The popular Paranoid Android lineup of custom Android ROM distributions has officially risen from the ashes again, though Android 8.0 Oreo-based builds are currently limited to a small number of Sony devices. The team has also pledged to be more transparent going forward, and has requested more help from the wider Android ROM development community. Paranoid Android has had various ports and offshoots made recently, but the team behind the official ROM has not made a proper release in about a year, and this release for Sony devices is the first Paranoid Android ROM to be based on Android 8.0 Oreo. There are apparently plans to update to Android 9.0 Pie once a stable base ROM is in place across devices, but no timeline for this was given.
The current Paranoid Android build based on Oreo lacks many of the features that the custom ROM has become famous for over the years, such as multiple forms of PIE control and per-app DPI settings. Even so, it functions as a base of sorts upon which the project can take root and grow, and already boasts a number of optimizations and non-stock features on compatible devices. For the time being, you can only download official builds for the Sony Xperia X and X Compact, XZ1 and XZ1 Compact, and X Premium. You can head over to the project’s GitHub and try to compile your own versions for other devices if you have the right skills, but certain tweaks to core software, such as the kernel, have to be made to accommodate the proprietary bits involved in working the hardware of most modern devices, so don’t expect great results right off the bat. The development team is requesting more help from the wider community for this reason, and has also put out an open call for users to send in donor devices for research and porting.
Paranoid Android fans have had a wild ride since the ROM’s heyday back in the era of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich up through 4.4 KitKat. Paranoid Android went mostly silent for a year or two after it hit its stride, mostly due to personal reasons cited by team members, and came back in a less active form and put out ROMs based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow and 7.0 Nougat. Back in May, many members of the team faced financial hardship, and were unable to devote a lot of time to development as a result. That’s about where the ROM stands today, which means that these Oreo builds, limited in scope as they may be for now, can be thought of as a new beginning for the project.