This is a difficult article for me to write as I have to temper my enthusiasm with a heavy dose of skepticism. AOSPA is one of my all-time favorite ROMs, and the lack of releases since the super late Marshmallow builds last year has made me very sad. Even the merest rumor of a potential return to active development is enough to make me giddy, so the image they pushed on their G+ page that seems to imply plans for an Android O release has me quite excited. But, I have to remain doubtful, not just for the sake of our readers, but for my own sanity.
Earlier in the year, Paranoid Android made a comeback with a clean, well-built ROM and support for a number of Nexus and OnePlus devices. Since then, they've only updated the ROM three times, but they've all included a significant amount of changes. Now, thanks to a PA-Nextbit partnership, the ROM is available for the Nextbit Robin. In addition, the OnePlus 3's ROM has been updated with some new features.
It's been a while since we've heard anything from the Paranoid Android ROM team. Perhaps that's because ROM flashing has fallen by the wayside a bit as stock and skinned Android has made serious improvements, perhaps it's because a lot of the original team was hired by OnePlus to work on its Oxygen OS builds. Whatever the reason, they're back now. While PA is definitely late to the Marshmallow party (the last time they issued a major release was almost a year ago), the team has been revitalized with new developers and support for new devices.
Before anyone gets their hopes up, OnePlus hasn't provided a launch date just yet. There is a stable build that's still in the testing phase, but various certifications stand between it and release.
OnePlus has brought in a number of people from Paranoid Android to steer its development team, including the custom ROM's co-founders Aaron Gascoigne and Jesús David Gulfo Agudelo. Arz Bhatia, Paranoid Android's lead designer and the creator of many popular themes, will lead the design efforts for OxygenOS.
The nice thing about owning a Nexus device is that it's the first thing to get all the fancy new custom ROMs. Various indie developers have been tweaking AOSP for Nexus phones and tablets (and other devices) since Lollipop launched, and CyanogenMod started publishing nightlies just a few weeks ago. Now there's another option among the high-profile Android ROM teams: Paranoid Android. Alpha builds of the Lollipop version were just published to the download site.
If you're new to the ROM scene, Paranoid Android is probably a distant second to CyanogenMod in terms of total current installs. Its developers are known for pushing the envelope a little more in terms of building out from Android's open-source code, especially when it comes to a user-customizable interface.
The first beta of Paranoid Android 4.6 has been made available for download and it includes a feature the team has been working on for some time. Dynamic System Bars (DSB) allows the status and navigation bars to match the action bar color in apps. If you've ever used the Tinted Status bar mod for Xposed, this is a similar idea.
The CyanDelta Updater app now has support for Paranoid Android, so users of that ROM can join the likes of their CyanogenMod or OmniROM running peers in avoiding that beefy ROM update each night. Keeping up with the nightly Joneses typically requires downloading a sizable update daily, but CyanDelta addresses this situation by only pulling down delta files, which contain just the part of each update that has actually changed. The premise is simple: why download an entire ROM each day if you can simply get what's new?
To dive in, you must first download the .zip file for whichever ROM you want to run (as long as it's CyanogenMod, OmniRom, or Paranoid Android).
Well folks, this is it: the final build of Paranoid Android is ready, just in time for Google I/O to show us a new version of the OS. Turn out the lights, the party's over. The fat lady is singing. We'll go quietly into that... what? This is isn't the last Paranoid Android build? It's just feature-complete and stable, and development on the custom ROM will continue? Ah. Well, carry on then.
Android 4.4.3 hit Nexus devices last week, and now the Paranoid Android folks are hard at work packing the latest version of KitKat into their custom ROM. Today they're ready to show off the fruits of their labor in the form of the first release candidate for Paranoid Android 4.4.
This release includes not only the goodies found in 4.4.3 but a few other niceties as well. Users will get to experience changes made to Hover. For those who don't remember this impressive notification enhancement, here's a video from the feature's earlier days.
In addition, the developers will maintain compatibility with the upstream CyanogenMod Theme Engine.