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.
One of the highlights of Samsung's Galaxy Note II announcement at IFA yesterday was the increased functionality carried by the device's hallmark S Pen stylus. The Note II's version of the Pen, besides being "ergonomically designed for the perfect grip," allows users to quickly clip, crop, and edit screen content, adding further illustration and handwritten keyword recognition. The Pen now also features a unique "hover" functionality, whereby an app can recognize that the Pen is near the screen and react accordingly with contextual menus or other activities.
We've got a two-fer for you gamers today. While Android has always excelled at managing notifications, the one area that's always been a little bit troublesome is when you're using full-screen apps, like games. When receiving a message, your phone might vibrate, but you'll get no info on what kind of message you just received. NotifierPro and SMS Flash are two apps that are designed to help with this.
The first app, NotifierPro, provides a notification overlay that appears above whatever you're running.
Google just updated its Goggles app to version 1.3 and added three noteworthy features that make it even more desirable than it was before. First is the ability to scan QR codes without actually taking a picture; just hover your camera over the image and Goggles will automatically recognize it.
Second, Goggles now recognizes ads in major US newspapers and magazines. I couldn't get this to work, but Google claims it will work with any ads dated since August 2010.