In October 2015, the Paranoid Android development team announced they were taking a break from writing custom ROMs for selected Android smartphones and tablets. Until then, the Paranoid series of custom ROMs were respected and enjoyed by thousands, if not millions, of Android devices. The software offers a number of new features and optimizations over and above stock Android, allowing smartphone owners to change how their device works whilst still providing the basic Android framework. These new features covered aspects from floating menus to changing settings in the device and when the Paranoid Android project closed its doors, the industry was not sure how permanent this would be. Fortunately, a little over a week ago the Paranoid Android team announced that they were back. Since October, the team have added new members to cover more aspects of ROM development and the last announcement covered the limited number of devices and some software features that were covered.
These covered devices include most of the Nexus devices released since 2012, including the Nexus 4, 5, 5X, 6 and 6P smartphones. Some variants of the Nexus 7 were covered along with the Nexus 9, but sadly the Nexus 10 didn't get a look in. Paranoid Android also covered the first three OnePlus handsets, the Wi-Fi only variant of the Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet and Sony Xperia Z3 Compact smartphone. The rationale behind a limited portfolio of supported devices is simple: Paranoid Android are learning to walk (again) before running and are aiming for the best possible experience on these devices. However, it appears that a little over a week after announcing their comeback, the Paranoid Android have released an update to their new ROM including a range of bug fixes and support for more devices. Fans of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus are now supported along with a broader range of Sony devices. The latest update includes Google's June critical vulnerability security patch for Nexus devices. The Paranoid Android have updated and fixed issues for all devices in the theme engine, web browser and gallery applications. Some of the weird touchscreen issues whereby gestures were accidentally triggered have been fixed and for CAF devices, the camera application has also been updated. The original release contained a bug whereby fast charging was not properly showing on the screen and this too has been fixed. The information we have is that a number of individual devices also have bespoke bug fixes and improvements to their handset: for example, the release for the OnePlus 2 includes revisions to improve battery life and reduce heating from the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor.
Perhaps more exciting is the number of devices being added to the list of supported handsets and tablets. This update brings support for the Google Pixel C convertible tablet, the Shinano family of Sony devices and the OnePlus 3. The Paranoid Android team have also announced plans to include all 22 Sony Xperia devices that are supported within the SonyXperiaDev project – Sony's support of the AOSP is almost certainly helping here. For customers already on the Paranoid Android ROM, whilst the software includes a built-in updated, the Paranoid team have decided not to push this update through this mechanism. Customers will have to visit the source website to download the new software. The reason for this is because the Paranoid Android team are still testing the over-the-air update mechanism before rolling out platform updates.