Paranoid Android is a custom version of Android that’s known for introducing unusual features such as custom touchscreen controls and a replacement for the notification and multitasking system in Google’s mobile operating system.
Now the Paranoid Android team is laying out plans for their next release, and it looks like there will be a focus on building more things in-house, and ensuring solid support for a few devices rather than limited support for dozens.
In other words, if you want to be certain you can run Paranoid Android once it’s based on Android 4.4, your best bet is to buy a Google Nexus device, although some others might be supported as well.
The move to support fewer devices will probably disappoint some folks with phones and tablets that don’t make the cut. But the change makes sense — instead of dedicating a single developer to maintain each device, the entire Paranoid Android team will be helping make sure everything works on all supported devices.
That doesn’t mean there won’t be unofficial ports for other devices. But if you want full support straight from the core development team, you’ll want a Google Nexus 5 or whatever other devices Paranoid Android commits to supporting.
Other changes coming with the start of the move to Android 4.4 (once it’s available) include:
- The software will be based on Google’s open source code, but Paranoid Android 4.4 will be re-built from scratch rather than ported from earlier builds.
- The team plans to introduce major new features that will be just as big as Hybrid, Pie controls, and Halo in 2014.
- Most features will be built in-house rather than modified from the work of others.
- The goal is to keep the user experience looking a lot like stock Android.
The roadmap also promises to make Paranoid Android more user-friendly for folks who aren’t experienced hackers.
Now that CyanogenMod is going corporate, it looks like the Paranoid Android team is taking steps to streamline its community-based Android firmware. While there’s no indication that CyanogenMod is going to stop offering free, open source versions of its software, some folks are less than thrilled with the way the team has transitioned from a group of volunteers to a for-profit company.
There are plenty of other custom ROMs out there, but Paranoid Android and AOKP are probably the most popular (and the most feature-packed) options that aren’t based on CyanogenMod.