I have a new favorite Android ROM for the Nook Color: MROM

My Nook Color is my experimental Android rig. Since it’s aging fast, I don’t use it nearly as heavily as my other Android devices, so if I accidentally do something wrong, I can live without it much more easily than I can do without a phone or my nicer tablet.

So I tend to try a lot of different things on it, just because I can.

The newest ROM I’ve tried on it is called MROM, and I must say I am impressed.

MROM is basically a highly optimized Cyanogenmod 10.x, optimized specifically for the Nook Color rather than concentrating on running on as many different devices as possible–which, don’t get me wrong, is also a noble goal.

But Cyanogenmod 10 is known to be pretty laggy on a Nook Color. I agree it’s laggy, but I still found it more pleasant to use than Cyanogenmod 7.2, which is faster but dated.

MROM claims to be fast and modern. So I upgraded.

Upgrading is easy. I booted into recovery, performed a factory reset, wiped the cache (which turned out to be redundant), and wiped the Davlik Cache, then installed the MROM zip archive and the Google Apps zip archive. Each process, except for installing Google Apps, took a painfully long time and I thought the device had crashed. Be patient; it’s working, even if it takes more than five minutes.

The first boot took a good 2 ½ minutes as well, but when it finished, the device greeted me with the now-familiar Google setup screen, where I connected it to my wifi and signed it into my Google account. It even restored some (but not all) of my apps and settings, which was nice of it.

Any time you flash a new ROM onto an Android device, it’s best to let the system sit a few minutes to let it do its updates and whatever else it wants to do before using it heavily. So I did.

The verdict? It’s definitely less laggy than Cyanogenmod. Google News, Youtube, and Gmail–the three apps I care about the most–all load very quickly, and I can switch between them smoothly. Applying my standard suite of tweaks helps even more, of course.

My primary uses for the Nook Color now are streaming Youtube videos to my Chromecast, and keeping it at the bedside to check the news, weather, and my e-mail when I wake up in the morning. But with MROM installed, it may be quick enough that I can put it to work doing more demanding tasks than that now.

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