One of the key functions of a good smartphone is to give you information at-a-glance, so when a new text message, email, or other alert comes in, you can quickly scan it and decide whether it warrants an immediate response. But there’s not a lot of space near the top of your phone where the notifications hang out.

So the folks behind Paranoid Android decided to come up with a new way to show notifications. They call it Hover, and it’s a system that brings up a larger notification near the top of your screen for a few seconds so you have time to read a message. If you want to interact with the notification, you can tap it to open the app in a “floating” mode allowing it to open up on top of your other apps without minimizing them.

Here’s what Hover looks like in action.

Hover is an optional feature of Paranoid Android… which is an optional version of Android which you can install to replace the stock Android software that comes with recent Nexus phones and tablets as well as other supported devices.

In other words, if you don’t like Hover, you don’t have to use it. But the Paranoid Android team has a history of rethinking the way Android works.

Earlier builds of the operating system, for instance, involved Halo: a notification system that also had a floating apps component, and which displayed alerts on the screen even when the notification tray was hidden. Paranoid Android also developed PIE controls, which allow you to hide the Android home, back, and recent apps keys most of the time and bring them up (along with a notification window) using a gesture.

Many of Paranoid Android’s most innovative features haven’t been available in the team’s custom builds of Android 4.4 KitKat because the team has been using the move from Android 4.3 to Android 4.4 as an opportunity to redesign most of its software from scratch. So while Halo is gone for good, Hover is just getting started.

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7 replies on “Paranoid Android rethinks notifications (again) with Hover”

  1. Hi. Nicolas from Silver Finger Software here, original developer of Hover (or NotifierPro). This is what I sent to Paranoid : “What the hell is wrong with you guys ? You just took my WHOLE app, put a new name on it and are now boasting all over the Internet saying “We made dis!”. Is there no honor code in the developer world ? If you guys were honest people you would have tried contacting me, saying “we’d like to integrate NotifierPro in our ROM, is that ok with you ? / could you help us with that ?”, hell maybe I would have been okay with that, considering you keep the original name. “”

    Oh if you guys want to try the original “Hover”, here it is :

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nlucas.notificationtoasterlite

    – it was first released in 2012
    – it doesn’t require a custom ROM
    – you can choose which apps to receive notifications from
    – you can choose the theme
    – it already has “blacklist” and “swipe to dismiss” features

    1. When you claim to be the “original developer of Hover”, are you insinuating that Paranoid Android literally copied your code, which would be a copyright violation? Or do you just feel their look and feel is too close to yours, which would be legally meaningless unless you filed for a design patent? It seems to me that claiming to be the “original developer of Hover”, unless you actually wrote the Hover code that PA is using, you may be treading close to slander of title (IANAL, but this came up in the widely covered SCO vs. everyone in the world saga over the last decade).

      1. Just read this long post, I don’t think he’s insinuating that they literally copied the code. I immediately recognized that the “Hover” notifications has the same functionality and look as Notifier pro or Metro Notifications. Its a blatant copy functionality wise, I cant speak to the code.

        To play devils advocate, the functionality of “Hover”, NotifierPro, and Metro Notifications all were inspired by Windows phone.

        Notifier Pro will still be desirable because you do not need to flash a ROM.

  2. It’s called Metro Notifications, you are welcome.

    (Metro Notifications may have a few less features, but its free and works with non-rooted devices)

    1. Thanks for noticing, Metro Notifications is actually one of our apps too.

      1. Ha! didn’t know, great work, its fantastic. Not sure I can jump back into custom roms again but it looks good.

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