There are more steps to complete.
Step Two: Install Google Apps and Other ROM Add-Ons
In most cases, the ROMs won’t have the default Google apps installed, this includes apps like Gmail which are essential so the next step would be to get these apps up. Additionally, without the Market application, you cannot use BootManager on the new ROM if you ever want to switch to a different ROM. If your ROM already has the apps installed (which is possible not highly likely) you can proceed to the next step.
First, fetch the appropriate Google Apps file for the ROM that was installed. Next, use BootManager and follow the same process of installing a new ROM as before, except this time, choose the Google Apps file but pick the same spot used when installing the ROM. Unlike before, uncheck all boxes before beginning the process, you will then be redirected to the new ROM and the Google applications will be available.
The aforementioned procedure of installing the ROM and Google Apps can be used for any other compressed add-on in future, such as a theme. Be sure to uncheck the three boxes each time.
Step Three: Switch Between ROMs
You may always revert to another ROM by using the “Boot Installed ROM” option from the BootManager software. When you navigate to this option, a list of all the installed ROMs would be displayed. BootManager will be available on all ROMs however you will need the Android Market to use it which is why the previous step of installing the Google Apps is important.
You’re done! Using BootManager you can use up to five different ROMs at the same time giving you the option of using different operating systems at the same time. Click here to download BootManager.
BootManager is available for $2.99 and is compatible with Android version 2.1 upwards. The Market page lists all compatible phones however any device running Android 2.1 up should support BootManager.
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