The Google Nexus range of devices come with a stock version of Android out of the box anyway, so many people do not understand why bother with installing a custom ROM on the device. We can tell you that there are still plenty of reasons. The main reason to install a custom ROM on any Android device is actually to update the operating system and not to run a stock version of Android — although the stock experience is enticing and is still one of the more popular reasons. But the fact is that for as long as our smartphone carrier networks refuse to update our operating system as our devices get older, the number one reason why anyone looks in the direction of a custom ROM will likely always be to check out newer Android software updates.

These are the best custom ROMs for the Google Nexus 7 2012 tablet so you can update your Android operating system and run newer software instead of your old version:

Google Nexus 7

Harmony ROM:

The Harmony ROM is the latest built custom ROM for the Google Nexus 7 which is based on Android 4.4 KitKat. The Harmony custom ROM is based on the CyanogenMod 11 ROM for performance and features. Installing some tweaks, adding some customization options and modded launcher made the CM custom ROM a brand new, fast and even more smoother custom ROM for Nexus 7.

Features: CM based, halo, dark UI, lock screen background options, customize-able text color, lock screen rotation, option to enable all widgets, minimize lock screen settings, slider contacts, lock screen button actions, status bar color and transparency, DND option, show notification count, fully customize-able navigation bar, quick settings color setting, tiles per row, quick pull down, text color, notification shortcuts, drawer style, toggle colors.

Download: Harmony ROM

CyanogenMod 11 ROM:

The CM 11 custom ROM is based on Android 4.4 KitKat OS and contains the stock UI once installed. You will get the Stock Android 4.4 KitKat interface and features with a CM theme engine so you can easily change your phone’s theme and guess what? There are thousands of themes available from the Google Play Store for the theme engine.

Features: Android 4.4 KitKat based, new boot animation, 360 degree rotation, sources updated, custom kernel for performance, custom DPI settings, CM theme engine, custom boot animation, custom shut down animation, nav bar ring switch, carrier label switch, smart pull down switch, stock customization, clock color.

Download: CyanogenMod 11 ROM

Unofficial Shiny ROM:

The Shiny ROM is based on Android 4.4 KitKat is will give your Nexus device an AOSP experience. The ROM in this post is based on Baldwinguy77’s work on ‘Shiny’ for Toro. However, this is not the same ROM which is why it gets the unofficial label.

Features: Android 4.4 KitKat based, day and date toggle, battery icon mod, center clock and right clock choice, battery bar customization, network traffic indicator, battery icon customization, battery % text, theme chooser, trigger position, trigger nav bar height, clear all button switch, clear all button location, center, bottom left, bottom right ad bottom center, clock widget, clock and alarm customization, 100+ icons for shortcuts.

Download: Unofficial Shiny ROM

Unofficial OmniROM:

The Omni ROM is the best custom ROM if you want a custom ROM that needs to be more productive. Additionally, it’s the best if you want to make the most out of your phone. The Omni ROM also contains the multi-window mode with which you can easily work on two or more apps at the same time simultaneously. Furthermore, the tablet also has a big screen so you can easily use 4 apps side by side or keep them floating.

Features: based on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, flip the quick setting tiles, roadrunner mode, multi window, daydream enhancements, integrated performance control, multi work space, color change-able, 3D depth phase beam and lots more.

Download: Unofficial OmniROM

CleanROM 4.0:

The CleanROM 4.0 is a new custom ROM that is based on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and contains stock UI and features. It is cleaner than any other custom ROM and by cleaner I mean without lots of bloatware system apps that you don’t use, but they are usually still lying around your phone or tablet because you can’t delete them. Now your bloatware problems can be banished forever — just install this custom ROM and you’ll get the cleanest ever interface on your tablet.

Features: based on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, stock launcher, Nova launcher, Apex launcher, Google apps installed (lite version), ES file explorer, ThinkFree viewer, init.d support, ADB as Root, Android terminal emulator, S4 Google edition boot animation, performance and stability.

Download: CleanROM 4.0

CrazyROM v1.5:

The CrazyROM v1.5 does the same as the name suggests and gives your device a crazy experience. The CrazyROM custom ROM is based on Androids 4.3 Jelly Bean and is really crazy because is brings lots of customization options to choose from and also the CPU comes tweaked at a higher level. I will only recommend you this custom ROM only if you can handle this much craziness on your tablet.

Features: based on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, stock firmware build, some performance tweaks added, vorcers’s kernel included, custom boot animation, added Apollo music player, Nova launcher as default launcher, 36 dpi navigation bar, auto hide navigation bar, Adobe Flash included, Crazy customization in settings.

Download: CrazyROM v1.5

NxTGen ROM v3.0:

Now for a more serious ROM: The NxtGen ROM v3.0 is based on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and only focusses on the performance and stability of the ROM. You can’t find any stability problem in this ROM. Yes, it lacks some customization options, but the performance of this ROM will do the trick for that. Install this custom ROM and forget all that app crashing or random phone restarting because it ain’t going to happen on this ROM.

Features: Based on Android 4.3 JWR66V, odexed, kernel stock, root and Busy Box installed, power menu extended, remove advertisements, YouTube Ad Away, battery saver mode, Blue soft key included, 18 wallpapers included, all Google apps updated, Nova launcher v2.2.1 as the default launcher, Solid explorer, SuperSU v1.51, transparent weather, CPU spy 0.40.

Download: NxTGen ROM v3.0