Fans of ROM flashing were a bit perturbed when a Paranoid Android developer announced several weeks ago that PA's Halo multitasking system was dead. The situation was certainly more nuanced than that, but the Paranoid Android Google+ account has finally posted a clarification of what's happening with the next version. The short version is... everything's changing.

PIE - 03032014 PNG

The team plans to completely rewrite the ROM to keep it closer to AOSP without so much "kanging." That essentially means no features or designs will be borrowed from other ROMs. The goal is to make the new Paranoid Android easier to use and more visually appealing. All the features from PA 3.99 will be evaluated and either discarded or remade for the 4.0 (now 4.1) release. As for Halo, something like it will be coming with a new name – Hover. The Hybrid Engine and Pie Controls are also being recreated for PA 4.1.

The team followed this announcement with a peek at the new version of Pie Controls in PA 4.1. The new version has a KitKat-inspired design and makes better use of Google Now. It also accounts for immersive mode by removing the quick toggles and notifications. With Android 4.4's immersive mode, those are easier to access in the hidden status bar, so this is a good way to de-clutter.

There are no specifics with regard to a timeline for the final release, but keep an eye on the G+ page for more previews. The beta build is available on the PA page.

[+Paranoid Android: 1, 2, Downloads]

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

  • anon

    Wait, THAT'S the "Kitkat-ish" design?

    But it still looks terrible. The entire idea of displaying everything in an arc (and thus distorting them) is just hilariously bad. You don't do that. Like, ever.

    I expected them to somewhat redesign the UI, or maybe even start the entire thing from scratch.
    But looks like they just changed a font, and called it a day.

    • SlenderSniper

      This ROM is AOSP based, and their goal is not to customize, but to rather expand on what AOSP is. If you haven't already, I suggest you install PA before making those kinds of judgements. There are already a ton of behind the scenes tweaks that improve this ROM immensely, and just remember, it's still in beta, and not all the features are there yet.

      As for starting from scratch, that's exactly what they did.

      • Paul Taylor

        I think anon meant the fact that the text is curved into an arc... the example you gave would probably be deemed acceptable lol.

    • h4m

      This is the pie navigation. Has nothing to do with anything.

    • Ayysir_PA

      Don't is it then..simple

      • SlenderSniper

        I think the problem is that he hasn't used it yet.

    • Dani R.

      That was exactly my thought. When they said: "Pie has been redesigned to match the KitKat design philosophies, with new typography and cleaner animations. " and "Features will be polished" I thought they would have redesigned it to really match the Kitkat guidelines. But it still looks the same in my eyes, I expected at least a redesign of the Pie buttons.

    • Jesús David Gulfo Agudelo


      Your argument is invalid. Btw, don't judge before you try. Not everything is what it seems. Behind not many visual changes there may be a million of under the hood improvements

    • Arz Bhatia

      Hey Anon,

      I'm the Paranoid Android Lead Designer (In terms of graphics and UI/UX) and am in charge of user relations.

      I'd like to clear out that various background fixes and improvements have made pie a lot better than before. Our main purpose was to de-clutter all our code and features/settings and to provide a nice simple interface to the end user.

      When we use the word 'redesign', we don't always mean working on the design side. Design for us consists of code, functionality, usability and hard work. If you look at the change in code later on, you'd see how much we have worked upon it to provide you and all the other users a very simple yet enriching experience.

      I hope I have been able to satisfy you.


      • SlenderSniper

        Was just about to link your G+ post that says this to him.

        • Arz Bhatia

          I posted it here before :)


      • Davis Hernandez

        PA designers, owning people since the creation of the universe (or the paranoid android rom creation, you decide)

      • Nifs

        Dear Arz.

        As far as I can see you're permanently removing the most useful feature pie navigation has ever had and was the de facto reason to use PA's pie version instead of the others out there, which was the notifications/quick settings trigger areas.

        How can you possibly think that's a good idea? This is the worst decision I've seen from you so far, there's absolutely no reason to remove this feature or at least the option to enable it considering some phones are gigantic and needing to either have an ugly status bar at the top or stretching your thumb up to bring it down twice is not intuitive, it's bothersome and takes more time. The Google Now implementation is far more useless as Google Now is not useful in any other countries except the US.

        • Arz Bhatia

          Honestly, I completely agree with you. I'm just the stylist mate, the barbers are the core developer team.

          I'm kinda trying to convince them to get all of it back.

          • Brandon Gibbs

            Made an account just to say this.

            YOU GIVE ME HOPE. That one feature being gone scared me a LOT for what halo will be come.

            Honestly, this feels like beta pre-alpha dev-only test before they actually made the core of the app. It's pretty, and it fits KitKat, now it's time to make it a simple, but powerful app.

            That feature made pie the most amazing tool out there, and removing it makes LITERALLY any other pie app, whether another ROM, xposed, or the play store, better than the current offering.

            It USED to be the other way around, nothing, NOTHING could touch the amazing fluidity, ease of use, and productivity that pie menu had.

            Knowing people on their team, even if just one, hasn't lost sight of what people, of what a simple toggle box and a few hundred lines of code can do.....hell I would even PAY for that to be added. Sit that one dev aside, ask what he wants per hour, and I'd pay for every second he took coding it.

            Best of luck to you and your team! I now can have a little faith for what halo will turn in to !

          • Arz Bhatia

            Don't you worry mate :) Jesus & Me have worked to provide you with an awesome experience.

          • Arz Bhatia

            I'm sorry. I tried my very best to convince the programmers. Failed to convince them to bring back the feature. However, they'll add something else, very simple, for convenience..

          • grumpyfuzz

            Is that "something" still being worked on ;)?

    • Vardan Nazaretyan

      You don't judge a book by its cover, right?

    • undercoverduck

      is ur account name literally anon or is it like anon as in anonymous

  • Rob Earls

    Hmm.. Next step,Paranoid Android Inc

    • Sfera Dev

      Nothing related is on mind, but if it happens someday it will be to provide better source to "you", the users.

    • Arz Bhatia

      I'm up for it :)

  • Namaste08

    Wait, I thought they were going to re write the ROM already for kitkat. How many times more are they gonna do it?

    • SlenderSniper

      They haven't finished yet

    • Arz Bhatia

      The features are had to rewrite when a completely new version of Android comes up. Due to kitkat, we haven't been able to go forward with some of our ideas and previous features like the tablet UI as Google has completely let go of it.

      Please hang tight, just a few days/weeks and you'd be really really satisfied for what we have in hand for you.


      • Ryan Haffner

        Just did the 4.1 OTA today & I have to hand it to the PA team. I have never enjoyed PIE controls... until now. PA, to me, is like a stock-Nexus experience from the future! Thanks PA guys. Looking forward to Hybrid & whatever else your flying Delorean brings us back in the next releases.

  • Kree Terry

    Man i wish this was coming to the consumer edition moto x. I really should have forgone the moto maker options and just got the dev edition. Glad to see PA is staying focused on what matters and adding and changing things according to what works with their vision, makes for a much better user experience.

    • h4rr4r

      Why would it not come to the consumer edition version?
      There is not a huge difference and the bootloader is unlockable.

      • Kree Terry

        I havent seen a build for it yet. as far as i know the bootloader isnt unlockable on the consumer edition.

        • h4rr4r


          The "unlocked" unit, the Sprint unit and US cellular are supported. Only AT&T and VZW prevent bootloader unlock.

          • Kree Terry

            I should have clarified i have a verizon model lol. I installed safestrap though and am giving it a try. I backed up my stock rom and added a rom slot and installed a build i found on xda. It doesnt boot but its a start i guess. Might have to install the stock backup to the rom slot and wipe and install pa to the stock slot. Not real sure but im gonna try it lol. Thanks.

          • h4rr4r

            Maybe next time you will more wisely consider where you spend your money.

          • Kree Terry

            woah woah, lets all stay calm here.

          • h4rr4r

            I am plenty calm. Just friendly advice.

          • Kree Terry

            haha, ok. Im switching to tmo as soon as they get better coverage in my area but where i live verizon is pretty much your only option sadly. And when i do switch ill prob be getting whatever the newest nexus is then. Thanks for the advice lol.

    • Ayysir_PA
  • Slawootsky

    I've lost the count of how many times PA has been "rewritten from scratch".

    • Evan Anderson

      Don't know how you lost count, we've only done it once. We aren't finished with our KitKat rewrite yet.

      • CoreRooted

        I think that's where the confusion lies; Parts of PA have been rewritten a number of times and posts from ports of PA have gotten confused with the main branch. Most people don't know the difference between the main PA branch and kanged branches.

    • Cj

      Someone can't count very high...

  • Roh_Mish

    I used 3.99 till now. Moved to KitKat today. Loving the experience till now. Waiting for the Holo bubble and hybrid engine. The small am pm indicator is missing though. Not important but it is bugging me.

    • Toxus

      That holo bubble (Halo) is dead in the regard that it won't be the same feature you knew in 3.99. They haven't shown details of the new one yet, but they've stated that it will still have the multitasking features.

      • Roh_Mish

        They were working on redesigning and rewriting the halo bubble. The name has changed and they are adding new capabilities to it, but i dont think that halo bubble is dead. Just renamed hover

        • grumpyfuzz

          Thoughts on hover now that it's released? ;P

          • Roh_Mish

            Its good but I don't like it as much as the halo.

  • geeq

    well, visually appealing is far from aosp android, lol :)

  • Nifs

    Pie works and looks beautiful, at least in my eyes. The only unfortunate part is that it is yet to be customizable, 'nor does it have the feature so you can swipe to the middle left or middle right to open notifications/quick settings.

    Really want that last feature to remove the status bar from the equation all together, but for now it works great. Finally made me switch to KitKat.

  • Deeco

    PA is dead, same with other custom ROMs.

  • Frank Lopez

    This pie control is 2010. What made PA stand out was the halo. With immersive mode pie is completely useless

  • Rouel

    This is actually good news!!! Cyanogenmod looks stock, and AOKP looks stock. I hope that the devs start making custom versions of android and stop the cycle of the same thing

  • Paranoid Wait For It…Android

    ParanoidAndroid, please make this happen:

    Navbar Cursor SoftKeys...

    Without them editing text is a pain!