by Carl Parker, 8 months ago
Since the official Jelly Bean update for the device is still far from being released, most users have resorted to flashing custom ROMs instead of just sitting down and doing nothing, while the rest of…
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.
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?