● Custom ROMs and the Ups and Downs of SafeStrap
When I originally got my Droid 4, I was fairly happy with it. The stock Motorola ROM that came with it was fairly free of bloatware, and was preloaded with many useful and cool looking useful Apps, making it a really useful device. However it also comes with a nasty Verizon's tethering entitlement check to force you into paying additional data charges and if like me you need to tether other devices to access the Internet with them and can't (and you shouldn't) put up with Veriizon's questionable practices and/or live outside the US, then the easiest course of action is to install a custom ROM as the tethering entitlement check, hack doesn't work under Jelly bean 4.3. Plus Installing a custom ROM may allow you (depending on which ROM you install) to upgrade your device to Android 4.4 (AKA KitKat) or Android 5 (AKA Lollipop).

  • SafeStrap
    SafeStrap was developed by HashCodeOf as workaround to bypass the Motorola locked bootloader in order to install custom ROMs on some of those devices and operate in a similar fashion as Grub, allowing to have multiple partitions (named slots in the case of SafeStrap) and OSs instances.
    - The Upside is that beside the stock ROM you can several other Android instances on the same device, allowing you to test different ROMs (while keeping your day-to-day ROM untouched) or have separate ROMs optimized for different uses and purposes.
    - The Downside is that those ROMs slots are located on the internal SDcard, which being formated as FAT causes those ROMs to slow down over time. You'll find more details about it on 
    Gof's Web site.

    Having your pie and eat it. Fortunately Senior XDA member Mentor37 has patched SafeStrap to make use the Droid 4 unused /preinstall and /webtop internal partitions, which can be natively formatted as Ext3, thus allowing to have a ROM slot (called SafeSlot) which isn't located on the FAT formatted internal SD card and therefore won't slow down over time. The net result is that you can have a day-to-day ROM which won't slow down over time AND additional slots (still subject to slow down over time, though) which can be used for other purposes.

  • Which ROMs?
    Personally I prefer AOSP based ROMs, starting with the Carbon, AOKP and CyanogenMod (in that order).