The Nexus 4 is a great phone but the lack of hardware buttons means that the softkey buttons take up an additional row on screen. However, My favorite ROM (Paranoid Android, that is) has received another update which adds a completely new feature: PIE controls in fullscreen mode (watch the video below to find out what is is).
PIE is an alternative way to navigate your Android device and has been introduced as a new feature in the latest Paranoid Android ROM. Alongside, the latest ROM update promises navigational bliss, stability and a speed bump. This new PIE update looks amazing as you can see in the video provided below, and it allows full-customization for the on-screen navigation buttons that can be found in many recent version of Android. However, this PIE does not show on the screen unless you want it to do so, you can have it showing at the top, left, right or bottom of your devices display. This version is very slick and very fast, check out the video to see the response speed.
The new menu is integrated into the Paranoid Android design scheme and allows to introduce per app color, it has its own theme as well but when switched off it picks up colors you define per app, it is easier to understand after watching the video above. The PIE menu can be launched on either of all the four sides, even set up multi trigger areas, display status information like clock, date, notifications on touch. In addition, the Android Paranoid Google+ page also mention features such as Rubberbanding for fast navigation, custom panels for notifications and toggles that can be flicked into view. You can control the animations, even switch them off, and it supports per-app-expand, meaning that it can jump into PIE mode for apps you chose.
At the current moment the implementation of the PIE menu is that it replaces fully the status bar, so some people may miss the direct view of specific information like the battery life, connectivity status and the clock. Now you would need to swipe to pull out the information so it may not appeal to some.
Well, even if you don’t like the implementation of this alternative navigation menu, Paranoid Android it self is a great alternative ROM for the Nexus 4. The infographic below basically sums up all the positive points and I personally like the ability to combine the softkey buttons with the status bar, just to maximise the screen real estate. In addition, since this is build on AOSP, the ROM it self is very stable with no bugs at the moment. The same can”t be said for phones from other manufacturers.
The most updated Paranoid Android ROM can be downloaded from XDA Forums.