What I Learned About Myself From Unlocking, Rooting and ROMing My Phone.
With the announcement of Jelly Bean in the not so distant past (June 2012), I started to consider installing a Jelly Bean ROM on my Verizon Galaxy Nexus. After all, that's the point of having a Nexus right? I've rooted a phone before (the original Droid X) to install a free tethering app that I never used to take screenshots that I hardly did. I've also installed CM9 on my HP TouchPad, so I wasn't totally virgin to the process.
I finally told myself, "Self, you're a grown ass man. Stop being a bitch and install Jelly Bean!". So I tried, I downloaded some Nexus Toolkit app on my laptop and tried to use it to root and unlock my GNex. It didn't work. After walking up and down the mean streets of the internet looking for compatible drivers, I couldn't get it to work and I gave up.
About a week or two later, I gave myself another pep talk. "Hey, you punk motherfucker, try it again. Install the Android SDK and do it like man!". So I did it like a man and installed the Android SDK on laptop. Opened up my command prompt and started copying and pasting commands. Eventually, my phone was unlocked, rooted and running Jelly Belly 3.8! I had done it! I threw fear and trepidation out the window! I had a custom ROM running on my GNex. I had the latest version of Android on my phone!
I got all my apps loaded back on the phone. I was checking out Google Now. I has my Jelly Bean wallpapers. I was set. I went to Google Maps on my laptop and set up my home and work address so Google Now didn't have to figure it out. It was great that Google Now could tell me how my commute to home was going to be...except it would always tell me when I didn't need it. I don't care about my commute to work at 10:00 pm or my commute home at 2:30 pm in the afternoon. When I needed Google Now to tell me there was traffic on my trip home one it didn't tell me a damn thing! My main issues weren't with Google Now however...
My main problem was the random reboots and the lag and the freezing (insert comment from an Android hater: Isn't that all Android phones? Hardy har har!) and everything else that just didn't work quite right. I didn't have any recourse for the issues I had. I couldn't call Verizon and complain to them. I pitch a fit to the dev who built the ROM. They didn't make me install it. They didn't give me a warranty. I didn't pay them anything. I lived witgh for about a week before I had another talk with myself. "We're not about this life", I said to myself.
I caught the train back to the internet and found the source code for the Verizon GNex and flashed it back to my phone. I'm back on Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.4 and I'm happy. My phone works the way Matias Duarte intended it to. I did like the improvements in Jelly Bean, but I'm not ready to sacrifice stability for better notifications.
What I've learned about myself through this experience is that I really don't give a fuck about flashing ROMs, rooting or unlocking bootloaders. I don't give a rat's ass about none of it. I'm not a power user. I'm just a guy who wants to check his Gmail, play some games and stream some porn once and a while. That's all. My life isn't complicated. I'm not that guy who needs to root his phone to install a whole bunch of ugly ass icons to say my phone is different. I don't need an extra on-screen button. I don't need to change the colors of the on-screen buttons. I just don't. I'd rather wait for Google to make a software update and for Verizon to test the crap out of it than to download a ROM from some guy in a basement (no disrespect to the Android dev community, but I honestly don't know who the hell you guys are). Just give me plain vanilla Android from the factory and I'm good.