Paranoid Android Announce Substratum Partnership

Paranoid Android strives to be a custom ROM on the level of an OEM ROM, providing reliability, stability and improving on existing features on a device with polish and care. Paranoid Android recently came back in May after a few months hiatus, with new features and old favorites including their famous pie controls.

They also included a new color engine for changing accents on the device, immersive mode and many new screen-off gestures. On the OnePlus 3, they wrote their own camera processing software and included other device-specific features for other phones. They also added Substratum support, which meant you could theme the ROM further than their color engine. On top of this, the Paranoid Android 7.2 release included improvements to the color engine and more features. The dev team is serious, and in their latest announcement are showing us how.

Paranoid Android’s Announcement

The dev team behind Paranoid Android have committed to making their ROM the best experience on any device, and in continuing this they have announced their partnership with Substratum.

Our main goal is to bring a more seamless theming experience to AOSPA which will allow
you to customise the look and feel of your device easily without going through a plethora of
menus and options. With our reputation of wanting to release something that is well polished
and to a professional standard, we believe that this partnership will provide our users with
what they know and trust. We’re planning to develop an entirely new theming section with the great UI/UX you can
come to expect for PA.

– Paranoid Android Team

With this, we can expect to see some major improvements in the Substratum experience on AOSPA across all devices supported. It will be built into the settings menu and fit the design language of the Android system itself. Hopefully we can see more improvements like this in AOSPA or other custom ROMs and that this opens the door for more ROM partnerships in the future!


Paranoid Android 7.2.3 Released — New Languages, Launcher Customization, and Various Fixes!

Paranoid Android has been one of the most well-received custom ROMs in history, and their latest efforts after yet another return have the team expanding to new devices and adding carefully crafted features.

Just recently we had an interview with PA’s Alex Naidis on the Custom ROM’s future, their approach to new functionality and ongoing developments, and that day the also opened up various features they’ve included in their ROMs for the community to learn from, adopt or adapt, and even improve. These include their PIE controls system, the PA-exclusive Color Engine, Accidental Touch (Prevention), Pocket Lock, and Three-Finger Swipe Screenshot — some of the polished features the ROM has been known to offer. Of course, the ROM is undergoing constant improvements, and Paranoid Android 7.2.3 has arrived with even more refinements and fixes.

The team had added support for translating PA to other languages via their Crowdin, and thanks to the help of community members who contributed to translations, PA is now supporting many new languages. The following languages have now been included in this release:

● Arabic
● Catalan
● Chinese Simplified
● Chinese Traditional
● Czech
● Dutch
● English UK
● French
● German
● Hindi
● Italian
● Norwegian
● Polish
● Portuguese
● Russian
● Slovak
● Spanish
● Swedish
● Turkish

This update is also introducing Launcher personalization options, which include icon customization and app labelling. You can now apply icon packs and individually change any app’s icon or label for a more flexible homescreen. To access the new menu, long-press your homescreen and access the menu called “personalization”, or you can drag an app’s icon to the top of the screen and place it under the “edit” option to change its icon or label as well. On top of these smaller but welcome options, the team has improved various features, updated the PA browser and fixed some issues:

  • Solved GPS issues with the “Waze” app
  • Updated PA Browser
  • Enabled extended built-in file manager (Files)
  • Power improvements for Pocket Lock
  • Block screenshots in Pocket Lock
  • Added a thermal warning when the device gets too hot
  • Icon customization and app labeling in launcher
  • Optional Google search bar in Launcher
  • Solved some issues related to Accidental Touch
  • Telephony related improvements
  • Improved reliability of clock alarms on a fresh install
  • Fixed setting of a user profile picture
  • Fixed manual focus in certain scene modes in Camera
  • Fixed various media playback issues
  • Fixed various Bluetooth connectivity issues
  • Fixed automatic OTA update
  • Fixed cases of Wifi display not working
  • Fixed various theming issues
  • Major performance enhancements
  • Various stability fixes and minor improvements

Other than that, there are various device-specific changes such as a rebased kernel (w/ August security patch) and merged EAS 1.3 & 1.4 and PELT-RT changes for the Pixel XL, battery drain fixes for the Nexus 5, performance improvements for the Nextbit Robin and major performance improvements for the OnePlus 3/3T. The team also asks users to note that their Paranoid OTA may not update to this release version, in which case you need to manually flash the build — patches included in this update can potentially fix such issues.

That’s about all for this update. If you want to read full device changes, head over to their G+ announcement post. As always, you can find the latest builds in their downloads page, and you can also pay their Gerrit, GitHub, Crowdin and Official G+ Community a visit.

Have you tried Paranoid Android recently? Let us know in the comments!

Team Paranoid Android Releases Source Code for Color Engine, PIE Controls, Pocket Lock and Other Features

The Paranoid Android ROM project has been the recipient of endless praise, but also of a lot of criticism stemming from the fact that some of the elements of their ROM hadn’t been open sourced yet. The AOSPA team has addressed such complaints, and has now open sourced all of their elements on GitHub.

The code for the PA-exclusive Color Engine, the PIE Controls system,  Accidental Touch (prevention) functionality, Pocket Lock and the Three-Finger Swipe Screenshot feature have been opened up for the community, allowing developers and enthusiasts alike to peek and modify their inner workings.

All of the unofficial builders can have their unofficial ROMs bundled with all of the official ROM goodies. The reason for having the code kept private on GitHub for as long as it was kept private, according to the Paranoid Android team, was due to the fact that the team felt the features weren’t fully ready yet. In a G+ post released today, the PA team states that they would follow the same procedure for possible features that could be added into the official ROM builds in the future as well.

Head over to the official GitHub for Paranoid Android to look at all the freshly opened-up code. Here’s a link to the Gerrit, the Crowdin and the official G+ Community for Paranoid Android.

Interview with Alex Naidis from AOSPA: The Future of Paranoid Android, Developer Advice and More!

Introduced to the Paranoid Android development scene in early 2016, Alex Naidis is now a part of the core leadership responsible for the project. Given AOSPA’s popularity and the sudden resurrection of development surrounding it, the community had got to have some questions. Read Alex Naidis answers to the community’s questions right here on the XDA Developers Portal!

Hey there, Alex. Would you please introduce yourself to the audience?

Hey, I’m Alex Naidis, also known as TheCrazyLex, and I’m one of the lead developers for Paranoid Android and a BSP developer for Nextbit OS along with a few other PA developers and the Razer and Nextbit team. I’ve been working with Android for 3 years and am very passionate about improving performance, stability, and user experience.

Could you also introduce your project, specifically, AOSPA to the enthusiasts reading this interview?

AOSPA is a custom operating system based on the Android Open Source Project and Qualcomm’s Code Aurora Forum, made to provide a stable and fast experience with useful features, which emphasize quality over quantity.

We have created unique and original features such as PIE, a gesture-based navigation key replacement; Color Engine, a system that allows you to change the primary and accent colors throughout the interface; Accidental Touch; and Pocket Lock.

What happened to the original team working on PA?

Many, such as Carlo, Arz, Evan, and Aaron are still around and actively working on PA whenever they can.  As with all free and open source projects, others simply no longer have the time to dedicate to it anymore.

There seems to be a good chunk of the community that’s still asking for features like Hover/Peek in newer versions of the ROM. Could you please explain why those features can’t be included into the ROM anymore?

We feel that certain features that we made in the past have been replaced by features in AOSP.  Hover was replaced by Heads Up, Peek was replaced by Ambient Display.  We try not to duplicate the work of AOSP, but instead to add to it.

While we’re continuing with the introductory phase of the interview, could you please explain the partnership (if any) AOSPA has with Razer?

Our relationship with Nextbit started when Nextbit, commented on our release post for Android Marshmallow on Google+ and asked us if we could support the Robin.

The result was very positive, so we agreed to extend our collaboration/partnership

We work together with the Razer team to upgrade Nextbit OS on the Robin to the latest Android releases, improve performance, increase efficiency, fix bugs, and implement new features.

How did you start with Android development?

I was unhappy with what the Android flavors by OEMs provided and decided that I want to create something new which improves on top of the experience provided by the OEMs. In particular I was disappointed by the general performance and “smoothness” that were provided.

I believed that the software was not even close to using the full potential that the hardware had. Even today, with my work on Paranoid Android and Nextbit OS, I am still slightly specialized towards power management.

Given your partnership with RAZER, could there be plans for an upcoming mobile device?

Sorry, but I am not allowed to comment on this question.

Why was there a sudden halt in builds for AOSPA after the KK/LP phase?

In 2015, many of our key members were hired by OnePlus and moved to China to work on Oxygen OS, so some contributed less to the project, while others did not have time to contribute at all.  The remaining members worked to upgrade PA to Marshmallow, but with significantly less resources, it took longer than before. In early 2016, new members including me joined and we are happy that we could deliver a solid Paranoid Android Marshmallow release, even if it was late.

What happened to the original team working on PA?

Many, such as Carlo, Arz, Evan, and Aaron are still around and actively working on PA whenever they can. As with all free and open source projects, others simply no longer have the time to dedicate to it anymore.

How and when did you join AOSPA?

In early 2016, I found a kernel source tree on GitHub for my phone at the time: the OnePlus One.  I contacted the developer, Jake Weinstein (xboxfanj), via private message on XDA to ask him some questions about it. We began talking about what we were looking for in an Android ROM and found that we had similar ideas.

After some back and forth discussion, he invited me to join AOSPA, a great project that I thought was dead, but was being revived for Android Marshmallow. I was very excited by the opportunity. Over time, I started doing more and more for the project and ended up where I am now, as a part of the core leadership team. Also, it was and is an amazing learning experience to work together with other talented developers.

What advice do you have for the people starting out in development?

Find something you’re passionate about and do it.  It’s easy to get burnt out otherwise, but if you really care about what you’re doing, you won’t mind the long hours and hard work. Also, use your resources and work with experienced people who can help you learn how things work.

There was certain news about members of your time striking a collaborative deal with OnePlus as well. What was that all about?

Many of our key members were hired by OnePlus to create an operating system for the OnePlus One and future devices after Cyanogen OS was no longer supported.

That operating system is Oxygen OS which is shipping on all OnePlus devices.  We have a great relationship with OnePlus via Adam Krisko, the Developer Relations Specialist as OnePlus is actively fostering the relationship with all developers, based on the betterment of code for all.

What have you planned for the future of AOSPA?

One of the areas we have been focusing on is providing faster updates and this is something we will continue to work at.  We will continue to deliver original and ground-breaking features and a polished user experience and are looking forward to the Android O release later this year. Finally, we are always looking for new developers and anyone interested can contact me via any channel if they think they would be a good addition to the team.

What is one misconception people have when it comes to AOSPA

Many people are convinced that the team which was working on the older releases of AOSPA (Lollipop and earlier) completely stepped back and was replaced by a new team. As previously mentioned that’s simply not the case.

How many people are currently working on AOSPA’s code? We’d love an estimate since the community constantly complains about slow builds.

We have about fifteen people on our team working on our platform and [we] understand that the community would like our updates to be quicker, however, it takes time to make software that meets our internal quality standards because Paranoid Android is a project that we do in our spare time and work, life, and family come first.  We would rather not release at all than release something we’re not proud to put our names on.

Are you planning to go all-in with Android O and create innovative features just like KK?

Many of our features from Android KitKat were incorporated in some form into later Android releases, such as Heads Up and Ambient Display.  As the Android platform has matured, there have been less “holes” in functionality and we will never add features just for the sake of adding features.  Our goal is to add value to the Android user experience wherever we can.

What is the toughest part of leading AOSPA for you?

Time is one of our biggest challenges as a team.  Many of our team members have full-time jobs or school and we live in different time zones, so finding time to work together can be tough, as depending on the time of day, the person you need to talk to may be asleep or busy.

How has your experience with AOSPA helped you in real life?

I mostly work on software projects, so having even more experience in software development is always a good thing.  AOSPA also helped me improve my soft-skills, such as the ability to work in and lead a team. Actively managing a team 20 hours a day (yes I don’t sleep much) helped me a lot in that area.  Furthermore, without my experience at AOSPA, I would have never had the great opportunity to work with the Razer team on Nextbit OS.

Why haven’t certain elements of the ROM been open-sourced?

Actually, I’d like to answer this question with the help of an announcement we’re set to air soon. Keep an eye on out Google+ account and the XDA Developers Portal (i.e- right here)!

Paranoid Android 7.2.1 features Nexus 5 support, a new boot animation, and more

Much was made about Paranoid Android’s 7.2.0 release, and with good reason – it brought numerous features and bug fixes, along with support for various smartphones. As such, the popular Android ROM’s 7.2.1 update might be seen as meager from the outside, though it is still relatively substantial.

The highlight of the 7.2.1 release is the official support for the Nexus 5 (hammerhead), Sony Xperia X (suzu), and the Sony Xperia X Compact (kugo). On a side note, the Nexus 5 will celebrate its fourth birthday this year, which makes it remarkable that it is still supported with modern software. Then again, the phone is still an incredibly popular one in the ROM scene, so it is not entirely surprising to see it listed.

Elsewhere, the Paranoid team included the OnePlus 5’s three-finger gesture that enables screenshots, as well as an updated version of the PA browser. The 7.2.1 release also included improvements and changes for various devices, including the OnePlus X, OnePlus 3/3T, Nextbit Robin, and others.

Finally, alongside general bug fixes, performance enhancements, and the latest July 2017 security patch, the update introduces a new boot animation that looks clean and adheres closely to Android Nougat’s boot animation.

Keep in mind that not every Android device under the sun will get the 7.2.1 update. With that said, if your device is supported, you can download it at the link below.