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“Expanded Desktop Mode” in Paranoid Android ROM is the Coolest ROM Feature I’ve Seen in a Long Time

paranoid rom

The guys behind Paranoid Android ROM are in the process of finishing up their latest build, version 3.0. In a quick teaser to help get their base excited about the release, they published a video that highlights a their “Expanded Desktop Mode” and some of its new features. What is “Expanded Desktop Mode,” you ask? Only the coolest ROM feature I have seen in quite some time. 

The idea behind this feature is to do exactly as the name suggests – give you more desktop space to play with. With a phone like the Nexus 4 or Galaxy Nexus, you have on-screen navigation keys that take up screen real estate, so this idea makes perfect sense. The Paranoid team decided to hide the navigation keys from sight, but still make them accessible with a swipe up from the bottom edge of the screen. They also chose to hide the notification bar in this mode to give you even more display space.

What you get is a full-screen experience, but with quick access to all of your important functions with a single swipe and hold. As you’ll see in the video, Google Now is still easily accessible, as is multi-tasking, a battery meter, the clock, date, and even notifications. Oh, you can also control the color of the nav menu depending on the app you are in.

Go watch the video, then pick your jaw up, and think about flashing this ROM. From what I can tell, the first builds are rolling out today.


Via:  +Paranoid Android [2]

Cheers FrankN!

  • pilot25

    anyone have a link to download the rom for toro. Can’t find it on their site anywhere.

  • Thomas Redmond

    Anyone know if you can run the Google Play app in Tablet mode, and if this enables the Music Explorer feature?

  • Hmmm, not impressed. I wouldn’t like having to swipe up and hold to get to home, back, recent apps, and whatever other functionality they want to throw in there. It would just take longer to do the same steps as is. Adding flashy animations and such don’t really make a phone more user friendly.

  • Can someone please tell me how to flash this? For the life of me I can’t find a download link or instructions.

  • joejoe5709

    LOVE IT. But it doesn’t always work and there’s nothing more unsettling than being without a home button. So I’ll wait for a less glutchy, more stable build. Also not a fan of the split settings. Where’s notification power buttons? Meh.

  • byyaaaa

    the pants have been shitith

  • Kie

    I know at least one other person mentioned it, but there is an app called LMT Launcher on XDA which gives you pie controls very similar to this just without the notifications. Very well made app you should give a try if you want the controls but don’t want to flash Paranoid Android ROM.

  • If you think Ralph`s story is unbelievable…, last month my sis basically recieved a check for $8337 grafting thirteen hours a week from home and their co-worker’s step-sister`s neighbour did this for 6 months and got paid more than $8337 parttime on there labtop. the steps available on this page… jump15.comCHECK IT OUT

  • FIX FOR PA:PIE NOT showing up post lock screen/colors

    PIE does not show up post lock screen until an app is run or you toggle expanded desktop through the power button, Also you cannot access the Notification pulldown at all. I use nova launcher and swiping down opens the Notification bar even if it is not displayed in extended display, this action also enables PIE and wha-la we have the awesome!

    now for colors enable PIE to switch with per app settings and go into PA settings apply colors and customize to your hearts content.

  • Lawrence Hitchens

    very cool. kinda makes me wanna try the rom.

  • Javier C

    Just flashed this on my N4…. WOOOOWWWW. Didn’t think my screen could get any sexier.

  • Possible to do expanded desktop mode without disabling notification bar?

  • Royal2000H

    I’m not understanding from the videos how you get to notifications? Can you still swipe from the top? Or do I have to swipe from the bottom of the screen all the way to the top?

  • I have had my Galaxy Nexus for months now and with CM10.1 nightlies, Franco Kernel nightlies deep sleep app on aggressive and some under voting and I get about 15 hours from 0620 to 00:30 with 14% to spare. The battery is not weak and people are simply saying it is because the LG Nexus 4 only has one battery that if it goes bad would not be a good situation to be in.

  • Destroythanet

    Can you place these on the side like the browser’s quick controls?

  • shecalledmejay

    This actually pulled me away from AOKP, I think I’m going to ride with them for a while

    • El Big CHRIS

      Right? But I cannot find a toro build 🙁

  • namenlose

    Having PA for a few weeks and only had 1 hot reboot after an installation. It’s rock solid for a preview version because they try to stay as AOSP as possible. They don’t tweak (and maybe mess up sometimes) their rom like CM. So I would say battery life is near to stock as long as you don’t take a different kernel.

    Rising star, absolutly worth a try. Look and feel is different compared to the competitors which look the same and ‘borrow’ from each other (except of miui) …

  • Zezariz

    Im not sure if im allowed to post links but, now available for TORO 😛 Enjoy!

    Toro XDA Thread: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1712954
    Toro Rom: http://tinyw.in/n6Fl

    Gapps: http://tinyw.in/KJod

    • Manthas

      That’s the current version – this cool new stuff that was posted about is specifically new in the 3.x build that they’re working on.

      • Zezariz

        I’m using that version that i linked, and it has the new features in it 😛

        • Manthas

          My apologies – the information they were showing stated that this was a 3.x feature, and the screenshots on the page you linked didn’t show the new PIE stuff. Rock on. 🙂

  • Dorian Brooks

    I have seen the future & I… “Jizzed in my pants!!!” Wait till the Fruit realizes a physical home button is obsolete & this is “revolutionary.” Poor… poor… over ripened Fruit.

  • teejaycard

    New to Paranoid. Not a huge fan of their site, not 100% that I’m finding what I’m looking for in it ha. Link for Gnexus cdma anyone?

  • Zezariz

    I’ve been addicted to PA ever since they merged my Nav-Bar with my Status bar xD. I can not wait to get my hands on this 😛

  • Ummm… cool feature but I think I’ll pass. Home / Back / Recent – these are pretty basic buttons that I hit all the time. Having to swipe up and hold&Drag to do something that a single tap can do currently is too much, I’d say. Plus I love the ‘long press action’ each of the navbar buttons provide currently in AOKP ROM and I have other most frequently used apps in my nav ring (swipe up from home), along with Google Now. Not giving them up to get a few centimeter of screen space. Just my opinion.

    • usnmustanger

      Agreed. I was doing pretty much the same thing this article is about on AOKP a short while back, and got tired of it. With the ability to hide the Navbar being baked into AOKP for some time now (and the ability to hide status bar/show notifications with gestures using Apex/Nova), I experimented with a very similar “extended desktop mode”, using the LMT app to access those basic functions. I tried it for a couple of weeks, and the extra step required to access such fundamentally basic functions got tedious for me. Yes, on an individual basis, the extra “finger motion” required to execute Home/Back/Recents seems insignificantly small, but as these are THE MOST tapped buttons on the phone, it definitely adds up.
      So neat feature, and many will absolutely love it (many AOKP users sure seem to), but it’s just not for me.

  • kidheated


  • i have some Maguro jealousy right now while i wait for the toro release, I use PA as my daily driver being able to shrink the notification bar to tablet size was great for screen real estate, but after i got my n7 I run it like a phone but keep my apps in tablet mode when it makes a difference (youtube, gmail, chrome). funny i was gonna go back to BB but pete hasnt worked out all the 4.2 bugs and this is something ill want to play with till ubuntu phone gets ported/released for toro.

  • That’s really cool! It’s like the quick settings in the stock browser, but for the entire phone

  • droidify

    I bought one on ebay for 590 new in box. Got lucky and saw it as soon as it was listed. They usually bid out for 640-660. Either way it was still a ridiculous amount of money when you compare its price to 3 new nexus 7’s.

  • Paradisimo

    Isn’t this basically the same thing as LMT Launcher except that you swipe from the bottom? Other than the clock part I’m not sure I understand the difference.

    • did you see the video? this is a system ui replacement. it even brings its own notificationcenter. it displays status information aswell.

  • Tony Allen

    I was about to come here and be all like, yeah yeah nothing special CM10 has had… *sees video* *drops jaw*

  • cantcurecancer

    Does it work in games?

  • shecalledmejay

    Where is the link for the Galaxy Nexus cdma?

    • Zezariz

      Its not out yet it should be out in a day or so from what I’ve read

  • Rodeojones000

    So what you’re saying is that they’re close to releasing a feature I already have on the AOKP ROM for my Nexus 10.

  • shecalledmejay

    How would I launch google now?

    • MzA

      Did you even watch the whole video?

  • roberthenderson

    Finally, now these idiots who’ve been calling the ugly space wasting black bar onscreen buttons a ” technology advancement” will get to see what real logical screen buttons should be.

    • kidtronic

      You realize the value of on screen buttons have always been in their adaptability, right? If they were capacitive, this wouldn’t even be an option. But yeah, idiots.

      • Took the words right out of my mouth. Well said.

      • roberthenderson

        you know, you are correct, idiot was too strong of a word.if people want to have that big black bar taking up there screen or they want to do about sons of extra button pushes over the life of the phone to bring them off and then activate them instead of just 1 touch has with capacitive phones, then they should be free to do that.there are 1000 free widgets that I can use to activate whatever action orfunction or application that I choose. I don’t want anything locking for taking up any of the view of these beautiful screens that we have. there are also applications to read map the capacitive buttons. So the most beautiful thing would be capacitive buttons like on my galaxy s 3 that activate the second better touched and then disappear.you can even set it so the lights don’t come on at all when you press them. Now you tell me what could be cleaner than that?

    • nah i dont agree those let to button presses in my pockets. enough to wake the screen and kill batt the onscreen being customizable and changing based on what i was doing is money. But my main problem with screen buttons was i liked the OG’s layout and HTC, Moto, LG etc all switched around the placement so many times it wasnt intuitive. with the software buttons you can change to whatever format you want.

      • roberthenderson

        The only time I ever had a phone wake up in my pocket was when I had checked an option to wake with the home buttons, so that doesn’t apply to me.

  • chadstone30

    i’m not impressed. sorry.

    • cancerous_it

      definitely not as impressive as a hardware home button. that is soooooooooo impressive.

      • exactly what i was thinking, you made me cough/laugh while i was taking a sip of coke. glad my n7 is easily wiped clean.

      • chadstone30

        I wasn’t suggesting that hardware buttons were better. I actually quite dislike the hardware buttons.

  • andrew galvin

    this, in a launcher…. now please!!

  • SkullOne

    This is nothing new. CyanogenMod has had this for at least a month and a half.

    • Christopher Mason

      CM never had this…

    • Abhijeet Mishra

      Expanded Desktop they do have afaik, so does my AOSP ROM that only has a few tweaks, but the ability to bring up buttons in this mode isn’t.

    • expanded desktop is from paranoid android originally, members even helped shaping the commit. pie is a new extension to that mode.

      • usnmustanger

        The ability to hide the Navigation bar has been in AOKP for quite a while now, Apex/Nova (probably others) have had a “hide/show status bar with gesture” action since day 1, and LMT is very similar to the “pie” shown here (although I’ll acknowledge the presence of the clock/battery in this implementation is nice), so PA is not the originator of the concept. They’ve just integrated all those into the ROM, and polished up the pie a little.


    I tried to do this with CM’s Extended Desktop and LMT awhile ago but by hiding the notification bar it prevented me from ever opening, even with a shortcut setup in LMT and a gesture on my home screen. Hopefully this gets around that.

  • Kizaru Hiruko

    That is impressive! Now I want a phone with on-screen buttons again!

  • Hoping for some GN2 love soon !!

  • viewthis66

    just one more reason why i love #Android 🙂

  • I’ve been using this feature since they started releasing it, and I can say it’s awesome!

  • Abhijeet Mishra

    Have expanded desktop mode on my mostly stock ROM, but can’t access any buttons when it’s active, so I’m certainly installing PA. And hoping the dev of my current ROM implements this feature from PA.

    • Download LMT if you’re rooted

      • Awe it has gestures,
        Does this app have a PIE?

        –Just like how Mr. Chow of The Hangover

  • Travis Erickson

    man if only Paranoid would stop freezing on me, the last update kept freezing my phone

    • kidtronic

      Paranoid is loaded with features but I’ve never been able to use it as a daily driver because it’s a laggy mess.

  • Inquizitor

    I have this on CyanogenMod from a build that’s about a week or two old. However, it doesn’t have the slide up features as far as I’m aware. Just removes the navigation bar and notification bar. This looks pretty slick, hope it jumps fully to CM.

    • brkshr

      Doubt it. CM tries to stay pretty stock. This definitely would not be on their list.

    • thats got nothing to do with pie though. you got basic expanded desktop which means your bars go away and youre locked in. with pie you can do the same tasks you can do with your regular bars. basic extended desktop came from pa aswell btw.

  • M C

    PA has always been awesome, unfortunatly going to the note 2 there are no good hybrids with it yet.

  • TheDrizzle

    Awesome! I’ve been using PA 2.99 for a few weeks as a daily driver and it is awesome! I love having the status bar and nav change color depending on what app I’m in. And having tablet mode Gmail is great as well. This is one of my favorite ROMS to date.

  • Can someone please turn this into an App and upload it to the play store? My wallet its
    Itching for this

    • Wouldn’t that be genius. The dev behind it did mention that this isn’t just an app and is definitely a part of the ROM.

      • hkklife

        I would give anything for this to become a standard feature in KLP or whatever “L” will be…

        • you mean “K”

          • K is definitely Key Lime Pie. I believe he meant whatever comes after.

          • oh yea i misread it. Lol.

      • Josh Nichols

        LMT Launcher on XDA will give you similar pie controls to the stock AOSP browser. The devs for PA and LMT collaborate on the LMT thread apparently.

    • Ben Jones

      Button savior isn’t quite as cool with the swipe up, but it works pretty well.

    • And_med

      Taskarou in the app store is among these lines.

      • John Burke

        Yeah, pretty cool little App

    • their roms are pretty solid with very few bug/issues for the most part. this would definitely be part of their UI switcher that has phone phablet and tablet modes. i think this is way better than the implementation in the stock browser for the quick nav.

    • I think the problem with that is that it needs to have the edge gestures all of the time in order to access the keys.

    • Bunklung

      You can use LMT. It’s similar and requires root:


  • Bigwavedave25

    Just flashed PA last week for the first time and was about to head back to “bug free” Shiny till I saw these videos popping up on Google+… Not sure if I can hold out for the release!!! Arr… hopefully they will make it a flashable addon (just w/o the PA color settings control). 🙂

  • Danrarbc

    Expanded desktop has actually been in Paranoid for a while. Don’t remember when exactly it started but I’ve used the ROM for 5 months or so and it’s had it the whole time.

    • So this may just be new goodies in there. It’s new to me, and I’m impressed. 😛

      • the onscreen buttons are the new part.

      • Bigwavedave25

        Yeah, the Pie is brand new… not even avail yet till this weekend sometime I believe

      • jimdick

        I’ve seen this in MIUI.us builds a few months back. It was part of their built in customizations, but it was buggy because it was a new feature. Shortly after it was introduced China got real stupid with the builds and they just stopped.

  • jvrcb17


  • Mike

    That is very BA

  • yea, that’s cool.

  • This is kind of like what I’m doing right now on my 4 & 7 using LMT launcher. I like how this when combines it with the notifications though.

    • Paul Vigil

      This works much better than LMT though. I would sometimes uninstall LMT because of the lag it introduced.

  • This looks awesome! Too bad my Gnex screen has the on-screen keys burnt into the screen. Color distortion on it looks terrible where my on-screen keys and notification shade are in full screen.

    • Good Lord, how did you manage that? Set your screen to never turn off and just let it sit for days?

      • Nope, i have no clue. I baby all my devices. Auto-brightness for the most part. Its only really noticeable when watching a video in landscape. Other than that it just looks faded when looking at pics.

        • crazy, so your saying it was because of auto bright or autobright protects? i always keep my phone very dim until i am outside or showing a vid to someone.

      • That is actually a very common issue on the GNex. Research the issue. I don’t have that problem because I am on my fifth GNex.

        • usnmustanger

          Holy crap! I love my (first and only) GNex, but in your case, at what point do you give up and say, “Either I’m the unluckiest GNex owner around, or this phone sux! Time to try something else!”?

    • Brian

      Same here. Thankfully I don’t really notice it unless I’m in recovery. No idea how it happened… must have been from general use.


    Reasons to keep a Galaxy Nexus…Rom flashing!!

    • Tyler

      I don’t know about you but i’m still using as my daily phone 🙂

      • RickGoldmeyer

        Right there with ya buddy! 😀

        • Just curious, how many new batteries have you guys purchased? The Gnex battery is known to deteriorate pretty quickly, so if you want a decent charge, you have to buy new ones all the time.

          • ERIC REED

            How would you know? It chewed through new batteries in a couple of hours!!

          • will bartlett

            i have 5 total for mine, 2 stock oem, one extended oem, 2 “extended” third party batteries that last less time than stock

          • I have one each of the standard and extended. It is about time to get a new one though. The extended seemed to last longer.

          • Bigwavedave25

            I still have my original that I use mostly. Seemingly no issues yet. Was holding up great on Shiny (best life to date). Recently on PA it has been the pits. I also have the extended from Vz that I pop in every few months.

            edit: Maybe PA dosen’t like franco very much?

          • Booyah

            With Wi-FI on, syncing, and GPS, it will get me through a work day with regular use. I have spare batteries but the one that came with the phone isn’t deteriorated by any means. Have had mine about a year.


            Still on my OG battery with my OG Nexus. I get a full days battery life with moderate use, but I am about to leave work to go grab the Note II. GNex’s screen spoiled me, and now I want more!

          • Ben Jones

            In the year that I had mine I went through the original, the verizon extended, a cheapo 3800mah, and an Anker 2200mah battery and all of them were garbage (less than 2 hours of screen on time). I picked up a Note 2 a month ago and not looking back at all.

          • Tony Allen

            I’m in that boat, minus the Note2 because I can’t figure out how to get one without dropping $700+Tax at VZW because I really want a brand new device.

          • I’ve had no issues with the standard battery but the extended battery seemed to go bad after around 6 months. Figured I had a bad unit and just died fast, had no idea it was a common issue. But I’m getting like 12+ hours no problem from my standard battery so I’m content for now.

          • i noticed my extended take a hit too, but my orig is still strong as ever.

          • michael arazan

            Same standard battery since Day 1. With LTE on the whole day, 6 hours, With 3G only 11 hours. But on long trips I keep the phone plugged in for navigation

          • Brandon

            Been rocking my 2100 mAH OEM since I got it a couple weeks after my purchase about a year ago. On a couple occasions I had to throw in my stocker when I wasn’t around any power sources for a while. Battery life has always been pretty crappy with either battery so I couldn’t tell you if they’re getting worse or not.

          • brad


          • thefullritz

            Have original which I hardly use and an extended. The extended still works fine.

          • Bought on launch day and still on my original battery, getting through the day just fine.

          • Flyinion

            that explains a few things lol. Didn’t know that. I’m still running on the extended battery I bought a year ago, but it definitely seems to not be lasting as long. Maybe I should put the original one back in and see if it lasts longer than the extended now.

          • kniceguy

            I am still on the original stock battery and it works just fine. There have been times when it has been destroyed in a few hours but if i dont use it much all day it will still go 12+ hrs, so I think its just a matter of what I am doing with it. Battery seems just as good. Just last month I got ~ 18 hrs

          • Still have the same battery and always keep a charger handy

          • Archer

            had the extended 2100 since when it was sold for that half price sale. Current battery stats with little use: http://imgur.com/qhQqhkS

          • Diablo81588

            The gnex doesn’t have a LCD display.

          • Tony Allen

            I don’t know that the batteries deteriorate more quickly than other devices, it’s just the amount of times charged compared to a lot of other phones. With the stock battery on LTE, this things battery life is as bad as the original Dinc’s was with the miniscule little 1300mAh battery in it.

            Even with my Seidio 3800, 2-3 hours of on-screen time puts me in the yellow/red at the end of my work day. Compared to my Bionic with the boxie Seidio which would easily last a day or two with plenty juice to spare, depending on how I’d used it.

          • TheWenger

            I used the extended one for a long time but I’ve been using the stock one for months now . I like the thinner profile and the chin better. Both of my batteries smell pretty rank when I take the cover off though.

          • i hate switching batts with the extended cover case sometimes they slip, so most of the time i’m running slim as well, makes our phones sexy again.

          • EvanTheGamer

            Two extended, one default. Must be powered at all times!

          • Orig, Asurion replacement and extended. I thought maybe my standalone charger was killing the batt life. Thanks kellen for the heads up. i make full days with one on DL slow news days, if i am using my phone to transfer files to my storage lockers then i can kill a batt in 2 hours but i clear 5+ gigs of uploads and browsing time while i wait, so i count that a fair trade.

          • Still on stock from January 2012 and it’s holding charge nicely.

          • duoexo

            I have two exteneded. my phone is at %30 as of now; whole day of sexting, used gps once to find a new location. & instagram my butt. I only use the second battery if i go on long trips.

          • akazerotime

            I think the extended batteries take a hit for not having the correct eri.xml file in custom ROMs. I think they just burn out because of it. Hell, even if the ROM has the file, i’m not sure its even correctly implemented in some cases. I had to go back to my standard battery and getting more life out of it. Then again this is “not Confirmed™” at time of posting and i was rooted out of the box. Long live my Gnex (aka OG 2.0)

          • SKAV3NG3R

            The day of purchase I got a extended battery and the lady was nice enough to toss in a extra regular battery. I have been fine maybe due to the fact that I haven’t over using any one battery.

          • Tyler

            Only the extended battery. Been using it since day 10. Still get around 16hrs of battery life with a hour or 2 of screen time.

          • Seth Schorr

            Bought my GNex when it first came out. Immediately put in an extended battery and have had no power problems at all. I get through a full day with moderate use over a year later.

          • Adam Collins

            I have two batteries, both of which are dying quite quickly now :/ might grab another off amazon or ebay, pretty cheap.

          • NYAvsFan

            I feel like an idiot for not noticing that earlier. Charge on my extended battery blows. If I have 3G even on it eats about 20% of my battery in 10-15 minutes. Guess for now I’ll return to the OG one and look into a new extended. Beats waiting an eternity for Nexus 4s to magically reappear.

          • Christopher Riner

            I’ve got four, but three of them are from launch and one that’s about six months old from an insurance claim. I’ve definitely noticed the super poor performance despite ROM/ kernel . Not surprised to hear this from you; definitely gonna pick up another.

          • From warranty replacements and ones bought off ebay, I have a total of 3. One i keep in my bookbag at school, one on the device, and one I keep around just in case

          • DaveTea

            My wife and I both received our G-Nex’s a day or two after VZW released them and we are both still using our original batteries with no noticeable degradation. It might be interesting to try a fresh battery for comparison though.

          • Cory Larson

            I’m still using an original extended battery and I’m getting 18 – 26 hours out of it depending on usage. Running CM 10.1 nightlies.

          • AnotherAndroidKid

            Still have the original and a 2100 and a spare 1850 (came with external charger i bought). Use the 2100 all the time since shortly after purchase on release day of the phone. No noticeable hits on life, but i my desk is in a vz dead spot so it doesn’t get a lot of day time use. i charge overnight and as needed.

            Spares only get used when i’m stuck somewhere like inlaw’s family reunion and baseball is on (video streaming)

        • Dude my Galaxy Nexus is still running like a CHAMP! Why wouldn’t it be my daily driver, CM10 makes it smooth as butter and faster than anything else out there I’ve seen.

      • ERIC REED

        Not a chance…

      • I too proudly carry the Gnex

      • Same here… the GNex is still my guy, though since getting my Nexus 10 I actually use it much less… more as just a phone now, and to tether my 4G data. 😛

    • EvanTheGamer

      Agreed. Definitely good for testing purposes. Which is what I’ll do when I finally get my new S4 later this year(whenever that may be).