Jun 11 AT 9:06 AM Nick Gray 21 Comments

Paranoid Android’s HALO multi-tasking feature open sourced

paranoid-android-halo-multitasking

Multi-tasking on custom Android ROMs is about to get a lot more interesting. The Paranoid Android team has announced that they will open source their new Halo multitasking feature. HALO was originally inspired by Facebook’s Chat Heads, but rather than simply overlaying messages on top of running applications, the HALO multitasking system is fully integrated into the operating system, giving you direct access to all of your notifications without having to close out of the app that you are currently running.

Like Chat heads, HALO is a circle which can be re-positioned and pinned to the edge of your phone’s screen. Accessing notifications through HALO will open its corresponding application in a smaller frame on top of your running app. You can read or compose an email, send a text message or even do a Google search without worrying about losing your place in the game that you are playing. The included HALO application even allows users to pin specific apps so that they can easily be accessed even if the app does not have any pending notifications for you to check.

HALO is still in Beta and lacks proper support for Android’s tablet UI , but the Paranoid Android team believes that the code is solid enough to be released. We’re excited to see how other ROM developers will use HALO.

Source: +Paranoid Android

Nick is a tech enthusiast who has a soft spot for HTC and its devices. He started HTCsource.com (the first HTC blog) back in 2007 and later joined the Android and Me family in the summer of 2010.

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  • h0ruza

    This is why I love android. Ideas bounce around and some evolve into brilliance.

    Now if Google could add this or a refined version into 4.3 or higher the circle would be complete.

    • Broseph Stalin

      They definitely should. Its functionality is refined enough to be part of the default OS.

      • bduygand

        Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

  • SGB101

    I liked chat heads for a while, then they just got annoying and seemed to get in the way.

    I do like the multitasking feature (apps running behind), so probably will give a go at some point.

    Swapa is my app switching app of choice atm. Only got put onto it last week.

  • cwjones4

    probably a dumb question, but this will only work on a device running ASOP right?

    • cwjones4
    • http://htcsource.com Nick Gray

      Technically, anyone creating a custom ROM will be able to incorporate HALO into their build. This means we should see if start to creep into custom TouchWiz, Sense, AOSP and even MIUI ROMs.

      • SGB101

        As long as it can be turned off if the user wants

      • Bpear96

        Not really. Halo source code, is meant currently in paranoid android (aosp based ROM) source code. It could easily be ported to other aosp ROM code, such as CM, aokp, liquid smooth, carbonRom etc. It would require quite about of hackery to get it working on touchwiz, sense and other closed source “Roms”.

        Not saying its not possible, buts its not feasible. Would have to decompile system apks, framework etc, and hack the halo code into it.

        Xposed

      • Bpear96

        Not really. Halo source code, is currently in paranoid android (aosp based ROM) source code. It could easily be ported to other aosp ROM code, such as CM, aokp, liquid smooth, carbonRom etc. It would require quite a bit of hackery to get it working on touchwiz, sense and other closed source “Roms”.

        Not saying its not possible, buts its not feasible. Would have to decompile system apks, framework etc, and hack the halo code into it.

        Xposed framework mod, might be possible though.

  • jamal adam

    Halo is just amazing and the beauty of it is that it doesn’t get in the way and makes the user experience even better and to see it be implemented on other ROMs would be awesome and who knows, maybe Google will like the idea and add it to KLP.

  • thymeless

    I’ve dabbled with Halo on my Galaxy Nexus. I wasn’t that impressed. It’s not that it’s bad, just not that useful to me.

  • donger
  • jonstle

    Love the creativity. I think this could be another case where Google eventually integrates some of those features into core android.

    Those guys are super talented!

  • Blaise

    Does anyone know how to disable halo?

    • mike

      Go into toolbars settings click on the check marked option of reverse gestures under halo. Once unchecked long press the halo and drag to the top

  1. This is why I love android. Ideas bounce around and some evolve into brilliance.

    Now if Google could add this or a refined version into 4.3 or higher the circle would be complete.

    • They definitely should. Its functionality is refined enough to be part of the default OS.

      • bduygandGuest 2 years ago

        Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

  2. I liked chat heads for a while, then they just got annoying and seemed to get in the way.

    I do like the multitasking feature (apps running behind), so probably will give a go at some point.

    Swapa is my app switching app of choice atm. Only got put onto it last week.

  3. probably a dumb question, but this will only work on a device running ASOP right?

    • Technically, anyone creating a custom ROM will be able to incorporate HALO into their build. This means we should see if start to creep into custom TouchWiz, Sense, AOSP and even MIUI ROMs.

      • As long as it can be turned off if the user wants

      • Not really. Halo source code, is meant currently in paranoid android (aosp based ROM) source code. It could easily be ported to other aosp ROM code, such as CM, aokp, liquid smooth, carbonRom etc. It would require quite about of hackery to get it working on touchwiz, sense and other closed source “Roms”.

        Not saying its not possible, buts its not feasible. Would have to decompile system apks, framework etc, and hack the halo code into it.

        Xposed

      • Not really. Halo source code, is currently in paranoid android (aosp based ROM) source code. It could easily be ported to other aosp ROM code, such as CM, aokp, liquid smooth, carbonRom etc. It would require quite a bit of hackery to get it working on touchwiz, sense and other closed source “Roms”.

        Not saying its not possible, buts its not feasible. Would have to decompile system apks, framework etc, and hack the halo code into it.

        Xposed framework mod, might be possible though.

  4. Halo is just amazing and the beauty of it is that it doesn’t get in the way and makes the user experience even better and to see it be implemented on other ROMs would be awesome and who knows, maybe Google will like the idea and add it to KLP.

  5. I’ve dabbled with Halo on my Galaxy Nexus. I wasn’t that impressed. It’s not that it’s bad, just not that useful to me.

  6. Love the creativity. I think this could be another case where Google eventually integrates some of those features into core android.

    Those guys are super talented!

  7. BlaiseGuest 2 years ago

    Does anyone know how to disable halo?

    • mikeGuest 2 years ago

      Go into toolbars settings click on the check marked option of reverse gestures under halo. Once unchecked long press the halo and drag to the top