Update: Purity ROM has been updated to Android 4.4.4, as of July 1, 2014. So far, so good. I'm also trying it with the recommended custom kernal Code Blue.

In between the time this ROM was updated, I tried a custom "stock" ROM, and used the Xposed Mod Gravity Box to get most of the customization I had with Purity, but my battery wasn't lasting as long, so I still recommend this particular custom ROM.

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Last week, Google put out Android 4.4.3 and not long after that quite a few custom ROMs were updated to include the latest and greatest. Since the ROM I was previously using (Cataclysm) seemed to have been discontinued and I wanted my phone on the latest version, I eventually ended up flashing Purity ROM, and wanted to share my thoughts on it.

I flashed the ROM this Monday, and in addition to being up to date with Android 4.4.3, it also includes Root (but not GApps so make sure to install those as instructed) and it's mostly stock with a few useful tweeks (text or circle battery indicator, centered clock, disabling power off from the lockscreen) and based on the past week the battery life has been pretty good too. For all full list of all the features, please click on the XDA Forum link above. Below are a few of the features I really liked, with pictures.

First up, there's an Purity section in the settings, where you can make your additional tweeks. This is always more convenient that having to flash additional mods.


From there you get all the options to make changes to the Status Bar, Quick Settings, Navigation Bar and Quick Launch shortcuts. As well as the option to add a "clear all" for Recent Apps.


Even though they're just little changes, I always like being able to change the battery indicator to text and move the clock to the center. The clock options also include being able to add the date (with day of week if you want) but I found if I have a lot going on the right (alarm, wifi, bluetooth, etc) it starts to overlap the center so I just stick with the time and AM/PM.


You can also include the reboot menu in the power menu, which means when you hold the power button, you can also choose to reboot normally, into recovery or into bootloader.


These options will then appear the next time you hold down the power button. And if you select reboot you will get the 3 choices I mentioned.


ETA: Another helpful function I didn't go over before was the individual app permissions control, App ops.

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If you go into Settings, under the System section the first listing is App Privacy.


From there, you will see apps listed based on type (location, personal, messaging, media, device).


Then, if you select one, like WhatsApp, you will be shown a list of what it has permission to access and you can choose to turn off some of those permissions. Just make sure not to turn off anything the app actually needs to function.


The other extra I really like is being able to add 2 more Quick Launch shortcuts. Those of you familiar with Google Now know that if you long press and drag up the home button, it brings up Google Now. This lets you add 2 more, one if you drag to the left and one if you drag to the right. You can also change Google Now to something else, but I left that as is.


I went with the "Screen Off" switch on the left (figuring it would mean a little less use of the power button), and clock on the right for quick(er) access to my alarms.


Update: the icon for "Screen Off" has been updated on the 4.4.4 ROM, with a sleeping phone.


And there you have it. There are plenty of other cool options, but those are the main ones I like, and I highly recommend this ROM for anyone looking for mostly stock with a few extras. There's also ROMs for the Nexus 7 if you have one of those. I updated mine with the Grouper Purity ROM Monday night based on how much I liked it on my Nexus 5.

It also seems to use up less battery than some of the more feature heavy ROMs, but that may vary by phone, and not just the model but each individual phone.

ETA: some ROMs don't seem to work well with Xposed, but this one does not seem to have any such problems. So here's a few modules that work to compliment Purity.

RootCloak - hides Root from apps that check for it and don't work if root is detected. Tried it with a couple apps I have (Cinema Now and Target Ticket) and it worked and now so do they.

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XLockSecuritySlide - adds the sliding lock icon to your lock screen on top of any PIN, pattern or code unlock you set up. Allows you to make use of the custom lockscreen shortcuts (Purity has a limit of 4 slots). Note: this may not work with 3rd party lock screen widgets (like HD Widgets).

Xposed Call Blocker - allows you to block specified phone numbers (great if you're getting spam). No link for this one, but just search from Xposed Installer.