ParanoidAndroid touts that it is the first ROM to allow you to seamlessly switch between phone, tablet, or hybrid UI modes on the HTC EVO 4G. It’s been previously covered on Pocketables for other devices here and here, but it has finally made its way into EVO space.
ParanoidAndroid’s hybrid mode allows you to set per-application density, allowing you to cram more data on your display in an app, or make the text larger while not messing with Google Play. (Play has been known in the past to block some applications when the global DPI changes.)
You can also simply jam your phone into Tablet Mode if you want to emulate how the big screens play on your EVO’s screen. The density is there; the physical size is not.
One of the first things you’ll notice when setting your phone in Tablet Mode is that your status bar goes to the bottom of the display; the other is that things look very very tiny. Considering the HTC EVO 4G has a resolution close to mid-level tablets, there’s not much difference in what is displayed, other than sizing.
PA uses DTA2SD, which means your SD card is going to need an EXT3 or EXT4 partition in order to function as intended. DTA2SD allows for programs that normally would take up internal memory to use SD card space instead. It’s a good thing, but setting it up can be a pain. The end result is a ROM that has (in my case) 461 meg free for applications. If you follow the ROM instructions, you’ll have closer to 900 meg of available A2SD space. Some have mentioned not having their cards partitioned, and it still works fine. Your mileage may vary.
The ROM also has neat little features like CRT-OFF animations, a five-function lockscreen, 19 CPU governors, and a host of tweaks and settings that can keep you playing with the ROM for hours.
Being able to experience some apps in Tablet Mode is quite a treat (others, not so much), but since you can define per-app how it responds in the hybrid settings, there’s no huge issue swapping a tablet view out for a normal EVO screen view.
PA is based off of Android 4.0.4/Ice Cream Sandwich, and since we do not have a completely working port for the HTC EVO 4G yet, not everything works, most notably the front facing camera and WiMAX (which doesn’t work for most of us, anyway). Netflix and Hulu also still are bitten by the EVO 4G ICS failings.
On first install, be indoors and in low light: ParanoidAndroid ships with the brightness cranked down to minimum, something I was not expecting while hanging out on my porch enjoying the day. PA also ships with the Wheatley CPU governor set to a maximum of 806mhz, so if you install and the ROM is running absurdly slow for your tastes, just change that up to about 1000, and you should see a marked improvement. My guess is that they configured it for battery life, but I don’t see anything in the support/developer thread about that.
The boot animation reminds me a bit of Mr Sparkle, and is quite amusing to reboot the phone just to watch. I do find it odd that the Wheatley governor is in there but I see no Marvin options anywhere.
PA 0.1 has a bit to go to make it perfect, but it’s doing something new and exciting I hope to see in many ROMs soon – combining the best of tablet and the best of phone UIs into one. It’s definitely a ROM to keep a watch on.