SlimKat vs. SlimLP

Slim vs. Slim - Home Screens

What we’re looking at here are the default home screens of two custom ROMs from Team Slim—the Android 4.4.4-based SlimKat on the left, and the new Android 5.0-based SlimLP (for Lollipop) on the right.

While SlimKat for my OnePlus One is a stable build SlimLP for the Nexus 6 is a very early alpha. Today, through the magic of screen grabs, I’m going to use the former to show you what’s currently missing on the latter—or in other words, why there’s no need to flash a Lollipop-based custom ROM on your device just yet.

Let’s dive in!

1. Privacy Guard

Slim vs. Slim - Privacy Guard

For me, this is the single, most important feature of any Android ROM. I firmly believe that if you’re not using some implementation of App Ops on your Android device then you’re putting your personal data at risk.

Thankfully, even this early alpha of SlimLP already has their version of Cyanogen’s Privacy Guard baked in.

2. The Real Dark Slim

Slim vs. Slim - The Real Dark Slim

Unfortunately SlimROMs have no support for theming. But with “the real dark slim”, basically a toggle to black out your Android interface, I don’t really need it. Even better, Slim maintains their own versions of Google apps, with equally murdered-out colour schemes to match.

Bad news, though: SlimLP is currently missing this defining feature.

3. SlimWallpapers

Slim vs. Slim - SlimWallpapers

Without any theming abilities a custom ROM at least needs a good selection of custom wallpapers. Team Slim has chosen to make these available through a separate app on the Play Store. Of course you can download the app for a QHD device like the Nexus 6, but you may be disappointed to find that the 1080p backgrounds don’t look as crisp as they should.

4. Slim Recents

Slim vs. Slim - Recents

I am unabashedly in love with Slim’s take on the recent apps menu, and thrilled that I can move it to the left side of my screen to match the capacitive menu button on my OnePlus One. With all the eye candy on Android L Team Slim has chosen, for the moment at least, not to mess with the Rolodex-style appearance of Google’s equivalent. I hope they change their minds on that!

5. Camera Customizations

Slim vs. Slim - Camera Customizations

Like Cyanogen, the Slim devs have put a fair amount of work into their default camera app. But at present, I can’t find any of these customizations on the SlimLP version.

I’ve futzed around with some other Lollipop-based ROMs and, like SlimLP, they feel like works-in-progress. There will probably come a time when I’ll want to update my ROM’s UI to match the material design of my updated apps, but for now I stand by my decision that there’s no compelling reason to upgrade to Android 5.0.