The Paranoid Android team is in the process of rebuilding the ROM from the ground up with new features and new takes on existing ones. Peek is a new feature designed to make checking your notifications more convenient. All you have to do is pick up the phone – sound familiar?

Peek is a lot like Active Display from Motorola's newer devices. You pick up your device and the screen comes to life with small, minimalist icons in the center to let you know what notifications await you. They can be launched from the "off" state directly or ignored. Peek knows if you've picked the phone up by polling the gyroscope and proximity sensors, but will only do one or the other in some instances to save battery.


The demo makes it look pretty much like Active Display, but there are a few differences. The Moto X has "breathing" notifications that wake the screen up without you touching it – it's an alternative to the LED. Peek only activates when you pick the device up, but it's also tied more directly to notifications. Active Display wakes up the screen when picked up even if there are no notifications. Peek, by contrast, is only active for 10 seconds following a new notification. It causes a wakelock to poll the sensors, then shuts down until the next notification comes in. Motorola's custom hardware basically allows that to happen all the time.

Peek is included in the newest Paranoid Android beta. It has to be enabled in the display settings if you want to take it for a spin.

[+Paranoid Android 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

  • Ayysir_PA

    Thanks to author for very concise and well written post!

    • hardasrock_69

      Great job guys, I wonder when will you open source peek and pie, so legacy devices can enjoy these features as well. Because these features are only available for nexus atm, there's a huge discrepancy in your ROM between nexus and non-nexus phones.

      • Ayysir_PA

        we're working on the coding. We're doing things right this time. Not releasing coding to our gerrit or github til code is clean and 100% done. This avoids kangers picking unfinished code to roms and have users complain to us about bugs. Pie for legacy is beiing worked on separate as there is issues with capacitive/hardware button devices and immersive mode. So nexus pie coding logic will be a little different from legacy pie coding logic.. Just stay tuned, we will release the source don't worry

        • hardasrock_69

          Great! Thanks a lot, I love the ideology behind PA, releasing close to 100% bug free features. Best of luck with Hover and Hybrid 3.0, Gonna stick with PA on the note 2.

    • EarlHC

      What messaging app is that in the Video?

      • gh0st

        looks like hangouts to me

      • Daniel

        It is Hello SMS. I can recommend it.

      • ainen

        I believe it's 'hello sms'

      • Kenny O

        +1 for Hello SMS, great messaging app - I like it much better than Hangouts.

        • n0th1ng_r3al

          Anything is better than Hangouts.

      • susmi

        Its a new feature in paranoid android 4.5 if u customize rom to paranoid android 4.2 beta2 version U can get notifications like this

    • Scott

      is this ROM on KitKat or Jelly Bean?

      • Ayysir_PA


  • Taufiq Rahman

    hey google..why dont you hire them? :p

  • Chris

    Can't wait till this hits Xposed.

  • Daniel

    Works very well! Will be exiting to see how much battery it is using. But right now I am liking it:-)

  • Gsizzle

    I wanted this feature for the longest time! Always look at the Moto X owners with Envy :(

  • t.virus

    it's nice and I'm willing to give it a try but too be honest no app out there beats the original active display on the X it's just so simple and it works so well I been hoping someone could just port over the original to the N5

  • Scott


    • ainen


  • Gabriel

    What messaging app is that?

    • Deeco

      hello sms

  • Deeco

    The days of Custom Roms are diminishing. Xposed port bound.

    • jonzey231

      I hope so!!

    • Matthew Fry

      Xposed is so awesome for my Note 3. I can keep all the important Samsung bits (pen functionality) and T-Mobile bits (well, wifi-calling is broken but if it weren't) and use xposed to extend everything else. Assuming your stock rom has functionality you need, xposed is a no brainer.

  • http://www.facebook.com/danieltye88 Tungmeister

    what keyboard is that?

    • Deeco


  • jonzey231

    Downloading the rom straight to my phone right now for a wipe and flash between classes. Thank T-Mo for still offering Unlimited Data!

  • ddpacino

    I need an Xposed module -- STAT!

  • unsivilaudio

    I like it. Not near as annoying as OG Active Notifications.

  • xenolyse

    My previous phone HTC Desire HD could do this. Bring us something new

    • James

      What rom were you using? I had the Desire HD and it could not do that...

      • xenolyse

        Wanam's Sammy Rom. Don't remember the exact version though as this was 2-3 years ago.

    • Ayysir_PA

      thats great... want a cookie?

  • https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=iWizard Bikram Agarwal

    I had tried the PA ROM on my phone this weekend but I came back unimpressed. Maybe because I hear they are building everything from ground up now; so there are only 2 or 3 customization options in there right now. Plus their naming convention is weird. PA 4.1....? I was wondering why they are still building JB roms. For a good 10 minutes, I was searching where's the PA 4.4. Then someone in the PA G+ community told me PA 4.1 is KitKat 4.4.2. Maybe I'll give it another try when they have all the customizations baked in.

    • Cj

      Isn't slimRom on 3.x and CM 11.x ... it's just unfortunate that PA has reach 4.x when Google is also and 4.4
      It's not weirder than any other custom ROM

      • https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=iWizard Bikram Agarwal

        Yea, that's what's creating the confusion. Whoever is familiar with PA versions will know what to download. But whoever is coming to it for the first time, will be confused. I came from AOKP, which has names like aokp_toro_kitkat_nightly_2014-03-10.zip - which is very easy to understand.

  • http://nurudin.jauhari.net/ Jauhari

    Is it possible to Install Peek on Stock ROM?

    • Cj

      You can install active display from the play store

  • someone755

    Now THIS is the PA team I know and love!

  • https://plus.google.com/108596272537415356460/posts Jason Farrell

    I wonder how much battery it's going to use. I use a very similar app to this called Gravity Screen, and the dev says it uses an extra 6% of battery to monitor the accelerometer for motion (unless you use a timeout to disable motion detection after X mins requiring the power button again)

    • Cj

      From the posts on G+ the sensors are only active for 10 seconds after a notification arrives, after which they are switched off. So it isn't actually constantly polling.
      Notification received - partial wakelock registers to listen for light and movement - 10 second pass - registers unregistered.

      Seems from some reports the wake locks aren't always being dismissed after the 10 seconds thought. I'd image that would get ironed out eventually.

      • https://plus.google.com/108596272537415356460/posts Jason Farrell

        Makes sense. 10 seconds is cutting it a little short IMO, though it's probably configurable.

  • black

    Why are the buttons so tiny?

  • Jesse Cablek

    Do the features differ at all from DynamicNotifications that's been in the Play Store for quite awhile now?


  • Jonathan

    Flashed back to Paranoid Android Unofficial for this. Thanks for all the amazing work guys.

  • A2theC

    They had this on my Galaxy S4 and I was annoyed by it, finally found out how to turn it off....same on the S5

  • Mario McIntosh

    Can't get this to work on my note 3 kit Kat

  • Mario McIntosh

    Does this work on Note 3 with kit Kat. Or does it have to be an AOSP rom.

  • michellanger

    When I get multiple notifications (from one or ltiple sources) I can't choose which one to open, clicking over them does nothing. I'm using a Nexus 5. Help! :(

  • Kree Terry

    So whats the difference between the included version of peek and the peek and its pro version on the play store? I understand that the play store version is by the guy that developed it I was just wondering functionally whats the difference.