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Custom Android software turns every notification into a Facebook-style Chat Head

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paranoid android halo
paranoid android halo

Facebook introduced a fairly compelling new way to do notifications and messaging with Chat Heads, and so it's not a huge surprise to see it spreading out amongst the indie ecosystem. We've already seen a jailbreak version on the iPhone, and now Android developers are creating something similar for that platform. Dubbed "Halo," the team behind the Paranoid Android custom ROM are working on a system that will allow you to do more multitasking.

Essentially, Halo takes the Chat Head concept of a persistent bubble that opens up the Facebook Messenger app on top of your current app and universalizes it. Any app that sends a notification to Android can go into the Halo bubble, and tapping on it will bring up a pop-up window where you can directly access the SMS, email, or whatever else has sent the notification.

The feature isn't yet ready for users to play around with and even when it is, it will require you to install the Paranoid Android custom ROM — something that's likely to be a little bit beyond most users's abilities. The developers behind the custom ROM are also clear that this was inspired by Facebook, writing "let us express our absolute gratitude to Facebook for this idea! We loved it from the start." You can watch a (perhaps overly-enthusiastic) demo of the feature in the video below.