First look: Paranoid Android’s Chat Head-like Halo notifications [VIDEO]


Paranoid Android Chat Heads

It was yesterday we showed you what the developers behind the Paranoid Android custom ROM had been hard at work on — a new feature for Android dubbed “Halo” notifications. Similar to Facebook Messenger’s Chat Heads, Halo notifications work system-wide, forwarding all notifications from the notification bar to the Halo bubble. There, the notification can be clicked, and opened up in a tiny applet (again, similar to the way Facebook Messenger handles messages).

It’s all quite genius really, and one of the best implementations of a multi-window user interface I’ve seen on Android to date. Today, one lucky fella from YouTube got his hands on an early build of Paranoid Android — Halo notifications and all — demoing the new feature for the world to see. He sounds almost as excited as I would be to try ’em out. Check out the video below.

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

Purported Motorola X Phone pictured in the wild with stock Android and running on AT&T 4G LTE

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  1. So much like.

  2. I wouldn’t consider it multi-window since there aren’t 2 apps running on the screen at once.

    1. It’s still in the first phase -.-

      read PA’s Google+ page if you don’t believe me.

      1. Do you know how it will handle multiple notifications?
        Like say, I turned my data off and just turned it back on and am flooded with notifications.

        Does Halo only work with the last received notification?

  3. Looks like I’ll be trying a new ROM soon.

  4. Given the nature of open source, this will probably find its way into other ROMs after it has been released by PA. I know it’s piqued the curiosity of a lot of devs, including Team Douche. Personally, I don’t like it much, but hey, different strokes for different folks. That’s why we use Android after all :-)

  5. Pretty nifty. Still won’t get me to leave stock rooted in my Note 2

      1. Cuz the touchwiz and spen features can’t be replaced.

        1. Ah, you’re an S Pen kinda guy.

          1. Fo sho

          2. leave the stock. go Jedi XP 13. its touchwiz based has all of the sPen features included offers way better battery life and gives you a lot of the ROM features included. (LMT, Custom Kernels, ETC.)

          3. You should try this ROM called Jellybam. It’s a combination of AOKP, CM10.1, and PA. It gives you a stock Android experience but allows you to install the TouchWiz S-Pen apps.

  6. I’m guessing – and perhaps hoping – something similar will be a part of KLP this Fall.

  7. Didn’t mention anything about how much its going to drain your battery? The device is going to stay in wake mode cause of this feature.

    1. There is no reason why it would keep your device awake, not any more than having notifications would.

  8. I pray this ends up hacked into a sense rom for my one x

    1. Praying to the coder gods, eh?

  9. Follow this guy he does awesome reviews! he goes into a lot of detail! So glad he made it to a news site!!!!

    1. +1 chris is the bomb no joke.

      great name too.

  10. It would be so annoying to have that circle on the screen constantly.

    1. It’s still very early but ideally, I’d imagine they’d let you toss the notification away like a Chat Head.

      1. You mean like how he does in the video?

  11. I can definitely see Halo being more convenient than the traditional notification panel, even in this early stage of development. And the alternate navigation buttons in the half circle setup looked pretty good as well.

  12. 3 paranoid android articles in less than a week… you guys investing in PA’s future? ;-P

    S’ok if you are… PA is second only to the pink unicorn in my book.

    1. Also like 50 CM articles in the past week as well :p

      1. Where??? Point me in the direction of these CM article…I want to read about the awesome ROM I’m running on my GNexus. Thanks

  13. Just hunted down a copy of PA for my HTC Sensation. Getting harder and harder to find decent roms for this thing :(. I just want JB to work on this thing for once.

  14. I just may root my s3 now seems like an awesome ROM to have

  15. How is this multi window? The app from the circle takes over the entire screen when you click it, just in a smaller layout than usual

  16. Pretty cool! Not enough to take me away from my Sourcery ROM but I am sure it will end up there eventually.

  17. This doesn’t really excite me much.

    Even though it’s somewhat unobtrusive, I can’t think of very many situations where I’d want to have the Halo bubble overlay sitting on top of my other apps and games. I don’t have A.D.H.D., so I don’t NEED to get & reply to tweets or whatever in the middle of games, etc.

    For important stuff, I just set a distinct per-app notification sound so if I happen to be full-screen I know I should check my notifications soon-ish.

    This Halo feature is geared more towards people (kids) who get communication withdrawal after 3 seconds.

  18. I think this is definitely a step in the right direction. It would be useful if you could hide and show the halo with a gesture control or something. That way it doesn’t have to bother you on your screen if you don’t want, but you can access it with a quick flick/swirl/something of a finger.

  19. I would rather have the full editing windows from the pull down notification menu – It is available in every app and looks much neater.

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