The one word that pop ups first in our minds while thinking of the ParanoidAndroid ROMs is “awesome”! The PA team recently released the version 3.0 of this ROM which is now available for a quite number of high-end Android phones. I have been a fan of the PA ROM for a long time and the new release has almost captivated me with its beauty and performance. The ROM has been out there for a long time and does not need an eulogy to be sung to celebrate its success story.
Having used the the ParanoidAndroid ROM 3 for more than a week on my S3, I decided to write a little review of it also a few tips to help those who are new to it. The PA 3 is not currently available for all phones but we hope that as days pass, more and more device will be blessed with it. If you wish to find out if the latest version of the ROM is available for your phone or not, head over to this XDA page by PA Team member gokussjx which contains a huge list of devices currently supported.
Needless to mention that PA is an open source project maintained and developed by a well-bred team of Android enthusiasts. Since it is a custom ROM, you will have to root your phone first and then install a custom recovery like the CWM or TWRP on it. Okay, its time now to move on to a short review of the ParanoidAndroid ROM 3 where we shall consider why, or why not, you should give it a try.
Download & Install ParanoidAndroid 3+ ROM:
Just as your phone reboots after the flashing the PA 3 ROM, the change begins to show its face with the new, simple but elegant bootanimation with neon glow.
After the bootanimation comes the usual Gmail account, network and Google Wallet set ups and then you see the home screen. The latest PA ROM 3 is based on AOSP version 4.2.1 and therefore contains all the features found in the original Android environment.
The Home screen:
The ParanoidAndroid features the original Holo Launcher that we are all well familiar with. Just below the status bar we have Google Now search bar that is persistent and shows on all home screens. By tapping on this bar, you can quickly access the Google Now unified services that show necessary information such as weather, traffic, new appointments, flight schedules, public transits ans so on in the form of cards. You can terminate a card easily by swiping them to left or right. You can also launch Google Now quickly by touching and swiping your finger on the bottom nav bar icons from any screen.
The ParanoidAndroid ROM 3 comes with a bunch of beautiful wallpapers that you can apply by holding the homescreen. You can also see the option for changing the wallpaper or live wallpaper by tapping the option button (at least you can do it if you have a Galaxy phone). Another new feature that you can use now is the use of solid colors as your lock and home screen background. Currently, you can choose from seven colors, the strangest color being white because it made everything invisible except the icons. Whatever background you select is applied to both, the home and lock screens both, at the same time. You cannot thus apply separate backgrounds.
One feature that the current ROM lack is the inability to add or delete pages on the home screen, contrary to the lock screen where you can do both, add and remove pages.
If you are an experienced Android user, you must be knowing how to create an app folder on the phone’s home screen. Actually it is very easy. Just press and hold an app icon on your home screen and drag it over another app. Doing this will create a folder with your selected apps and games. To remove an app from a folder, tap on the folder and press and hold the app icon you want to remove. In case you want to delete a folder, either remove all app from it, or drag the whole folder to the delete icon on the screen.
Notification and Quick Settings Panel:
On the top of the screen, you have the status bar which can also be moved to the bottom of the screen if you apply the phablet or tablet mode of which we shall talk later. Swiping your finger from the top edge of the screen, you can open the notification center. With Android 4.2 update Google splitted the old notifications and toggles into two parts. Now you can open quick settings toggle panel by swiping down two fingers from the top edge of the screen. By tapping a tile in the quick settings, you can turn a function on or off and by long pressing a tile you can directly go to the settings interface of that toggle.
Android 4.2 supports multi-user functionality, just like a Windows PC, and there fore you can add more that one users for your device from Settings> Users> Add User. Each user has their own space, which they can customize with their own apps, wallpapers and so on. After you create a new user, that person needs to go through a setup process. It means he/she will have to set a different Google account, etc. Try it only if you have to really add a user. To add a user photo open the quick settings toggle panel, tap on the blank icon and select one from gallery.
ParanoidAndroid ROM 3 lets you edit the options, layout and customize the quick settings toggle tiles. Open Settings> Toolbars> Custom Tiles> Tiles and Layout. To rearrange tiles according to your convenience, touch and hold a tile and drag it the spot you prefer. If you want to delete a tile, touch and hold it and drag it to the recycle bin icon below. To add a new tile, just tap on the Add (+) icon and select the item from the list that pops up.