Should I Modify ("mod") my device?
When making the decision on whether or not to modify the software on your device, several factors come into play. Your Android device is pretty much a full computer (and if it's a phone it has additional mobile functions), so it may help to think of it in the same way as you would consider modifying your laptop or desktop computer from its stock installation.
Common reasons to modify your device's operating system include:
- Remove unwanted programs ("bloatware") installed by your carrier
- Receive more frequent security updates (ie, get the latest fixes from Google in the newer OSes)
- Having access to the most current version of Android available (including new features)
- Most carriers take months to update to the latest version of Android, whereas rooted devices usually receive updates within days or weeks
- Better performance
- Extra features
Common concerns include the following:
- Some devices may offer a limited or voided warranty after modifying
- It is possible that by installing a rooted operating system you may be introducing potential security issues (although this argument could be switched-- older operating systems may be insecure as well...)
- Non-stock firmware could contain malicious code - which is a good argument for making sure you download custom ROMs from a trusted source, or even better, build it yourself!'
- Stability Issues
- Non-stock ROMs may be experimental and could cause stability issues. However, for many people, CyanogenMod has proven to be more stable than most 'official' ROMs
To read more about the pros and cons of rooting and installing custom roms, check out this article from Android Authority.