Custom ROM ParanoidAndroid adds Android L 'recents' cards

An Android L-inspired 'recently opened apps' feature has cropped up in popular custom ROM, Paranoid Android.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer on

The race to offer as many of the useful features coming in Android L as possible continues with popular custom ROM Paranoid Android nabbing Google's new way of presenting recently-opened apps.

Android L will introduce a slick new way of presenting recently used apps via 'Recents', the double rectangle button on the right hand side of the screen that offers a window into recently-used apps and a way to switch between them.

In Android 4.4 KitKat, they're presented as a list of separated thumbnails in their most recent state, which can be scrolled through. In Android L, howevver, recents will behave more like a stack of cards that can be flicked through or flicked away — similar to how Chrome handles multiple tabs. However, Google will also bring more granular multitasking to the feature with L so that users can switch between not just apps, but individual activities within each app, such as tabs in the browser. The same applies to apps for chats, games, and documents.

The developers behind custom ROM Paranoid Android have taken at least the style element of the new Android L recents feature in its own Android 4.5 alpha-build released this week. Here's a video showing it in action

As the developers note, the version that contains the updated Recents feature is only a preview, so it might have issues when running. Future updates should offer a more stable experience.

The L feature's appearance in Paranoid Android adds to numerous other elements of Android L that have escaped the bounds of the Developer Preview Google published in June.

Among them are the new L notifications system Heads Up, which has landed in the latest M-build of CyanogenMod whose developers dug up the feature laying dormant in KitKat. They've also included a do-not-disturb feature, since Heads Up notifications are pushed to the display over running apps. For those not running CM, there's also a paid app on Google Play offering the style of notifications. 

Earlier this week, a developer released Android L for a the HTC One while Google took down its new L keyboard from Google Play.

Fans who would prefer to wait for Android L to be released as as whole can expect Google to release it around October this year. 

Read more on Android L

Editorial standards