After a long hiatus prompted by OnePlus hiring key members of the original development team, one of the most popular custom ROMs from the Jelly Bean/KitKat era has burst back onto the rooted Android landscape. Also known as AOSPA, the ROM brings back many aspects familiar to its following, including “Hover” (now simply referred to as “Floating mode”) and OTS (on-the-spot) controls.
For those who know of Paranoid Android only as a popular song from Radiohead’s 2000 album Kid A, “Floating mode” and OTS were staples of later versions of the ROM whose name was inspired by the aforementioned song. Floating mode is basically a floating full-app window triggered by either a notification in the drawer, a custom button present in all windows in Recents view or a heads-up notification. While you tap within the floating window, you can access all of the app’s features without leaving the app you were in before. Simply tap outside the floating window and it disappears.
OTS (on-the-spot) controls are a departure from the traditional custom ROM control center in Settings (for example, Dirty Unicorns has a control center called “Dirty Tweaks” while Validus has the “WolvesDen”). It’s also a departure from CyanogenMod’s traditional method of distributing its custom settings throughout the standard Settings app in their respective categories. Instead, the settings particular to Paranoid Android only appear when needed. For example, the first time you drag down the notification panel, you’ll see a prompt asking whether you want to pull down the Quick Settings every time you swipe down from the right side of the top of the screen. Whichever choice you make, you won’t see that prompt again unless you clear all Paranoid Android preferences in the “Backup and reset” section of the main Settings app. The team developing the ROM has long desired to keep its customizations as unobtrusive as possible.
Another feature that harkens back to AOSPA’s glory days is drag-and-drop reordering of Quick Settings tiles (and easy addition/deletion of such tiles). CyanogenMod Theme Engine support comes standard, though special attention has been payed to the battery indicator in the status bar.
Paranoid Android has long been a stock-plus affair, especially since Google actually adopted some of its most popular features from the Jelly Bean era into KitKat, and according to prominent team developer Arz Bhatia that will continue to be the case. Arz, Carlo Savignano and Matt Flaming are just a few of the familiar names from bygone days, but there are also more than a few new members on the team, and it’ll be interesting to see how this new resurgence of a classic ROM turns out. I’ve spent some quality time with this new build myself and I’ll share my impressions in another article in the near future.
The team issued the following list of supported devices:
Source: Paranoid Android Download
Nexus 7 2013
Some Sony devices