Two of the reasons that I chose a Samsung Galaxy Nexus as my daily phone was the on-screen nav bar, and the easily unlockable boot loader. Being that I flash a new Rom weekly, I’m always on the hunt for new features, themes and tweaks to help make my phone an experience that I can fully enjoy. I just found out about Paranoid Android last week and then quickly flashed their newest release after hearing about their latest feature, expanded desktop mode.
(video by the Paranoid Android Team)
After a quick toggle of expanded desktop mode, which completely hides your notification bar and navigation bar, you’re ready to go. While in expanded desktop mode a quick swipe and hold gesture gives you access to the pie. From there you get access to your soft keys, toggles, notifications and the usual status information about your device. The pie can be customized to allow access from the top, bottom or either side of your device along with color customization. After using PA for the last few days I am really enjoying the pie. A quick swipe here and there lets me easily get to all the areas I need access to while also letting me not be bothered by having soft keys and notifications taking up precious screen space.
PA also touts a hybrid U.I. letting you set your device to display in phone, phablet or tablet mode either system wide or on a per app basis along with a variety of color customization Feel like launching Gmail in tablet mode with a purple clock and orange nav buttons? No problem! You could switch right over to Facebook with a blue-tinted status and nav bar and from there load your recent apps and jump right into your favorite game automatically putting your phone in expanded desktop mode hiding away any distractions until your done playing. Paranoid Android is definitely a Rom worth checking out, if you haven’t already.
The current build, while only an early beta, is quite stable. GPS locks down faster than I was used to coming from AOKP or CyanogenMod and my battery is lasting a good 8 to 10 hours with moderate usage.