The developers behind ParanoidAndroid have been busy building incremental updates to the popular ROM. It's usually a few bug fixes and a couple new features, but the newest version of ParanoidAndroid contains something super-cool. Halo 2.0 has been demoed on video as part of PA 3.97.

Halo is ParanoidAndroid's custom multitasking system that works on the same premise as Facebook Chat Heads. A tiny floating icon can be used to retrieve notifications and background apps without leaving the current application. It was already cool, but v2.0 could be an amazing update. The new Halo supports multitouch so you can interact with the notifications and app previews without pulling up the floating window. This might be a bit awkward, but it's used several times in the video without incident. Halo also pulls the actual notifications now, not just the text.

Other changes in ParanoidAndroid 3.97 include the following:

  • Quick Settings: Option to use floating window
  • MMS: Option to switch on screen automatically (+Francisco Franco made this for us, we think making features suits him well)
  • ParanoidOTA bugfixes (still beta, sorry)
  • Bionic/Krait/CAF optimizations
  • New Gapps 0815 (additional downloads)

The new PA build should be up for testing at the links below, but it will vary by device. The goo.im links seem to be showing up faster than the ParanoidAndroid.co listings. Keep in mind this is a large shift in codebase, and there are bound to be bugs. Also, Halo 2.0 was tested on the Mako (Nexus 4). As maintainers roll out more devices, there could be additional hitches.

[Google+, PA Download (goo.im), PA Download (paranoidandroid.co), Gapps: 1, 2]

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • waiseng


  • Robert Alex Kibler

    Nice! I'll have to check this out later on Toro. I've been having issues with my stock 4.3 ROM where Exchange isn't working. Anyone know if these are based off of 4.3 or are they still 4.2.2?

    • The Friend One

      4,3 dude

      • Robert Alex Kibler

        Yessss. I'll be getting this when I get home from work.

  • The Friend One
  • someone755

    Anyone have a tutorial on how to source-port ROMs?

  • Meatyballs

    Off topic: what was the skateboard game name?

    • Mikołaj Sobociński

      True skate

      • Meatyballs

        Thank you

  • Kuyam

    I like HALO, it's nice to have sometimes, but I wonder how many people depend on it so heavily that they would not use a custom ROM unless it has HALO. For me it would be even more ideal if i could just assign a few apps that i commonly use and want to access from other apps (Whatsapp/Spotify) to have a quick way to float those whenever and not just when there is a notifitcation.

    • anonymous

      If u search Halo)))) on the market it let's u pin apps to be kept in halo permanently

      • anontwo

        you can also use whitelist mode (in halo settings) instead of blacklist, and only enable it for the apps you use. If you want the Halo))) app to pinn your favorites, make sure to whitelist it also

    • http://petercast.net Peterson Silva

      Halo))) on google play.

      If you want _exactly_ a few apps (and nothing else) I believe there is a whitelist mode or something.

    • EH101

      For myself, I don't use any custom ROM unless it can be disabled and removed (when I'm not on a TW ROM).

      Like face unlock or Samsung's multiwindow, it's fun to play with or show off but I just don't find it useful.

  • exadeci

    It looks like the widget shortcut from AOKP http://youtu.be/HDghRI0ysq0?t=2m

    IMO it's a better because you don't have to juggle with your fingers to use it

  • troph

    Coming from PA on my nexus to Touchwiz on my new S4A, I have to say, PA is so much faster, smoother, cleaner, and overall useful. Especially considering S4A's superior processor. Until you use Halo, you won't understand how useful it is.

    Not sure how I feel about useability of multi-touch, because I like to operate it all with one hand.

    • Cerberus_tm

      I used Halo on PA for a while, but I never got what was so useful about it. What's wrong with the stock notification tray? Halo can display over a full-screen application, I suppose. Is that its main appeal? Don't get me wrong, I like new things, and I strongly encourage PA to continue inventing stuff.

      • troph

        Hey Cerberus,

        Appreciate your comment. Your point is very understandable, and at first, I was of the same mind set. The main appeal has always been the ability to multitask without losing context. I'll try to demonstrate it here by giving examples of how I use Halo.

        NOTE: (you probably know this, but for others) Using the halo))) app by PA allows persistent notifications. The apps I have pinned that I use most often are Google Music, Chrome, Messenging, facebook.

        For example, say you're in the Youtube app, watching a video. Now you remember another video you want to watch (maybe a friend texted/fb messaged/emailed) you to look this up. With Halo I can pull up messages/facebook/gmail to find out the title or keyword of the video, WHILE the video I was already watching still is playing/buffering.

        Or maybe I forgot the title (or spelling of it, etc.) of a video that I was going to look up. With Halo, I can pull up chrome, google the title/spelling quickly, and click out, all while still in the Youtube app, with the original video running/buffering.

        This is just one example, but I hope this illustrates some of the uses Halo can be used. Sorry for the essay. Cheers!

        • Cerberus_tm

          Thanks for your explanation. So what you describe is like using windows in Windows. That can admittedly be useful. But to be honest there are very few cases where I would want to use that: in your example, I would be fine with pausing the video to open my e-mail, because I can't really pay attention to the video anyway, if I'm browsing my e-mail at the same time. The only advantage for me would be to force Android to keep the application I was using in memory, as opposed to normal task-switching, where it will often be unloaded at some point if you're doing other things. I don't know: it's nice that it exists, and I can understand how it can be useful for other people, but I don't really think it could improve my workflow. And I didn't like having bubbles on my screen all the time, in addition to the notification shade.

  • Matthew Fry

    If there were custom ROMs that still had T-Mobile Wifi Calling I'd be all over this.

  • theinvisiblehand

    The main problem I found with PA on my Note II is when I use apps with ads. Whenever an add pops the whole screen goes black.

  • jason biggs

    Is they be a way to dun diddly change dat halo color, for saplin like make her transmurphin ?

    • Elias

      'fuq you say, nigga?

  • Elias

    Still wondering how to choose between CM, PA and AOKP.