A few days ago the development team behind Paranoid Android announced on Google+ that they were working on their own version of the multi-window/overlay feature showcased originally by Samsung on their Galaxy line of devices. James showed of the basic concept in his post but today they have released a new video which explains Halo in much greater detail :

As you can see in the video any app installed on your device that presents a notification can be seen using Halo – Finish uploading something to Dropbox or downloading the latest Paranoid Android ROM Halo will notify you.

Halo notifications can be dismissed, read and replied to from the multitasking window/overlay that pops up when the Halo is tapped.

Imagine being able to continue playing Granny Smith with the kids watching and being able to have the footy scores pop up in a Halo bubble when your team kicks a goal (or scores a try depending on your state of residence), or have the eBay app pop up a Halo window telling you to bid NOW on that Chromebook you are trying to get for a steal and then bid from the floating window that appears when you tap on the eBay Halo.

Since releasing the video, the team have listened to feedback from their users and have already implemented changes to allow the app running underneath to continue to run while the floating window is active .

With the introduction of Halo, it’s once again an exciting time for Android Custom-ROM enthusiasts.  Personally I thought Android custom ROMs were beginning to stagnate with regards to new innovations but with the release of this one feature, that perception has been flipped on its head. Developers taking one idea (Facebook Chat Heads) and building on it to create something amazingly useful is one of the best things about the open source development community.

Alpha builds of Paranoid Android with Halo included are expected to arrive in the next few days. Once all changes are merged expect the code for Halo to be merged into many other custom ROMs. Steve Spear – developer of popular custom ROM AOKP – who recently released his own innovation: AOKP ribbon has been paying attention to the Halo development and has stated that he is quite impressed, stating on Twitter : “not gonna lie… That’s pretty damn slick” and “…those guys are pretty darn innovative“.

Paranoid Android, it seems, have done it once again. I tip my hat to them and their ability to not only come up with new ideas but being able to implement them effectively.  Innovation, thy name is Paranoid Android.

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    That looks pretty damn good. Combining that with the multi window mode from Samsung would be very interesting


    You also have to think that it won’t be long before every dev is building this in to their roms. I have always found PA has too many features and can feel clunky, so it never stays on my phone long, but I’d love to see this in a CM rom

    Scott Plowman

    Certainly mate. Open source ftw!