PARANOIDANDROID enables a per-app hybrid mode for many Ice Cream Sandwich devices


You may remember the PARANOIDANDROID team for their work on a Galaxy Nexus ROM that combines Ice Cream Sandwich's tablet interface with the standard mobile interface to make better use of the Nexus's large display. Since we first wrote about their exploits, they have been hard at work adding new features. Some of their latest features, which they are calling "Per App Density" (PAD) and "Per App Layout" (PAL) are helpful tools which allows you to choose tablet or phone mode on a per-app basis as well as change the app's DPI independently of the system.

In case you are wondering why you would want to do that, we've actually examined some of the reasons why before. In short, tablet mode applications often look better, function better, and display more information than their phone mode counterparts, making them quite useful on larger smartphone displays.

The way PARANOIDANDROID manages tablet mode within the ROM is twofold: Per App Layout is used to choose whether an application displays in tablet or phone mode, while Per App Density is used to change the size of or scale UI elements are within each app. This combination means that users can make full use of tablet mode apps on even relatively small 4-inch and above devices without having to sacrifice simplicity or usability because their display is too small.

Originally, the PARANOIDANDROID ROM was designed only for the Galaxy Nexus. However, since then other developers have ported the ROM to a number of other Ice Cream Sandwich enabled devices, including the AT&T Galaxy S II, international Galaxy Note, Nexus S, and even the HTC HD2. Unfortunately, you actually have to have the hybrid ROM installed in order to use the feature for now, you can't get it separately. With the ROM though, there is a simple settings panel where you can choose what DPI you want certain apps to run at, and save it for future use. 

I didn't get a chance to actually try out the utilities because I didn't have time to install the PARANOIDANDROID ROM, but this brings me to my final point. PARANOIDANDROID's utilities are great for the Galaxy Nexus and other devices which have the ROM, but eventually I would like to see the PAD and PAL features taken out of the ROM and available for installation on stock Ice Cream Sandwich builds. I, for one, would love to have a stock or nearly stock CyanogenMod build with the PAL feature, which would allow me to choose specific apps to run in tablet mode without changing my device's entire UI or ROM. Although I don't want to make the overall jump to tablet mode, I would like to use some application's tablet interfaces, so having PAL available as a standalone product would make a lot of sense.

If you aren't adverse to installing a new ROM to get these features, then you can follow either source link for further information on installing hybrid mode on your device.

[Paranoid Android via XDA-Developers]
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Aaron Orquia

Aaron Orquia is an associate editor at Pocketables. He has been using Android and Linux since he bought his first computer years ago, and his interest in technology, software, and tweaking both to work just right has only grown stronger since then. His current gadgets include a OnePlus One, a Pebble smartwatch, and an Acer C720 Chromebook.

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