Stop the presses! One of the more popular Android custom ROMs has just announced its first Release Candidate version. Paranoid Android 4.4, which brings along with it Android 4.4.3 now, has reached what its developers claim is an “almost stable state”, giving hope of an actual stable release really soon now.

If you’ve been following our Paranoid Android coverage, you would be privy to some of the exciting features coming to users of the ROM. Perhaps most interesting to those who love to tweak the look of their homescreens is the new Theme Engine. This is actually based on the Theme Engine rework that CyanogenMod did, ported to AOSP thanks to the hardwork of teams, both CM and PA, and other developers. This practically means that any AOSP-based ROM will be able use this engine as well. PA promises to keep their version in sync with upstream, which is always a good thing for all users.

Hover is Paranoid Android’s new fancy notification system that replaces the old Halo floating circle. This was first revealed late April and had undergone many iterations and polishing. Now the feature has reached is first stable state, enough for public viewing. The release also introduces a new ParanoidOTA look. This app, as the name implies, eases the task of having to fetch and install PA updates. The app has been redesigned to sport a brighter look, with color and UI conventions now popular on Android 4.4.

There are, of course, other new features and fixes not mentioned in this release but are already lying in wait, like Peek Notifications. The dev team has not yet dropped any timeline for an actual stable release, but the RC1 label is surely enough to fire up fans who have long been waiting for the ROMs next stable version.

SOURCE: +Paranoid Android