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Portal App Brings Paranoid Android’s Halo Multitasking Feature to All Phones


Remember Paranoid Android’s awesome Halo feature that allowed for multitasking apps like Facebook’s Chat Heads? Well, that team’s code went open source, and since then, other developers have been hard at work making it a better and more widely-available solution for multitasking woes. The application is called Portal and can now be found on Google Play – no root required. 

With Portal, users can access recent notification through a persistent bubble that appears on your homescreen. When the portal is open, you can access your texts, Facebook status updater, Twitter updater and your Internet browser app. It’s a new application and the developers have told us that a lot more work is coming down the pipeline to refine the overall experience.

Floating notifications aren’t really my thing yet, but after playing around for a bit, I could see how someone could easily integrate this into their device and benefit from it. Go check it out for free on Google Play, then let us know what you think down below. Feel free to leave feedback in the comments section, as I am sure the developer is genuinely curious.

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  • Android Portal

    Nice information shared in the above video.

  • Stanimir

    Callout notification is not active. How can i turn it ON. Please, help.

  • Hothfox

    I used Halo for a month or so. It was neat at first, but quickly got kind of annoying. I wanted it on sometimes, like when I was watching a YouTube or Netflix video when the status bar is hidden, but I didn’t want it on while I was in Gmail, for instance. I like the status bar, and don’t want to disable it. Halo also got in my way more often than not, and I got tired of having to move it around the screen. Just my experience – I’m sure the majority of people who’ve used it like it.

  • Maybe I will finally give this feature a try and see if I love or hate it.

  • Jay Leach

    great wallpaper, where did you get it?

    • George Flammer

      Check Agustin Villar’s comment I put a link about it there I got it from the Stark icon pack from Kovdev but someone else posted a link to the wallpaper so you don’t have to buy the icon pack but do also check it out its very nice

  • John Burke

    Floating Notifications is much better than Portal at least in its current state.

    • George Flammer

      Besides us only showing the last notification is there any other reason you feel this way? By the way the next update will keep track of all notifications and should be released very soon

      • JD_26

        support for whatsapp as a pinned app please :

  • Caleb Shahamat

    They need to take the functionality of Halo, and make it accessible from the standard notifications. Similar to how “quick reply” works. I dont like the idea of a floating notification in my face all the time. The standard notification system Google put together works great. I just like the idea of a little icon next to the notificaiton, that allows me access to that app, without leaving the current app. Again, similar to how Halo works.

  • parkler

    my only gripe is that i wish it used the stock messaging app when you go inside of it. the only way that i’ve seen to jump into stock messaging is when notified of a new text.

    • George Flammer

      We can’t show other apps in windows and keep it non root. That is why we are just rewriting apps and chose to look like the stock apps only because we figure most people like the holo style. If there is ever an ability to add your apps in window manager in stock Android we absolutely would do it as it would be much easier than rewriting apps 🙂

      • parkler

        i figured it was due in part to being non-root.

  • Agustin Villar

    What is the wallpaper of the android puking rainbows??

  • IDLE0095

    Garbage. Adds in the app and why not allow us to change apps.

    • Jason Downing

      Yeah… Ads in a free app… Total garbage.

      Go design your own app.

      • IDLE0095

        LOL. I will without adds and the ability to change the apps.

        • Jason Downing

          prove it

          • George Flammer

            If you watch the video you’ll see you can hide whatever apps you want and we will be adding more as we go

          • Jason Downing

            I think you replied to the wrong guy.

          • chris420o

            again…not sure who would downvote you…except the guy with no business sense above you

          • Jason Downing

            yeah who knows.. There’s always someone downvoting every comment.

      • chris420o

        not sure who would downvote you

    • Blue Sun

      Do you have a problem with apps performing addition?

  • Niko Lowry

    I tend to think Google does a pretty good job at keeping their ear to what’s popular in the ROM & App scene. Hopefully they take away from the success of Halo & Portal and bake them into Key Lime Pie. I’ve been running PACman with Pie controls/Halo and it’s so refreshing not to have a status bar anymore

    • Justin W

      I think PIE should be a built-in option for customization, but I think it would confuse the average user. The Halo feature, however, should be included – it’s a great way to see notifications easily, and I think many people know how it works since it’s included with the Facebook app.

      • Chris Liberti

        I absolutely hate halo and if they were to force it on us I would move back to iOS

        • Tim242

          I hate it too…but let’s take a deep breath haha

        • mudylysudyl

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          We will be supporting tablets
          when we add resizable windows it just wouldn’t be great on a tablet now
          without that but tablet support will be added asap

        • kraize

          Lol. Force it on you? Do you even use Halo? It can be disabled and hidden even when it is enabled.

          • Niko Lowry

            Exactly @kraize. I’m not suggesting Google force Halo and Pie controls on everyone (like pulling an M$ and taking away the start button), but am suggesting that these features should be baked in. They could have them disabled by default.

            And why do you guys(@tim242 & @Chris Liberti) hate Halo? Halo + Pie Controls + Floating Launcher is the best thing that ever happened to my phone.

          • Josh Fischer

            I love PIE controls, but have a love/hate relationship with Halo. It’s a great idea, but I have not been a fan of the implementation. I wish it worked similar to PIE, where it showed the most recent notification in the bubble, but when you touched it, all of your notifications would fan out into several bubbles, then you could slide to the one you wanted to see. The way it is currently setup is frustrating to get to the notification I want to get to and having to continue sliding my finger across the screen to see individual notifications 1 at a time takes more time than an easy swipe down of the notification center.

          • Niko Lowry

            Couldn’t agree more Josh. I’m OCD about cleaning out notifications and having my email box, missed calls, and texts at 0; so a build up of notifications never really effects me.

            Just remember, version 1 of anything makes you want more features. I’m sure they will add to it over time and keep improving it.

    • TrevorKai

      I agree with you totally. I know I am a late adopter, but I just flashed the paranoid android 3+ 4.3 ROM and while I’m still learning the nuiances, I really enjoy the Halo feature. I hope that google can come up with somethiing as intuitive as the halo feature to revitalize the OS that we have come to enjoy and love!

  • Robert Goddard

    Perfect for Ingress and navigation at the same time, or Ingress and anything else for that matter.

  • Raidy

    I just gave it a try – Cool idea, but without the ability to add different apps to it, it wasnt for me. SMS was the only one of the four I was interested in having there as persistent, and I didnt like having to basically click twice to get into it from the dash.

    • I thought it said you could pick and choose your apps to see in portal at 2:22. or are you speaking from a shortcut type perspective?

      • Raidy

        Ah yes I was referring to the shortcut perspective. You can check/uncheck all apps for notifications as you mentioned, but only those 4 apps (SMS, Facebook, Twitter, Internet) are available as the quick access shortcuts.

        Ideally for me I’d put SMS, Email/Gmail, Chrome, Trillian, Camera or something along those lines… it doesnt seem to have that option yet.

        • George Flammer

          They are coming though we’re working on a lot of other apps to add but will have a small update probably this week to just help with some of the behavior or portal

  • Kane Desousa

    Decent, but not really like Halo, no pinging, doesn’t auto-hide, and opens the FULL app not a small window like halo, no gestures. I can go on and on..

    • RavnosCC

      wow, nevermind then, I will wait for paranoid to make a rom for new nex7…. I hope…

      • Kane Desousa

        There is already a ROM out that they made… in XDA forums

        • RavnosCC

          Thanks- been on vacation The last week. Will definitely check it out.

    • George Flammer

      We will be adding a lot as we go this was just the first release but as a non root app we can’t do a lot of things halo does we’re just trying to bring these things to non root users as well

  • RavnosCC

    Why isn’t the new Nexus7 compatible?

    • George Flammer

      We will be supporting tablets when we add resizable windows it just wouldn’t be great on a tablet now without that but tablet support will be added asap

  • Kofi Williams

    Cool that its non-root now. I love using Halo

  • I did some testing on this app last week. The main thing that impressed me is that, as far as I’m aware, this is the only non-root app that can fairly effectively replace your notification bar’s basic functionality (notifications). It doesn’t handle persistent notifications but real notifications from any app, as long as you enable the Accessibility feature stuff, is there and working.

    • Dominic Powell

      As of 4.3 i think making something like Halo that actually works with everything is relatively simple compared to the process before. i am of the opinion that PA should release HALO into the play store. I would buy it.

      • I don’t disagree with you at all, but this application doesn’t depend upon those 4.3 features to accomplish this.

    • kraize

      I wish I could hide persistent notifications from Halo ): For me, that’s a plus for Portal.

  • DroidModderX

    Thanks Tim