A single picture is all we really have, but it hints at something larger.
When Facebook Home came out a few weeks ago, the most discussed (and perhaps maligned) feature was chat heads. It overlays Facebook’s chat onto every screen, making sure you never miss a comment or conversation.
Chat heads is a great feature, but the constant “on top” interference was a bit much for some. Pesky and annoying, chat heads remains something we would like to have more of, but not as we currently see it. A little icon is great, but not all the time, every time.
So, we go back to that picture. Paranoid Android hasn’t said anything official in advance of it, or since, but there is an icon… reminiscent of a chat head… sitting there, waiting for us. It has a little notification, too, letting us know there are messages waiting. What could it be for?
In looking through the comments on Paranoid Android’s Google+ post, it seems they’ve taken the chat head concept to another level altogether. According to comments made by Paranoid Android, these chat heads will basically be notification pop-ups.
Paranoid Android plans to make them available for every app, all the time. If you’re checking an email and someone messages you via GTalk, you’ll get a pop-up. According to Paranoid’s team, it will work with every app, on every screen. No word yet on just how long or often they’ll come up, but that’s probably something you can manipulate to suit your needs.
Paranoid Android says they’ll have more to say very soon, and make no bones that their concept came from Facebook Home. They insist on giving full credit to Facebook for the idea, and are clearly enamored with the concept of these notification pop-ups. I resist calling them chat heads, because they transcend chat. According to a comment left by the Paranoid Android team, these pop-ups are “how you do multi windowing on Android.”
Maybe they’re right.