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Status update multiwindow/overlay

I think more information is in oder to dispel some of the confusion ...
This is a lot to read, don't bother if you care less about motivation and technical background.

As you know, We are breaking this project into two parts.
Part 1 is almost concluded, this is what you have seen in the video we posted, the technical foundation. This is not the actual feature. We launch apps from the notification bar for testing purposes! Work on Part 2 has begun, this will be the component making actual use of that capability. 

Our solution is written from scratch, this is not cornerstone. We believe Google should have no intention in vetoing it since it should in theory pass their compatibility test suite, plus apps can opt in for all we care.

We mind Androids inner rules and activity-management. Displaying a window as an overlay from a programming perspective is done with a regular intent flag. The flag that we added creates a different set of rules in Androids life-cycle management to ensure this doesn't mess up apps.
We start out with a basic version that will pause underlying apps (meaning we don't touch anything, this is Androids default) and maybe go from there to something that intercepts the pause call on high powered phones to let apps running - although this may not even be necessary.

In short, at best this will not break a single app in the entire Android eco system. At worst this will do the same kind of harm to an app that a smaller screen does. Android apps should be clever enough to deal with screenspace by now so this should not be an issue. Should we do notice this is an issue we will make the entire thing opt-in. From my own tests i have been able to run pretty much everything without problems, games, chat-apps, all good.

We are explicitly not going for an implementation that will let the user drag around stuff or scale it. We simply see no reason for it. Crazy implementations like that are too far fetched and hardly fit the surounding system, we plan to create something that will solve an obvious every-day user-interface related problem that will make immediate sense to everyone who sees and uses it.

Last but not least, many asked why Google vetoed Cyanogenmod adding Cornerstone. First, Cornerstone is an independend project, Cyanogenmod had nothing to do with it. It was a kang on their side. From what i have heard Conerstone had pretty severe bugs and it could have broken apps. Google feared that users could leave bad ratings in their Play store for app errors caused by their rom and prevented CM from merging it. They obviously had a reason.

As for Part 2. A couple of you have already guessed what this will turn into but we still think we can surprise you.
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Simon W
Awesome! You rock PA!
I can't wait for the release. 
You've become the pioneers of rom-cooking. Awesome work!
I'm interested to say the least. If it's good enough I'll come back from cyanogen mod. 
If you have nexus, this rom is a must.
What about verizon s3?
Will it work on it yet??? 
The future is bright...the future is Paranoid Android...
+James Goldsberry Verizon S3 isn't 'officially' supported blah blah blah. If the guy/girl who maintains your device ports the ROM, you'll get the feature, otherwise trade your Verizon S3 for a N4 and be up-to-date.
 wee! that look amazing! (the demo video)  i hope that feacture will be availible (make an popup from notf.)
Awesome. I am trying really hard not to think about it so I can be surprised. Can't wait. Keep up the great work.
Allen A
Fantastic work! I recommend your ROM to all the Nexus users I know
In my life I donate to 5 person, paranoid, you will be the sixth! 
Looking forward to it. Thanks for your hard work and innovation! 
+Paranoid Android I wish we could drag and scale windows as a feature in hybrids properties tool extra. Consider that please.
the whole concept of multi taking several Windows on a pea sized screen in ridiculous. this is all about staying in context as you will see soon enough. we could drag and scale Windows but that's not out goal.
+Paranoid Android I understand that but on tablets it can work nice. I mean try like this, as default go for the method your going but at the same time put the window scale drag style in the tools/extra
Just switched my toro plus and grouper back to PA in support of the project. 
Awesome. Cannot wait for this feature on my N4. Might even put PA back on my N7.
This is why I use PA. The level of customization and innovation you guys give us is just mind blowing. Per app color and DPI and Pie already made this the best ROM out there. Now you bring us a true way to multitask, and the only practical way to do so. I really admire you Paul, Aaron and Jesus. Big fan
Thanks for always keeping us in the loop beyond just "we're working on it. " 
I vaguely remember recently that I was fascinated with the Ubuntu phone for about 5 minutes. Now I'm thinking "Ubuntu what?". I don't think I'll touch Ubuntu phone until they get Paul, Jesus David, Aaron and Jaybob working on it.
Thanks for keeping us in the loop and taking the time to give such a clear explanation of the project. You guys are brilliant! I'm really looking forward to the outcome. 
I hope that overlay will be able to be launched with other methods than just from the notification tray.I'd love to be able to long hold a thumbnail from the recents switcher and have it open as an overlay. Or being able to launch an overlay when an app asks to open the link in a new app, i.e. web link from Facebook opens in an overlay. I'm super pumped for this release, I think I'll ditch touchwiz once and for all when it gets ported to my phone. I'm getting impatient! 
cant wait for the update.  Thanks for all the hard work.
Will you have to have a Paranoid rom to use this new feature?
Great work. I am anxious for the first nightly :-) 
"This is a lot to read..." Well, it was actually too short to read :)
The combination of clear ideas and impressive coding skills is what  makes PA developers deliver the best Android experience. For as long as they will be coding for the platform I will be a Nexus user for years to come. I hope Google gets the message :)
3 years now I am flashing and flashing and flashing to test and taste. Paranoid is like Ithaca, I am here to stay, like home. Amazing...
will you guys put back the custom clock settings back in your rom please also would you guys be interested in opening up the community so that the users can ask for features i have a boat load of ideas for features for android and i would like to know if i can share them with your guys and if their good would you implement them
thats the very question! It may be of no use to have scaling and dragging on a little screen, smaller then 5". But! A, there is also NEXUS tablets, which are bigger then 5". And B, it is always the better choice to let the user decide. That does not mean, that is has to be enabled as default, but for me I would really like to see scaling and dragging windows an a Nexus! And yes also on a N4!

This discussion about adding scaling and dragging onto devices but only on big ones is a bit like the usage of the system DPI.

Must folks of Paranoid-N4 and Gnex will probably use 320dpi for mostly everything. But there are users who use 260 or 200 dpi on there device. They don't want to have everything big as hell like our grandparents would need it, but want to use the most of the possibilities of the displays! For my understanding this is paranoid the first thing it was great in and still is most powerful feature of it.

With all this said I truly don't understand why it shouldn't be possible to use dragging and scaling also on such "small" devices like the N4.
+Henning Kubbutat, although I partially agree with what you said I think the approach the team is taking here is a good one. Android is a touch-based OS, and while Samsung's stylus works great for dragging and resizing windows a finger doesn't do so well (experience with the Note II and the 10.1). It's too early to tell how this will work exactly, but I think not bothering the user with window management is a great thing on these mobile devices.
Step by step.. I'd rather have an awesome working overlay than a rushed drag and scale feature. 
+Quint Stoffers I had no problems with the multi window on the s3! It is of use on the s3. But think about it for a second: the s3 uses 320 dpi. Imagine what u could do with multi window and lower dpi... :)
+Steve Wang of course step by step! Only thing I wanted to point out is that I don't understand to say no to it at all! 
Will there be developer access for your api extension???
That would be GREAT!
Why not add a missed call LED indicates
+Henning Kubbutat sure it works, and of course lowering the DPI fits more onto the screen. However, the screen size is what it comes down to, and what apps are designed for. Not a single OS manufacturer (out of five now) chose to implement windows, and I think the reasoning behind that is valid.
What it looks like is... less multi-window, more overlay-window.
I guess we won't be seeing anything like Samsung's multi-window feature. Looking forward to updates :)
guys really nice work but a exact changelog for people like me who dont understand gerrit would be sooo nice (;
Samsung's Multi Window doesn't come close to what PA is trying to do. So intuitive and practical, easy to use. I hope THIS becomes stock android feature. So much better. I use Samsung's multi window, but only when I want to intentionally. May be not when I need it the most. The curved portion of hidden bar is constant irritation while typing. PA just keeps getting better. Thank you guys so much. You have no clue how sick I was from Touchwiz. You have given me a reason to switch.
+Paranoid Android , is there any conceivable way that the changes made by you and other teams in the Android game (CM, AOKP etc etc) could be fed back into AOSP? Just asking, is that ever remotely possible or is Android evolution decided by Google's R&D and marketing departments?
ram b
Meant windows the 'feature' not the 'os'
Nah, 'windows' is so 90's, we love to call them anothe name.
MARTAS was a real slut in high school, I wouldn't want her anywhere near my smartphone.
Just continue on what you are doing, so far you are the innovators on these platform... Let them talk, they will realize that yours is different when they experience it on actual. So finish the project, we salute you on behalf of all the PA users here in the Philippines +Paranoid Android .
Smaller screen in a bigger one...ummm, interesting!
I'm just going to comment on this once a day until it's out god damn I'm so excited.
+Shaun Hammond
What's actually in Cyanogenmod these days that isn't in PA? I'm actually genuinely curious, the last time I used CM was CM9
Can you give a tentative launch window? I understand this isn't regular work but right now I'm checking every few hours and it'd be easier if I had a general idea of when to check. thanks
maybe a few days for the first public alpha. we have a very basic version of part #2 running but there is a lot of stuff to clear and stabilize.
Take your time! I'd rather see a fantastic and stable product rather than something that's rushed. You guys do an amazing job, and it makes me proud to say PA has been the only custom ROM I've used since I got my N4 a month ago.
This is what I call Open Source OS. Developers can go crazy with it and make Android even more awesome. As an end user you have sooo much choice because of awesome developers like you. Amazing work! 
I have a nexus 4 coming this week, looking forward to getting Paranoid Android on there! 
I've been so impressed with the PA implementations so far, I sincerely cannot wait to see this new development. Thanks +Paranoid Android ; you keep making 'em, I'll keep flashing 'em :) 
+Paranoid Android The main issue Google had with Cornerstone was that it changed the DPI of apps at runtime as far as I can remember, while the API guaranteed developers it was going to be constant. In essence that breaks the "contract" between the platform and the developers.

We were also working with Cornerstone to fix some of the problems with it as well as overhauling the UI elements so saying it would've been a straight up kang is perhaps a bit unfair. It's true however that we did not write it from scratch, far from it.

Regardless, it's always nice to see teams that implement new ideas while also greatly valuing code quality. :)
Please add this feature for tilapia, when it's going to be relased
Lol this is going to be a nice feature. Everybody is killing me with asking for ETA's and will it be on this and that device (which is 2 years old.) From what ive seen from the +Paranoid Android team they will start from the top and work their way down. The Nexus devices will get it first. Once they have ironed out the bugs there, then they will work their way down the device tree and implement this feature. Please give these guys time to work out the kinks and implement it the right way. They are obviously doing something right cause CyanogenMod is implementing some of there feartures!! :)
Just love it..
Just the pie information with Halo, clock date etc..
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