Paranoid Android is a custom version of Android known for building unusual features on top of Google’s mobile operating system. Halo, PIE controls, and Hover, for example, presented new ways to multitask, deal with on-screen navigation buttons, and interact with notifications.
But it’s been a few years since Paranoid Android released a new ROM. Phone maker OnePlus hired some of the project’s lead developers in 2015 to work on the company’s own OxygenOS software.
Now Paranoid Android is back… with a new team of developers and a new operating system based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow.
Paranoid Android 6.0 is available for download for a number of devices including most Google Nexus phones and tablets, OnePlus smartphones, and some devices from Sony and Oppo.
I was impressed to see that not only are there builds for the Google Nexus 5 from 2013, but also for the 2012 Nexus 4 and the 2011 Galaxy Nexus.
So what makes this version of Android a Paranoid build? Among other things, it has these custom features:
- There’s support for “floating windows,” allowing one app to run on top of others. You can do this by tapping the float icon in a notification or the recents list.
- Tap and hold Quick Settings tiles to change their order, or drag them to the trash bin to remove them.
- Immersive mode allows any app to run full-screen, hiding the notification bar and navigation buttons until you need them.
There are also custom kernels for some devices, custom gesture and button options, and support for the CyanogenMod Theme Engine.
Like most custom ROMs, you’ll need to install Google Apps yourself if you want access to the Play Store and other apps including Google Maps, Gmail and YouTube. The developers recommend using the latest full version of Open gApps.