If you love the idea of the PIE controls found in Paranoid Android but can't bear the thought of parting with CyanogenMod, break out the champagne, because the two are to be wed today. That's right – PIE controls are coming to CyanogenMod 10.1.


For those who may not be familiar with Paranoid Android, PIE is a unique navigation method that essentially removes the stock nav bar and turns it into a floating control panel, much like the Quick Controls option in the now-defunct stock browser. This provides more usable space on the screen without taking away the necessary navigation controls.

CM took to its Google+ page (as it often does for these sort of announcements) early this morning to announce the feature for CM10.1 builds, noting that the code has been completely rewritten by contributor Jens Doll. The patches that enable PIE to do what it does were merged late last evening, so the feature will be available in the subsequent nightlies, which should hit the scene later today/early tomorrow.

CyanogenMod (G+)

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • https://plus.google.com/u/0/108482452903817442299/posts Andrew Bone

    How would you launch google now?

    • raazman

      If it's anything like what we've seen in the past, you should be able to set actions to each button by modifying gestures. For example, holding on the home icon can bring up google now.

    • http://www.facebook.com/marshall.ladd Marshall Ladd

      You can assign long press actions to the buttons. I have mine set to launch Google now, settings and messages with long presses.

    • troph

      Well if they are taking a leaf from paranoid's book, then it'll have the option to include in the navigation pie. On my Nex4 running PA 3.15 it looks like this. Dedicated menu and search.

    • justin

      in the settings for PIE, you can add the search button, so you will have 4 buttons, back, home, search, recent apps, you can even add in a persistent settings button

  • raazman

    I wonder if Google will ever pick this up for stock Android. It might be a little too confusing for the common user.

    • http://twitter.com/NitrozK Nitroz

      Well, it kind of already is in stock Android. PIE is based off of Google's quick control in the stock AOSP browser. Same with LMT Launcher.

      • raazman

        Yeah, and I really liked, despite getting rid of the browser for Chrome and not replacing the control. But it'd be nice to see it system-wide as well.

      • Floflo

        In Paranoid Android, the default browser is reverted to the AOSP browser instead of Chrome. :-)

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1745689461 Hal Motley

          Same on CyanogenMod because Chrome is GApp like the Play Store.

          • XBIRDIE98

            Though unlike most GApps, the source for Chrome is (mostly) open; much like Firefox, the Chrome branding is the "closed" bit. I'm not sure exactly how much is open, but Google has been slowly releasing the code, as stated here: https://developers.google.com/chrome/mobile/docs/faq

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1745689461 Hal Motley

            You mean Chromium right? On the desktop everything that Google made for Chrome is open-source under BSD licensing (except for other technologies such as WebKit under GPL). All that Chromium lacks is a colourful logo, an autoupdater, a PDF reader and Adobe Flash player.

            It should be identical for Android, but I don't know much about Chrome for Android as I use the standard AOSP browser called "Browser".

          • XBIRDIE98

            The updater is actually open source, though Google doesn't push out updates for Chromium. If you're interested, it's called Omaha, and its used throughout Google' desktop software, including Chrome OS. Thanks for the info - I didn't know that the PDF viewer was closed - I must have mentally mixed it up with the Firefox one. I did know about the Flash, Netflix, and Widevine plugins, however, as those are common things that people are fishing about the Chrome packages to use on Chromium.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1745689461 Hal Motley

            I didn't know Omaha is open-source (under Apache apparently), so thanks for teaching me something new. Apparently you can build Chromium for Android too. Not that I have tried it.

            According to the folks at OMG! Ubuntu the PDF viewer is just a library called "libpdf.so". It seems you can manually recreate Chrome so it's everything, but the colourful logo if you want.

    • Greg Sanders

      Yep. They would never adopt something like this.

    • http://twitter.com/RaspberryDuff Matt

      If they did, I'd hope it would be an option and not the default. I tried the PIE controls for 2-3 days and I just couldn't enjoy it. My thumb was constantly over what I needed to see and the options obviously changed so that interfered with navigation. I can see the utility, but I just don't enjoy that control scheme and it ends up wasting more time for me than it saves; in addition, it has a much steeper learning curve than the more traditional menus so I don't see them implementing it as a default. Same with quick controls in the AOSP browser; tried for a month, ended up going back to a regular menu.

    • http://thedangerbrain.com/ Alfonso Surroca

      Agreed. They should add something like this buried in the developer options though. I'd definitely use it, as Google Now cards isn't a good enough reason to swipe up, but this is!

  • Raloc

    I'm glad this is happening. I moved from stock to PA simply for the pie navigation, because I was sick of the navigation bar eating up a solid 15%~ of my screen. Unfortunately PA doesn't have the team or the infrastructure to make it feel like I'm not using a rom made by some bedroom developers. Where CM has managed to make the ugliness of custom roms a little more transparent.

  • Carl Johnson

    Paranoid Android, Pie navigation and Android sucks ma cock. Nokia Lumia 920 FTW!!!

    • power_pizza

      Shhhh... it is ze troll in its natural habitat! Be carful not to disturb zem

  • Kevin Aaronson

    Or you could install lmt launcher right now.

    • http://www.AndroidAllies.com/ Max M.

      This is implemented to system UI, so it will work better.

    • http://twitter.com/navjotbatra Navjot

      lmt has some lag pressing the back button. This is baked in so it works better.

      • Haedocynic

        Yeah, I tried LMT, and Taskaroo (or something like that), and they both had considerable lag. In addition, LMT blocked the quick controls in the stock browser, which are much better, because they have lots of browser-specific actions. So I stopped using each one within a couple of days. This is good news! I do wonder how configurable the new CM pie will be.

  • br_hermon

    Does anyone know for sure: Was PIE controls first released in PA and later made a stand alone app in LMT by noname81? Or did I read somewhere that noname81 was a contributor to PA and it's PIE control? Just trying to figure out how this got started and who's the go to person that knows this feature inside and out.

  • cynojien

    This is really neat, but I would like to see them adopt what AOKP is doing. I feel like that is a much better setup.

  • jjrudey

    I think the one on PA is much better. They changed it a lot for CM.

    • Haedocynic

      How is the one on PA better? I haven't tried either, so I'm really interested!

  • http://twitter.com/thetykin Tykin

    Could someone tell me the difference between each of the implementations?

    I currently use LMT and what annoys me is that there is a touch zone which triggers the menu.

    I want an edge gesture to trigger the menu (basically replace the swipe up Google Now with a PIE menu). Does Paranoid Android's or CM's implementation work this way?

    • Ravengenocide

      Yes. PA's implementation will only active if you swipe from the edge of the screen and up, not if you just touch that area.

    • Wayne Randall

      LMT does gestures too. Dig into the options and set a gesture to open the pie.

      • The End

        The only feature I wish the PIE from PA had is the option to add your own apps and to remove any and all the buttons like Home, Search, Back etc.. Other thank that PA is the _ _ _ _!!!

  • nsnsmj

    Didn't the Paranoid devs just add LMT launcher to their ROM? They didn't actually develop these pie controls themselves.

    • JLM

      PIE controls came from Paranoid and then LMT implemented it.

      • noname81

        No!? I implemented the pie ~ half a year earlier! Both share the same code base from tyje Android browser though!

        • Haedocynic

          Very interesting, good to know!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1745689461 Hal Motley

    Any word on device support, kudos for getting PIE to CyanogenMod though. :-)

  • Marcus

    CM needs to watch the bloat.

  • didibus

    What I'd want is google to just make better use of the navbar. Let me customize the shortcuts on the half moon when I swipe up from the home button. Make Swipe up on the recent apps button list the apps and select one on release of my finger. Finally, make swipe up on the back button equivalent to alt+tab on windows. Meaning it switches to the previous app.

    • Freak4Dell

      The previous app thing would actually be really awesome. Android's multitasking is still pretty terrible, but that would make it so much better.