Sony announced today on it's official Sony Mobile Developer blog that the Xperia S "experimental AOSP support" project, first announced by JBQ back in August, is no more. It was an interesting idea, to be sure - a non-Nexus device that would be supported both with the help of members of the Google developer community, as well as AOSP maintainer JBQ, on the AOSP main branch.

The project did see some success, too - Android was booting, and according to Sony, Wi-Fi and sensors were up and running. Unfortunately, because of proprietary software binaries that by definition could not be part of AOSP (which requires legitimate open source code only), it seemed unlikely audio and mobile network modem functionality could be achieved in that environment.


So, Sony, and most likely Google, have decided the experiment with the Xperia S and AOSP has probably gone as far as it reasonable can, and further support in AOSP will be ended. You can now find the project on GitHub, here.

Sony claims its goals are to open up some of the proprietary binaries as source code, but it's unclear on how they plan on accomplishing that - they'll obviously have to negotiate some sort of licensing arrangement with the chip manufacturers before publicly releasing that code. The Sony team's eventual goal is to get Android 4.2 working on the Xperia S, which can then be used a development platform for other devices.

For more info, check out the full Sony blog post.

Sony Mobile Developer Blog

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • Ryan Young

    I really like it's case!

  • http://twitter.com/FQdeB Felix de Boer

    You state that mobile network functionality isn't working, yet in the video it's clear that they have network connection: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=2UnydjgfonA (Telia is a Swedish operator, also network bars to be seen). They even make a phone call!

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      It's working for them in the Sony lab, not using strictly code from AOSP. They cannot put the modem binaries in AOSP.

  • http://twitter.com/redbullcat Phil Oakley

    Aw that's a shame. This was a really great project with good potential.

  • Bleakvision

    There needs to be a new way to deliver drivers, similar to the windows world, where windows will fetch at least all of the basic drivers. These devices are computers after all.

    Ah forget it. Nothing is ever going to change... :(

    • GazaIan

      That's just too much trouble for the user. They would be wondering why their phone resolution is so low, why their Bluetooth etc is all borked, and they would have no idea where to find drivers.

  • Arcest

    Sony is not ready for AOSP then. Although Android is open source, drivers are not.

    • GazaIan

      Just throwing this out there, Sony is the biggest contributed to the AOSP

  • GazaIan

    If it was because of proprietary drivers, then I suppose this leaves the playground open for a device with open source drivers to experiment into the AOSP.