The team behind Paranoid Android has now released the beta of the popular custom ROM now with added Halo Integration. In Halo, the notifications are displayed as small circles above your current screen contents. The idea comes from the "chatheads" of Facebook Messenger, but Paranoid Android extends the principle throughout the system for any application. I’ll show you how it works on my Nexus device.
As of a few months ago, I dedicated myself to testing out Paranoid Android and I was very impressed at the time and with the introduction of the Halo notification system, it was time to try it out again.
Circles for everything!
When you pull down the notification bar, you'll immediately notice the new Halo icon there (the speech bubble with a circle). If you press on it, your notifications will be turned into a circle that moves to the left side of the screen and sticks around there. If you tap on it, it will open the associated application in a pop-up window. To get rid of this, you can either use a pinch-to-zoom gesture or you can just use the Back button on your smartphone to accomplish the same thing.
Furthermore, a long press on the circle followed by a swiping gesture gives you the option to either let the bubble disappear to the left side (by swiping downwards) or remove it (by swiping upwards). In my experience, the latter on worked on my Galaxy Nexus when I had multiple notifications on my screen. With only a single alert, the circle was always available.
There is also another possibility of interaction with the notifications: If you tap and then double-tap the circle, you can move around the circles and reposition them on your screen. This is handy if the notification circles are concealing some important text or other objects that you want to have a gander at without getting rid of the notification bubble.
Customizing the behavior
In the Android settings you can still make changes to Halo. You can find the appropriate options under the Settings -> Toolbars section:
"Hide HALO after activity" ensures that your halo bubbles migrate to the left margin of your device and takes up less space after the notification has been received. This way, they take up less space and don't obscure as much of your screen.
"Reverse HALO gestures" with this it gives you more control over the Halo notifications and being able to freely move them around on your screen. You can even remove them completely by dragging them to top of your screen into the "X".
With the beta of Paranoid Android with Halo notifications, the developers have created an interesting notification concept that copies the style and concept of Facebook Chat Messenger at the system level. Personally, I think the conventional Android notification system is better as they are more discreet in the notification bar and do not take up any additional space on the screen.
Disclaimer: If you're looking for something similar to Floating Notifications without having to flash a new room, you can check out this software (in early Alpha though!) at the XDA-Developers forum.