Paranoid Android custom ROM to introduce expanded desktop soon

by: Joe HindyJanuary 15, 2013

paranoid android
Paranoid Android is one of the most unique custom ROMs out there. It is an AOSP build that is based on the popular CyanogenMod. It is also known for some pretty radical things, such as its hybrid mode. Hybrid mode allows devices to run apps and menus in a hybrid of phone and tablet modes. Their next big feature is the expanded desktop.

Paranoid Android’s improved expanded desktop could also be called a radial menu. It works pretty easily too. People using the ROM would swipe up from the bottom of the screen and a radial menu will appear. From there you have a choice of the customary home, back, recent apps, and menu (where applicable). Unlike typical implementations which are app specific, this will be available across the entire interface.

This would replace the standard navigation bar that most AOSP ROMs carry now where the software buttons rest permanently across the bottom of the screen. The immediate pro of extended desktop is that it gives you that extra screen space that used to be taken by the nav bar.

According to Paranoid Android in this Google+ post, the expanded desktop should be available in an upcoming string of nightly builds. To activate it, hold the power button until the menu comes up, and select the expanded desktop.

This is pretty nifty, where did Paranoid Android get the idea?

Radial menus have been around for quite some, just not on mobile devices. As many Linux users will tell you, there are third party docks that allow for radial menus, such as Cairo Dock. This idea has also been thought of for Android itself by Google. As Patent Bolt reported some time ago, Google actually filed a patent application on radial menus. At the time, the talk was that it would be included in Android at some point. It didn’t happen with 4.2 Jelly Bean, but there’s always 5.0 and beyond.

In any case, this is a really cool feature and a lot of people are sure to enjoy it. It isn’t available yet, but if you’d like to see it in action, check out the Google+ post linked above and watch the video. Is anyone going to be giving this a try when it becomes public?

  • Kieron Quinn

    You mean they will implement a better one soon, it has one currently but it just hides the notification and navigation bar, nothing else

    • JosephHindy

      yes, that was my bad lol. Edited to reflect that.

  • Ricky

    The is a radial menu in the browser under the labs section. Been there since ICS.

  • this is similar to “expand desktop” on CM10…….

    • It’s the same, Paranoid Android implemented it first and CM actually liked it so much they merged it into their code.

      But the radial menu is new.

  • Expanded desktop has been in the rom for a really long time. In fact, the Paranoid Android version was actually merged into CM code before CM10.1

    The radial menu is new. I have had it on my Nexus 7 for a few days, so I assume it should be on other devices already as well.

  • Hope to see expanded desktop in next Android’s version. Not necessary the radial menu.

  • rj

    Paranoid Android is no longer based on Cyanogen.


    Correct this is quick navigation in labs settings on stock ICS browser and newer. Though, if I’m not mistaken this “radial menu” was first implemented by the LMT launcher app by noname81 at XDA. Original post dates back to November 2nd, 2011. I personally have been using it for a while. I always thought it would be way cooler to have the menu swing out from the bottom I wonder if there is an option for that in the latest update?

  • Laborin_HK

    Where did they get this idea from? Let me think: browser in ICS, LMT launcher (pi launcher), MIUI had it too (called the fan launcher)… not entirely new, but still a great addition :)

  • Spencer

    Flashed it last night. Very impressed. Still trying to figure out how to use hybrid though.