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.