If you're a big fan of Paranoid Android's Chat Heads-inspired Halo feature, I've got some unfortunate news for you. Yesterday a known member of the Paranoid Android development team, "PirateGhost," posted a reply to an XDA thread waiting on Halo in a new PA beta build.

You are going to be waiting a loooooooooooong time. Halo is dead.

The story was picked up by the folks at the Android subreddit, where reactions ranged from dismissive to inconsolable. Luckily, another member of the Paranoid Android team, "SferaDev," stepped in to shed a little light on the situation. The developer stated that the shifting UI standards introduced in KitKat have led the team to reconsider its approach to the unique software additions in PA.

Ok Guys! Before the riots start about Halo's death, let's analyze a bit the situation. Some months ago, back to 2.99 versions some of you never realized the way you enjoyed Android would change with Halo. Yes it was revolutionary! Now in KitKat days, Android's concept has improved the way we face to certain situations (like immersive). That evolution in AOSP moved the team to reinvent us in a manner some thought it was impossible. I only beg one thing, please wait to what's to come. If you loved Halo you will love whatever will come to your phones. And if you don't there will be 10+ kangs with old Halo. By the way, remember that most of the team used Halo daily and really understood its benefits!


Abandoning some of the more dramatic customizations that the custom ROM is known for seems like a natural move for Paranoid - the team was one of the first of the "big" ROM teams to post AOSP builds of KitKat, and ever since they've been keeping a very clean site with consistent and reliable build updates. That said, SferaDev's statement leaves room for some new stuff. Considering their previous work, I'd be very surprised if they didn't have something interesting waiting in the wings.

There's still hope for die-hard Halo fans: the feature has been open-sourced for use in other ROMs.

Source: XDA-Developers via Reddit

Michael Crider
Michael is a native Texan and a former graphic designer. He's been covering technology in general and Android in particular since 2011. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

  • redsmith

    Halo is dead. Long live Halo.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      More like long live whatever replaces halo.

      • someone755

        How can "nothing" live? Even bigger question, how can it live long...?

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

          Look it up. It's a thing.

  • Ayysir_PA

    we have been hovering around another idea with halo evolution in mind. Watch and see guys ;)

    • Pirateghost

      I make one little comment.....

      • Ayysir_PA

        i know that feel bro, people take trolling to heart :|

        • JD_26

          YOLO HALO ? !!! ;)

  • Shaun Hammond

    Don't know what people are worrying about, they'll have something better, we'll just have to wait and see.

  • Jesco Walker

    why cant we people stop hovering on halo ?

  • Gabriel Fernandez

    Always found the bubbles to be very annoying. I guess the main appeal of halo is the multi-tasking pop-up functionality? If so, it would be much better to add some sort of button to each notification in the notification panel. This way there are no annoying bubbles on screen, notifications work just like AOSP, and users get the pop-up multi-tasking functionality through the buttons.

    • Frettfreak

      My thoughts exactly. Never could get into the whole floating icon.

  • Suhas Vemuri

    RIP HOLO & HALO.. Never Forget..

  • Deeco

    PA is dead same with other custom roms, just use Xposed.

    • J. Martin

      Except Xposed inhibits speed. Native ROM features will always be more efficient. Xposed is also a massive security hole. Xposed also does not and will not support ART anytime soon.

      • Jamin

        That's why I'm not using Xposed anymore. ART + native features provide a much more smoth experience what is more important than a additional nice to have features.

      • Deeco

        True, but it can only get better..I don't understand how you guys can say speed over features, What if ART was never introduced, this topic wouldn't be a factor of concern. You can use an module like GravityBox which will add more features to your phone and will still be efficient in performance. It all depends on the the developers code and Xposed can only get better or be replaced with a better alternative.

        • someone755

          It also depends on the phone.
          At the end of the day, the most important thing for me is the ui being fluid and responsive, and if I have go sacrifice some nifty features for that, take them.
          Well what if xposed was never made? Then the conversation would probably be about oc or no oc or something like that...

      • someone755

        There's bound to be a module to fix those security issues. Besides that, you've pretty much got it.

    • someone755

      I hate to agree with you, as I loved PA with 4.2. But this is nothing... A mere shadow remains.
      HALO, PIE, Hybrid Engine, I don't know what all PA invented. Now? Yeah, have an unstable AOSP build. ...
      Probably getting downvoted like hell on this...

      • Jabza

        Well, on the contrary, their builds actually are extremely stable. And all those features are coming back except Halo. Pie, the hybrid engine, and everything else is coming back with new features as well. They used the update to KitKat as a chance to rewrite their old features and add new ones, making sure everything is as stable as possible.

        You just need to be patient. They're taking their time, and each build they release is more stable than any other custom ROM out there.

      • Deeco

        Why hate to agree with me? If it's true, then let it be told.

        • someone755

          Because, as sad or funny as this sounds, I don't want it to be true...

          • Pirateghost

            Just because you havent seen something new this year (it is only February), doesnt mean there isnt something being developed or worked on. There are things going around in the circle that will change things yet once again.

          • someone755

            As it would seem, the things you speak of are abandoning projects and doing nothing... They've been boasting about how everything will be cool in KK, yet more than 3 months later, they're still only pushing standard AOSP builds...

          • Pirateghost

            Standard AOSP builds?? eh?

            Just because there are things being abandoned publicly does NOT mean that there are not replacements being worked on. The team is most certainly not 'Doing Nothing' as you put it. Far from it. There are repos you cannot see that are getting hammered with changes.

            I don't really understand what is owed to you anyway? What is it you are expecting to see?

          • someone755

            I'm not saying they're doing nothing. I know they're working, I know things are eventually coming. But by the time anything comes, 4.5/5.0 will be out, which will again need 5 months from the PA team to work on.
            Owed to me? Nothing. What I expected? Everything their 4.2/4.3 had.
            Even if they said that they're gonna do complete rewrites, they could have at least made dirty builds with 4.2/4.3 features on 4.4.

          • Pirateghost

            So you expected the team to keep 2 versions of their repos and spend the time to forward port all the features and make dual builds every week, hoping nothing broke in the process?

            What you are asking for is twice the work with no benefit aside from making you happy....that is until something is broken and we all get to hear about how unstable PA is... This is not logical at all.

          • someone755

            I never said any of that.
            Though, when you put it that way, the time they spent designing Halo 2.0 could have been used better...
            Just because I'm the only one saying it doesn't mean I'm the only one thinking it.

          • Ayysir_PA

            Eat a snickers and use another rom

          • someone755

            Nobody said I am using PA.
            And if you don't like people raging, maybe the Internet isn't for you... :I

          • Mit Sregor

            Dude, do you even understand the amount of work that goes into building and testing ? Add to that a completely new ROM/base. The developers have lives, and they sure as hell aren't sitting at home focusing on building a ROM suitable for you. Be patient. Who cares if they release their custom stable ROM just as Google is releasing the next build? It's still going to be better than the "next build". That's the idea of open source, give the masses a foundation and see what they build on it. Be patient, give these guys a chance and realize that their work is based solely on the love they have for baking killer Roms, not collecting a pay check for their vision like their other closed source counterparts. They owe you nothing. Ever.

          • someone755

            And you decided to reply to a two month old comment. Good job on that.
            Now if you'll excuse me, I don't have time to tell you everything all over again, but I'll just note that their new Beta builds have much more features and are much more stable than the AOSP builds they were delivering before.
            Again, if you want my stands on this, read the comments above, I am not doing this whole argue thing again.

          • Mit Sregor

            Glad to see you've learned that patience prevails. Enjoy.

          • someone755

            I never was impatient.
            I was just upset that all that had happened, happened. It could've been way better for both the devs and the users. I never doubted in them, I was sure they'd get out of this sooner or later.

      • DownvoteCavern

        PA didn't invent PIE though, it's been in the Google Browser since ICS and the dev of LMT saw it's use way before PA "invented" it.

        • someone755

          They were the first ones to implement it completely into the system... The "beta labs" of the AOSP browser had this, sure, but it was just one app. And even there, unstable.

  • HopelesslyFaithful

    looks like the AP's "ciders" have been crawling the web for more news :P

  • Dilong

    Thats bullshit! Look at their gerrit, they're working on halo constantly


    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Maybe you should read the latest comment and the scores from Gerrit reviewers. In addition to, you know, all the PA people who chimed in.

    • Pirateghost

      You should have a read again.....

  • WORPspeed

    Let the guessing of the new feature begin:

    My guess, based on their mentioning of immersive mode etc.

    While in immersive mode a new notification that would normally trigger chat-heads will instead pop up as a blue (subject to change) statusbar (where the now hidden statusbar used to be) Drag it down and instead of the statusbar, you go right into the app. Check the notification, take your actions and swipe back up and voila you are back where you were before the notification came. When immersive mode is turned off, you can just use drag down the notification bar, click on the notification you want to interact with and isntead of opening the full app, you get a small windowed app for you to do your actions like with current halo?

    anyone else venture a guesS?

    • someone755

      Would be kewl. Though if I had to choose between what I see after reading your idea and Halo (merged with all the Halo 2.0 rumors), I must say I like Halo more.

  • Cory Wilson

    Oh well. I just put a ROM on with halo and thought it was a neat concept but disappointing overall. Needs a lot of refinement. Apparently PA thinks so in so much its time to start from scratch. Best to wait and see what comes before we complain

  • danishdhanshe

    The only reason I was using paranoid android was because of halo!
    No halo = no PA for me!
    I never gave any shit to its tablet/phablet ui or the per app colour/DPI!
    Gotta try some ROM's from android development for halo now!

    Good bye PA!

  • Anthony Johnson

    I think they will not let them die that easy! They will
    surely upgrade it according to the latest Android version KitKat 4.4. Halo
    is in comma right now not dead!

  • sweenish

    I only liked HALO for the pop-up window. I hated the stupid bubble, and it (the bubble) is obviously redundant on 4.4. It makes sense to kill the bubble, at least.

  • david coffey

    that doesn't bother me, other than (and please correct me if i'm wrong), people have been asking for halo since PA introduced their kitkat rom (official PA page on google+) and i just kind of feel like that PA has known for quite sometime that halo has been dead and they're only now addressing it. it seemed like with every new build release, there would be a disclaimer 'no halo yet in this build'. it was also teased as to what halo would look like on PA 4.4. didn't really give me hope, because i can live without it, but there's a ton of people that live for that effing thing.

    • Shawn Cheever

      I have to agree. The reason I started using PA on my N5 was to try out the new version of Halo they teased back at the beginning of the year to see what the hype was about. It looked interesting to say the least but its rather disappointing to hear that after all this waiting they cut it. If KK doesn't necessarily need Halo due to immersive mode, I completely understand, but why wasn't this noticed/told earlier? We'll have to see what the future brings.

      • Pirateghost

        It has nothing to do with immersive mode....

  • C64


    • Sean Royce


  • unsivilaudio

    Screw Halo, I want PIE. The Xposed version is just so lame.

    • George Ho

      try LMT, much more configuable than PIE.

  • Frettfreak

    honestly, the whole ideal of a floating icon in the way of everything else just kinda blows... thats what the notification shade is for. Never really like the feature. I tried to like it, but just couldnt.

    • grumpyfuzz

      in 3.99, ninja mode was used so it went away when you didn't have any notifications. So it doesn't really get in the way of every thing. But Halo/Hover is definitely personal preference if you will like it.

  • Ayysir_PA
  • abobobilly

    "Stay Paranoid".

    Ah, the irony in that slogan :D

  • Kaivalya shah

    https://plus.google.com/102850071382153009861/posts/cxQN6N1gFHn Halo is NOT dead... Do a little research before you blindly write an article just for the sake of it... You can also see on the XDA forum you linked that he was just messing around.

  • Matteysan

    Now I see why people just give up making these ROM's always some kind of bitching. So what if they are re-writing everything to be more cleaner & efficient. If you already have some of the new beta builds you can see some of the stuff they have been working on. Just because it isn't there in big letters saying PARANOID ANDROID SETTTINGS under the settings menu doesn't mean nothing has been done! If anything a lot of the changes they've made so far make so much sense.

    Halo is dead sure but I'm sure the PA team have something much better up their sleeve else they wouldn't have killed it off. Thankfully for the moment the unofficial builds for PA on the HTC One have halo included. To tie me over till Hover is introduced.

    Some of you people need to learn some patience as well as some respect