There's a lot to like about Sony's latest generation of Android devices. One od the things that most people don't like is the custom interface that Sony puts on pretty much everything. If you want to do away with it and get some sweet, clean Android Open Source Project code running on your shiny new Xperia Tablet Z, Sony is happy to oblige. They've posted an AOSP 4.2 build for the Tablet Z to GitHub, following their surprisingly open approach to other devices, most recently the Xperia Z flagship.

Sorry ROM aficionados, there's no flashable ROM package posted. Developers will need both the AOSP code and the binaries for their specific device (which you can find here) to build a working ROM, and end users need an unlocked bootloader, with the voided warranty that comes with it. Sony also warns that this software is not intended for everyday users, and does not include all basic services (read: Google apps).

But like Mister Costner said, if you build it, they will come. The presence of this code and these tools should supply a pretty healthy stream of aftermarket ROMs for the Tablet Z - which is more than I can say for some other devices, even with the option to unlock the bootloader left intact. Good on ya, Sony. Since you've got this AOSP code lying around, how's about putting it on one or two retail devices, huh?

GitHub - Sony Xperia Tablet Z

Sony Blog - OSP is now available for Xperia™ Tablet Z

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • Sam Hollis

    Every company should do this.

    • http://www.facebook.com/PradeepVizz Pradeep Viswanathan R

      Yes! i think Sony is pioneering to do it and every other company will follow

  • Cuvis

    It's weird how Sony, a company that has so many consumer-hostile acts on their record, has embraced Android's open ethos in such a big way. It's almost enough to get me to buy their products again. Almost.

    • Ambroos

      Sony Mobile has been incredibly open since 2011, with easily unlockable bootloaders and a lot of community support. Sony themselves have changed a lot too the last few years, mostly under Kaz Hirai. They're using open technologies wherever possible and have in general been very nice to everyone. Only Sony Computer Entertainment remains somewhat closed off, which is mainly because game publishers don't want the platform to get too open (or insecure).

      • tylerbrainerd

        Sort of. All their tablets up till now have been impossible.

        • Ambroos

          True, but those were all created by the Vaio team. This tablet is the first one made by the Sony Mobile team.

    • Mike Reid


      Sony is doing it IMO only because they feel they have to, to gain market share. Their devices tend to be well built, but pricy, and a bit behind the tech curve.

      Beware the "AOSP" though. Do NOT assume it means Google will be involved. They abandoned their experimental AOSP on last years flagship, the Xperia S. And they won't open their own source code for things like the FM radio.

      IMO a bunch of their "dev friendliness" is cheap window dressing; better than most other companies, but not as good as it might appear at first glance. They have a device loaner program in US and Canada where a $300 deposit gets a phone for up to 30 days. Allegedly. I'm waiting patiently for an Xperia Z. But then, you aren't allowed to root or unlock it.

  • Rohin Galhotra

    Why does the android version in the video read as ""?

    • lol

      Because they were bored and they do that.