The Paranoid Android family of custom ROMs has a history of adding interesting custom user interface elements, but since re-starting with KitKat, the developers have been trying out some new ideas. One of the first new features for the revamped PA is called Hover, and it's basically a complete rethinking of the Halo idea. Hover is a short-lived visual overlay that temporarily replaces the notification bar with a richer and more useful version, including expandable alerts and floating windows.
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.
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.
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.
Shortly after Facebook announced the Chat Heads feature of Facebook Home, the folks behind ParanoidAndroid started expanding that idea into a new take on multitasking. HALO was the result, but it was exclusive to ParanoidAndroid. I say was, because HALO has just been open sourced.
The code has been added to a Github for other ROM developers and curious users to play around with. HALO is still in beta, but the feature set has come along quite well in recent weeks.
Paranoid Android made headlines last week when it announced a new take on mutitasking called Halo. While the feature wasn't available for user testing at the time, the team has now pushed out early alpha builds for the Nexus 4, Nexus 7, Nexus 7 3G, GSM Galaxy Nexus, and Oppo Find 5.
This is still a "very early build" of the ROM, so expect bugs, crashes, and other odd side-effects that come along with using alpha software; in other words, don't expect to use this as a daily driver.
Gameloft, creator of great Android games you feel like you've seen before, is at it again with N.O.V.A. 3, the third (obviously) in the sci-fi FPS shooter series that follows
Master Chief Kal Wardin as he fights off the Covenant Volterite armada. The game's description touts an epic storyline and, frankly, we'd expect nothing less from Bungee Gameloft.
In all seriousness, despite the game's similarities to other major properties, Gameloft is well-known for making solid, enjoyable, if familiar, games.
Microsoft recently released Halo Waypoint to the Android Market, bringing an official multiplayer companion to the palm of your hand. The app has a surprising amount of awesome features, including live overhead views of multiplayer maps (with weapon, vehicle, and player locations), score information, and the ability to "stay in contact with your Halo friends on Xbox LIVE no matter where you are."
On top of all that, Halo Waypoint tracks your career and campaign progress and stats according to weapons and enemies, and enables users to invite friends to challenges from their mobile device.