It has just been less than a week when the guys behind the ParanoidAndroid ROM team surprised us with an innovative feature that makes us easy to browse through your phone from almost any part the phone’s screen. The PA beta ROM with this feature was available only to a bunch of Nexus devices, but now the Nexus monopoly has come to an end as the new ROM has hit the top three Samsung Galaxy phones: Galaxy S2, S3 and Note 2.
The new feature is called the Expanded Desktop Mode and it is still being tested through a few beta releases for some very popular Android smartphones. Apart from the unique features like giving you the tablet, phablet and phone layouts, the latest PA ROM also has this wonderful expanded desktop pie that lets you quickly switch to the homescreen, task manager, status bar toggles and the options of a particular app or interface.
The basic idea is to give you a cleaner homescreen without the status bar at the top and the home, back, and option buttons at the bottom tray. Thus you have more space on your phone’s desktop. It is a wise move on the part of the PA Team to shrink all the shortcuts and info of the top and bottom bar to a Pie shaped launcher that appears as you swipe your finger on your phone’s screen in a particular way. The ParanoidAndroid team has released a video teaser that beautifully demonstrates the new feature that will just make you say “WOW!”
Features of ParanoidAndroid ROM 3
Here are some of the most striking features of the PA 3-
- Pie panels are centered and glide right under your thumb, don’t stretch in landscape
- New pie default colors (holo) for disabled per-app-color
- Screenshot option
- New status bar icons (don’t look “washed out” anymore)
- New bootanimation
- Unlock pattern cut off is gone
- IME is themable
- MMS black on black fix
- Pie without a search agent should be fixed
- PAPrefs has been polished for easier use (still much to do)
- PAC support for Bluetooth icon
- (Mako) Perfect kernel calibration made one extra for pa
- (Mako) Auto-brightness is adjusted for it
- (Mako) Fart vibration for on-touch is gone
- Tons of optimizations under the hood
I have tested the ParanoidAndroid ROM 3.0 on my Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 and having used it for one day, I did not perceive any glitches or bugs. The ROM was buttery smooth and faster than the stock 4.1.2 Jelly Bean on both the devices. Here are a few of many screenshots that I made to give you a complete walkthrough of the ParanoidAndroid ROM 3.0 before you actually decide to install it.
The ParanoidAndroid ROM 3+ is based on CyanogenMod ROM 10.1 that means it has Android 4.2.1. The ROM features widgets on the lockscreen that can be customized. The second screenshot below shows the widgets that are currently available for the lockscreen. Swiping down the status bar with one finger launches the notification center while by swiping two fingers you can directly enter Quick Settings pane. The ROM also supports theme which you can find at Google Play.
Before you can see the Pie magic infatuate you, you will have to enable it: long press the Power key of your phone and select Expanded Desktop. You can customize Pie from Settings> Toolbars.
Root Your Galaxy S2, S3 and Note 2 First:
For your Galaxy phone to be eligible for flashing a custom ROM, you will have to root it first. We have prepared one of the easiest tutorials on the topic that will help you achieve root access and install ClockworkMod Recovery on it;
Root Samsung Galaxy S2: Link
Root Samsung Galaxy S3: Link
Root Samsung Galaxy Note: Link
Root Samsung Galaxy Note 2: Link
Root Galaxy Note 2 (N7105): Link
PA 3 ROM Review and Tips to Use
Download ParanoidAndroid ROM 3.0
Note that the PA ROM 3+ has started rolling out on February and therefore the previous beta 2.99.9 ROMs have been replaced with the latest release. The Google apps for PA 3+ is common to all Samsung Galaxy devices listed below. As more and more Samsung Galaxy device get PA 3+, the post will be updated.
How to Install ParanoidAndroid ROM 3+
Having downloaded the ROM and Google Apps file for ParanoidAndroid, you can now go on with installing it. But as I said above, your phone must be rooted and CWM Recovery installed on it.
- Download the ROM and GApps files in zip and copy it to your device by connecting it to the computer using a USB cable.
- Turn on USB Debugging mode on your Samsung Galaxy device from Settings> Developer Options.
- Make sure your phone has a good battery level, if not charge it now.
- Backup your contacts, messages, and apps. You can use these free apps for backing up all data easily.
- Turn off your phone and reboot your phone into ClockworkMod Recovery mode. If you do not know how to do it, here it is: press and hold the Volume Up+Home (center) keys simultaneously and then press and hold the Power key. Keep the three buttons pressed till the screen turns up. Just as you see the Samsung logo blink for two times followed by a green Android bot, release the Power key and you should see a list of options in blue text on black background.
- In the Recovery the touch mode does not work, so you will have to use the Volume up and down keys to scroll and highlight and the Power button to select an option.
- The first and most important thing is to backup your current ROM. Scroll down to “backup and restore” option and select “backup”. It might take a few minutes for the backup to complete.
- When it is done select go back option and choose “wipe data/factory reset” option and wipe it.
- Then go to “wipe cache partition” and wipe it.
- Finally, go to “advanced” option and “wipe dalvik cache”.
- Return back to the main menu and select “install zip from sd card> choose zip from sd card” and select the ROM file that you copied to your phone in Step 1.
- When the ROM is installed, go back and install the Google Apps zip package the same way you installed the ROM in Step 10.
- Finally, go back to the main menu in Recovery and select “reboot system now”.
What to do, if I get a Bootloop after flashing Paranoid Android?
With the installation method described above, everything should go fine. However, if you get a bootloop after installing the ParanoidAndroid ROM, pull out the battery, place it back after a minute, boot into Recovery mode, wipe cache partition, and then reboot the device.
It might take a few minutes before your phone boots up and when it does, set up your network and Google account and you are done. Enjoy the ParanoidAndroid ROM 3 on your Galaxy device.
The post will be updated when the ROM has a newer version. If you have any doubts or question, do not hesitate to ask. Enjoy the Expanded Desktop Mode and let us know how it works for you!