Once upon a time the Paranoid Android team of developers were responsible for some of the most innovative custom ROMs for smartphones. The team reinvented Android navigation buttons with Pie controls, offered a multi-window mode years before Google officially supported the feature, reimagined multitasking on Android devices, and started (and killed) a bunch of other projects in the meantime.
But Paranoid Android has been pretty quiet over the past few years. Some of the lead developers were hired by OnePlus and left the team. And when a new ROM finally launched last year… it was pretty much just stock Android 6.0 with a handful of tweaks.
But now Paranoid is back… again. And this time they’ve got an up-to-date operating system that merges some old features with some new Android goodies.
Paranoid Android 2017 Nougat Resurrection includes a new version of Pie controls designed to match Google’s Material Design, support for gesture controls (like drawing letters on the screen to launch an app, or double-tapping to wake), an immersive mode for running any app in a full-screen view (with the notification bar hidden out of sight), and a new feature called Color Engine which is basically a theming tool that lets you choose from light, dark, and black modes and set accent colors.
You can also customize the navigation buttons, battery icon, and other features. And the Android 7.1.2-based ROM is also said to offer “various performance and battery improvements.”
If there’s a catch, it’s that only a handful of device sare officially supported, including:
- Google Pixel and Pixel XL
- Google Nexus 5X and 6P
- OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T
The team is also testing compatibility for the Google Nexus 5, Nextbit Robin, OnePlus One, OnePlus 2, and OnePlus X.
One pretty cool feature: there are custom camera features for the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T that allegedly offer better image quality than you get from the stock camera on those devices, as well as faster shutter speed.
But I wouldn’t be surprised to see the software ported to other devices by third-party developers… or for some of those developers to start working with the Paranoid Android team, which says it’s looking for folks to help “expand our roster of supported devices.”
Now that Paranoid Android’s code is up to date and there’s a new development framework in place, the plan is to start offering bug fixes and feature updates more frequently in the future.