Teams and solo enthusiasts alike can now integrate the notification system into their ROMs

A few weeks ago the folks over at Paranoid Android took the idea of Facebook's new Chat Heads software and took it a step further to create what it calls "Halo", a new way to manage multitasking on Android. While the software is still in beta officially, the team took to its official Google+ page today to announce that it is completely open-sourcing the software for other ROM makers to implement on their own. The source code, which is admittedly not cleaned up and still doesn't support proper Tablet UI's, comes by way of two links to GitHub with everything ROM makers of any size need to get started with it.

With the information and links to the source code, it also took a moment to throw out some thanks to Facebook, a few notes on compatibility and scaling of apps from Google Play, and some notes on the new version of Halo currently being used on Paranoid Android's ROM. The Google+ post also links to a great walkthrough of the feature as it stands now, which you can find above.

Source: +Paranoid Android


Reader comments

Paranoid Android team open-sources its 'Halo' multitasking feature


If any rom maker could get the customizable buttons under control I'd run Pa on my htcone. But the lack of being able to set up my buttons is a downer for me

What I'm not understanding is can we download this and run it on anything or do we have to be rooted and/or on a specific ROM?

it needs to be baked into the ROM, this really only applies directly to developers. The users will indirectly benefit from this once devs make ROMs with this in it, although honestly I don't know why anyone interested in custom ROMs isn't running a build of PA at this point.

[personal opinion ahead] While it is stable enough to run as a daily, it's still fatter than a vanilla stock rom; PA and CM run much more laggy and buggy on my 2 year old GNEX than say Muzzy's Stock w/ a few mods.

This might not be the case for newer powerhouse phones, but I like fast and responsive times which I wasn't getting from PA on my GNEX unfortunately. Now that doesn't go to say I don't love PA; I'd love to get a HTCONE and throw this on it in a heart beat.

If it's not a Touchwiz based ROM, I'm not interested @ all in it being on my Note 2 because I lose too many of the features that led me to buy the Note 2 to begin with (Multiwindow, S-pen, etc.)

I exclusively ran AOSP on previous devives too, but Touchwiz has gotten too good. I still don't like the look of it, but that's what alternative launchers are for.

I'm confused. How different is this from switching to the notification manually, then pressing the back button when you're done? Also, that icon sticking out of the edges of my screen would really annoy the crap out of me. I'll pass.

If you watched the video you would know the answers to your questions. When you go to a notification using the Halo your current task continues to run it doesn't freeze like it would now. You also don't have to leave which ever app you are currently in. Also the Halo can be hidden with a simple gesture or you can have it completely off your screen where it will only pop up when you receive a notification.

I have bought this up on the PA Google+ page on a number of occasions.
The Halo does not hide completely, even if you have Autohide ticked.
(Latest Grouper version)

you really need to watch the video, the app remains running in the background, while you open the notification through halo, which means for example YouTube videos wont stop loading and and continue playing if you desire so. switching to the other app makes YouTube videos stop loading and only marks saves to the memory your progress in the video, you'll have to reload it when you go back. same goes with an open browser. second, its much faster to use halo and feels like real multitasking especially when it comes to messaging but that's a personal opinion of mine though i think anyone who tries it will see the same thing, i was skeptic at first but now halo is indispensable to me

I'm hoping someone can package this up into an installable apk for stock users. I like chat heads, I don't much care for Facebook.

Very unlikely (at least in it's current iteration), this runs somewhat deep inside the ROM with changes to the UI and new code to make this possible.

this is impossible. an app or even a root app can't do it. you're running android though, not ios. there is no reason to fool around with hacks. install a aosp compliant clean rom on your open hardware and thats that.

Do a search for "Floating Notifications" will get a link to the XDA site. Still in development with some bugs (and you have to side load it), but I have been using it for a couple weeks or so now and it works well.

Floating notifications is in the play store now. I've used the alpha builds, but they were a little buggy. Seems that some of the bugs have been ironed out for the market release.

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why even compoare it. all it has in commong with halo is a circle and a speech bubble. if you have see the video you realize that you can do none of these things with fn, no? the name is kinda misleading coz nothing floats, with halo it actually does.

If an app has quick reply from the notification shade like textra then it is similar to it a little. Its not a a fill replacement to that though.

This is an awsome feature!!! This is the kind of multitasking I've been looking for on my tablets and phone. I would love to see Google incorperate this into the mainline Android.

Reminds me a lot of WebOS and their multitasking functionality. Still my favorite OS by far. Oh how I miss unified messaging...

I don't get the fuss..its a notification icon you can move anywhere, i don't see it being more efficient then the notifications we have now...its neat but doesn't serve any other purpose or least from what I see....i may be wrong ..i dunno

I wish it wasnt tied to notifications. I wish it would just let me multitask any app at any time.