Just a week after Paranoid Android revealed that it was already hard at work at the next major PA version, it has revealed the second alpha for the upcoming 4.5 release. The changelog for this pre-beta version isn’t really that long and in fact focuses only on one thing: making the Recent Apps redesign smoother, prettier, and better.

The redesigned Recents takes its inspiration from Android L, where instead of getting a flat vertical list of app thumbnails, you get larger boxes arranged in a flowing tickler file representation. Like it or not, this is the direction that Android L will be going and it wouldn’t be a surprise if custom ROMs, like Paranoid Android here for example, would adopt it as well. Unless, of course, they prefer some other implementation, like OmniROM’s OmniSwitch.

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In this iteration of the new Recents, the focus has mostly been on polishing up the visuals. The background, for example, has been made transparent so that your beautiful wallpaper will shine through. Animations have also been improved to be as smooth as butter, in particular the zooming animation when switching between an app and the Recents display. Although not yet visible in the video below, it now also uses stronger shadows, definitely a good design decision to help differentiate one app’s thumbnail from another, especially considering PA’s implementation doesn’t seem to include titlebars with app names.

For those not too hot about PA 4.5, the dev team still has something for the stable release. But like 4.5 Alpha 2, most of the work has been on improving visuals and design. Again, the Theme Engine has been synced with upstream source code to make sure it doesn’t diverge too much. The navigation bar’s transparency issues have also been addressed. Lastly, users will be able to completely hide the battery from the status bar via a new option in the theme manager. These updates will be rolling out via PA’s OTA app or, alternatively, can be downloaded directly from Paranoid Android’s web page.

SOURCE: +Paranoid Android