Google have a history of implementing changes that custom rom developers have invented and implemented into the AOSP. Nothing wrong with that. The AOSP is there for a reason. One of its purposes is for developers to try out new things and feed the changes they make upstream and back into AOSP. Google also keep an eye on the custom rom community and their customisation and if they see something they like they will implement it with their own spin on it. Quick settings is the first thing that comes to mind.
Now it seems that Google have borrowed the floating notification idea from the innovative folks at the Paranoid Android (PA) team. PA originally implemented their idea using Halo but earlier this year moved Halo into its next iteration, Hover.
Since then, they have of course continued to work on Hover, improving it at each step.
Some clever developers from the CyanogenMod team, while trolling through the AOSP code, have come across hidden mentions of floating notifications. Having used both Hover and Halo in custom roms I can tell you that they are extremely helpful when using an expanded desktop, or when the OS is in Immersive Mode, when the status bar is not visible. The notification floats just below where the status bar is/normally would be. At this stage it’s location cannot be moved but it may in the future if Halo and Hover are anything to go by.
CM have called the feature “Heads Up” and is now currently rolling out to nightlies. Being a nightly, you may expect some issues, but apparently all functions present when you pull down the status bar for a standard notification are there and working in Heads Up. While Google have no implemented a whitelist or blacklist for the floating notifications in the AOSP, just as the PA team did for Halo and Hover, the CM team have included that of sorts in their implementation.
One would hope that Google rolls these enhancements into AOSP. With a new version of Android expected this year, this is the sort of significant UI change we have come to expect in full releases from Google so don’t be surprised to see this arrive with the Nexus 6.
Personally I am hoping this will be implemented into CM11S on the OnePlus One, or some clever developer will implement it using Xposed modules so we can all enjoy it, no matter what rom we are using. Until then you can try out Hover or Heads Up in a custom rom or check out the Halo version of it via Floatifications in the Play Store.
Anyone else used this before? Did you like it? Could it be improved in your opinion?