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Paranoid Android’s “PIE” Feature is Now Incredibly Fast, Closer Than Ever to Prime Time

PIE paranoid android

Last week, we were the first to highlight a feature in Paranoid Android’s ROM called “expanded desktop mode” – better known now as PIE. We called it the coolest ROM feature we had seen in quite some time, even if it was a bit slow and buggy. We could see the potential, something that is now close to a reality.

Yesterday, the PA team posted a status update along with a new video to show the progress they had made. After having re-wrote almost all of the code from scratch, PIE is now “blazing fast” thanks to hardware acceleration and optimized drawing. There is no lag anymore – just watch the video at the bottom of the post to see how far it has come. They are still calling it a beta, yet are willing to admit that it’s mostly good enough for daily use.

Their post claimed that new builds with this latest PIE should be ready within hours. Are any of you running this? 


Via:  +Paranoid Android

  • brando56894

    I’m running the equivalent of this with LMT+JBSourcery v4.4 and expanded desktop turned on.

  • andrew galvin

    ridiculously awesome. I tried it before and it was sluggish. The idea is great and now after flashing this the implementation is there as well. Hats off to PA team

  • Feztheforeigner

    My Droid DNA has physical buttons and I still want to use this! I’m not entirely sure why though….

  • TheCheapGamer

    As a lover of off screen soft keys, this is how on screen keys should be done!

  • flashed the JAN23 release now, for toro its in their goo.im rom dev folder. its sweet.

    • Tucker Nebel

      i looked and all i see in the folder is jan20. could you post the link for me?

      • antintyty

        look in the DEV folder…

  • running the first release on Toro and there was minor, and I mean minor lag with it set to do its animation. But one i set it to Quick it just pops up with very little/if any delay. I’ve had no issues that others have had using NOVA launcher. i can pull up the secondary menu with the usual nova swipe down and the new notification menu (by swiping up from PIE) is pretty intuitive once you get used to it. I eagerly await 3.0 since it appears BB wont be out anytime soon with pete pretty busy. But PIE changes my orig plans, i find myself even trying to swipe up on the n7.

  • gambit07

    Just as an aside, you can only enable this in apps that you want and leave your launcher with buttons on. XDA had a couple comments in the paranoid thread showing how, but basically it’s part of the paranoid app settings. This would allow you extra real estate in games and other stuff while not sacrificing functionality

  • Jim

    Toro link please?

  • i have it on my nexus 7 and Gnex, its super fast.

  • joejoe5709

    Needs further refinement for sure, but I hope Google is watching this sort of thing. With the browser quick controls, the new camera quick controls and such, this seems like right up their alley. Would be a great addition into KLP or whatever is after KLP. It’s easily a natural progression from the ICS/JB on-screen keys and quick controls. This would blow Apple’s mind.

  • Jay Peso
  • Spencer R.

    I want it. Definitely getting this on my N7 pronto.

  • Andrew Remmers

    Anyone have a flash link for the Galaxy Nexus?

  • Bill Mitchell

    Glad to see they have the actual notifications in there now, and that they got it working faster. I tried it the first time it was posted and didn’t have a very enjoyable experience…

  • I really like PA. But I also like the features that a stock TW rom adds, at least on the Note 2 & Note 10.1. For the Nexus devices, like my Nexus 10, PA is great, but I would also say that the “PIE” feature, is something I can approximate with the awesome GMD Gesture & GMD S-Pen Control apps. If you have a rooted device, give GMD a try. GMD is pretty awesome & makes the on screen or capacitive buttons a thing you don’t need. You can swipe home, alt tab thru open apps, turn off the screen or do just about anything you desire via a multi-finger swipe or gesture,

  • Shane Redman

    Been running this thing since early in the morning…LOVE IT! ALL SCREEN FTW! and the way it changes colors per app….great job

    • Shane Redman

      …also want to say that I used LMT when it was announced way back when and while it got the job done, it wasn’t as much fun as this. Plus, I love the fact that you can swipe up from the bottom seeing as how most times you’ll want to slide left or right.

  • Nick Norman

    Running this on my N7. Its awesome!

  • joejoe5709

    I wasn’t super happy with the first release so I went back to CM. I still wish there were quick controls in the notification pull down and I still wish they left an option to leave the status bar alone. But I’m going to keep a close eye on this because having the stock browser with quick controls and Pie, the ENTIRE screen is for web browsing. Damn impressive! Ah hell. Fine. I’ll probably give this a go over the weekend. 🙂

  • I am using CM 10.1 M1 with expanded desktop and LMT Pie. I am getting a similar experience.

    • joejoe5709

      How does one get expanded desktop in CM10?

      • Under Power Button features you add it. Then you long-press the power button (like to shut down) and it is one of the option.

  • Michael Nichols

    I’ve been running this for a year now on my Galaxy Nexus, Paranoid team is truly the best.

  • Ziltoid

    I dont even see this as practical

    • mustbepbs

      How so?

  • BigL

    You guys should checked out LMT pie.


    • tyguy829

      modified my framework.res to hide the navigation keys, and have been using this for almost a year now. and it leaves the notification bar too

  • antintyty

    Runs great on my GNex…haven’t found one problem with it yet!!

    I only wish it had an option to un-side by side the settings menu…I hate the “Phablet” look on the phone….

  • this is not a new idea folks. I have been running my Gnexus with the LMT app installed for a long time.

    • what you are running is a button. pie is a ui control made by google in 2010. the guy who made it is called michael kolb. you could also say “google now is nothing new, i had a seachbar back in gingerbread as well.” lmt took michaels readymade control and used it for basic navigation. thats cool, but we are not doing this, and its so obvious it bites.

      what is new about PA is that it is not a mod. is meant to become a real UI, something that you wont get with a mod. we started by rewriting the control from scratch, changing the math and the overall behavior to make it responsive. the original control was terrible to use. we continued by bringing in status informations, which lmt never had, we added notifications on touch, which lmt still does not have, we wrote custom panels for notifications and toggles, which lmt will never have because its technically impossible. we fixed many aosp related bugs that you face when you take away the bars, launcher draws correctly for instance, app drawer is not mangled, etc. expanded desktop is from us as well btw. what happens here is that androids boundaries are pushed further – and we take that serious, thats why we invest all the time and hard work. it kinda sucks coming here and reading “it existed before” just because someone has taken michael kolbs button.

      if you would make the step and watch these videos you’d see for yourself. right now lmt is taking inspiration from pa, they are adding all the features we came up with over the last weeks. they will soon reach limitations, though as there is only so much what you can do as long as you rely on what statusbarmanager gives you. for this reason lmt will stay a mod. and PA will have a fourth, real UI with all the bells and whistles.

      • David Buranich

        LMT may be only a mod and will always only be a mod, but it allows people to use PIE Navigation without switching ROMs. Of course, it will have its limitations, but so does Paranoid Android as if someone wants the PIE controls from PA, they will need to flash a new ROM. As much as I enjoyed Paranoid Android on my Samsung Galaxy S 4g, I have no desire to go beyond stock at the moment on my Nexus 4. But that could change at a whim as I wasn’t even planning on rooting it, and finally caved on that.

  • CoCoCalypso

    Ok. I know I must be a moron… But ive been to their G+, website, twitter…

    Where are the releases?
    Do I have to create and account to get the files?
    Again, forgive my ignorance.

    • scott62185

      Go on their XDA thread and in the OP there’s a link to the releases. But you have to go into the “dev” folder to find the newest ones.

    • Sean Quinlan

      It’s a custom ROM, you need to be rooted. You can find the ROM on XDA. If you’re not already rooted, there are also very simple tutorials on how to do so on XDA.

    • shecalledmejay

      I use goo manager and this morning it said it was update for the rom and my rom number now is 2.99.9-pie-2.0

  • Bigwavedave25

    Ran PA just before and after the beta release of this. Wasn’t working well on my phone so I went back to Shiny. Made a framework-res mod to remove the Nav bar and installed the latest LMT Launcher (v1.8) which has added some of this info functionality.

    Not as cool as PA’s Pie, but my phone is much faster with similar results. Plus a good full screen setup for those Ubuntu Themes running around out there! 🙂

  • JMonkeYJ

    hopefully someone releases it separate from paranoid android…

    • Bob

      I would agree. A nice separate app to install would be cool.

    • shecalledmejay
      • JMonkeYJ

        awesome! i had looked briefly at LMT, but thought it only did the swipe gestures. clearly i should give it another look. thanks

      • JMonkeYJ

        do you know of an app/launcher to hide the soft buttons? Hide Bottom Bar sounds like it doesn’t work well, and google is failing me…

        • shecalledmejay

          Thats where the Roms come in at, so far I know the AOKP and the PARANOID have a way to customize your phone to hide the soft keys in the Paranoid android rom I like it because you just hold the lock button and it’s a quick setting called expanded desktop which gets ride of them

        • JMonkeYJ

          found this:

          seems to be working. i’ll give this a trial run and see if i like it.

        • David Buranich

          I editted my builds.prop file to get rid of mine, but there is no way to unhide it on the fly.

  • Ziltoid

    Looks pretty cool but I dont see this practical. I can click on things faster than swiping through a menu

  • Eric Franca

    There are still a few bugs, but I’d highly recommend everyone keeping a close eye on this ish. It’s pretty awesome as is. I’m glad they’ve sorted out getting toggles into that there pie.

  • MooleyBooleyTroll

    I used it for a day then the novelty wore off… You are basically adding an extra step to access the nav bar to have extra screen. I’ll stick with the stock nav bar… It is pretty cool looking though I will have to admit.

    • mustbepbs

      Considering you get the extra screen space, I’d say the “hassle” of swiping up to access your buttons is worth it. Makes it look much cleaner.

      It also gives me an excuse to have a home screen widget with a clock and battery on it. Never had a use for that before since you have the notification bar clock. 😛

  • de

    I think I’m in love.

  • Sean Johnson

    So you pull up from the bottom to use it? What happens with Google Now?

    • Eric Franca

      Hit the search button on the pie and I believe Google Now pops up.

    • scott62185

      Yeah, the search button brings up google now. Also, you can have the PIE on the left, right, and/or top of the screen.

  • Moardroid

    Anyone know where I can find a compiled version for toro?

  • Jonathan Bunch

    I ran it for toro on 2.99 beta and it kept closing on me leaving without navigation until I exited expanded desktop mode…was really cool when it worked however

  • James_C_L

    goddamn beautiful

  • mjmedstarved

    Looks cool. Did I miss somewhere on how to activate Google Now?

    • JMonkeYJ

      in past videos Google Now was activated when you selected the search (magnifying glass) icon.

  • CodeToJoy

    I tried it after the first post, but getting to the notifications window became very inconveinent. Having to swipe from the bottom all the way to the top and down again was a big hassle just to see why my phone made a noise. I’m back to my old daily.

    • Eric Franca

      Check out the video now. Don’t have to swipe all the way up anymore. Also, now the toggle menu is back I think (couldn’t find it on the last one).

  • DroidzFX

    I ran it for it a bit in the beta and it worked very well. Just takes a little getting used to.

  • dam that is pretty massive

  • Running it on my Nexus 7. It’s amazing. Can’t wait to get a Nexus 4 where the extra screen space will be more noticeable.

  • Paul

    Downloading now! Been on PA since day one.

    • NexusPhan69

      Where is the download link for PA for the GNex? I feel like I’m losing my mind because I can’t find it…

      • Tucker Nebel

        Yea let me know. I’m in the same boat

        • moelsen8

          just looked for this earlier today. it’s like hidden. they have a web site, too, but no downloads on it from the looks of it:

          • NexusPhan69

            That build doesn’t seem to include this new feature. Any idea where the download for the build with PIE included is?

        • NexusPhan69

          I’m glad I’m not the only one. I turned off adblocker and tried internet explorer even. I just can’t find it on their webpage

      • Daryel Villavicencio

        On the first post…

        2. FACTORY RESET
        5. REBOOT

        Click on “ROM” for the ROM and “GAPPS” for the needed GApps. Read the COMPLETE first post… especially the part about upgrading your Recovery to one that is compatible with 4.2.1 ROMs, otherwise you’ll end up with /sdcard/0/0/0/0/…..

        • NexusPhan69

          This doesn’t help me find the location of the PA rom w/ PIE…. Where is this first post? It’s not on their website or the link that Droid-Life provided.

  • jeff manning

    Yes I am using it and it is awesome.

  • Korey Page

    *Goes to find an unused Nexus device*

  • Bill Stebbins

    Running it on my Nexus 4, and it’s true. It’s blazing fast.

    • Nice. I’m really tempted to flash this, now that it’s this good.

      I’m curious, though, how do notifications appear as they arrive? I see how you can access them, but how does it display a notification?

      • Derek

        On my Nexus 7, a notification just pops up at the bottom of my screen

      • antintyty

        That’s actually a good question….

      • Logan Edwards

        Thats the one problem ive had with it so far. Although there’s and ios type lockscreen out there that displays notifications for you. i just cant remember the name of it off the top of my head.

      • Scott62185

        Unfortunately, it doesn’t (yet). There is no status bar with this (you sacrifice it with “expanded desktop” mode. There is an app called Smart Status bar that somewhat works but has been hit or miss on my Nexus 4. Either way…I like PIE.

        • This is what I do and it works great. I also adjusted my light flow settings to make notification light more prominent (faster flashes and brighter colors) which has helped me to not miss a notification.

          • has there been issues with notif light? on Gnex(toro) i get it all the time.

        • it does continue the swipe up to the blue light(edge of screen marker) at the top.

      • tyguy829

        they should make an option to keep the notification bar..,you’d still save a ton of space by just getting rid of the navigation keys

      • Mattie Stockard

        In tablet mode, notifications show up at the bottom..

      • Bill Stebbins

        I’m using Smart Statusbar+ (Pro) and I have it set to show the status bar any time there is a notification. It auto-hides otherwise.

      • Guest

        I’ve set mine to show in the bottom right corner. That’s part of the hybrid engine that’s build into AOSPA, though, but it works really well with expanded desktop mode as well. I’ve got mine set to a Tablet UI, so when the expanded desktop mode is on, notifications pop up in that corner while the screen’s on. I do think they need to allow us to retain the notification bar, or at least a new way to show notifications (one option is use a launcher with unread counts).

        P.S. – ignore the desktop.. I haven’t set it up completely yet, and am still working on figuring out Simple Text. xD

      • Reallytho

        The notifications show up in the half circle it looks too dam cool Lol. U can also have Lightflow installed for the led notifications ….and if u swipe left u get the settings tiles and if u swipe right u get the notification pull down.

      • continue to swipe up from PIE. if you set your launcher for a secondary action to pop up the settings menu then you are all set.

      • Fred Fredson

        They “Fall Down” from the opposite direction. Exeample: If you swipe up, from the buttom, the Notifications drop down from above. Each single, close to each other. Nice animation! 🙂

  • NSFW…Cause this is getting me hot and bothered. Can’t wait!