Sony's back to its AOSP tricks, working to release some functional (if not exactly ideal) versions of the latest release of Android based on open-source code. This time they've quickly put together Android Open Source Project builds for the flagships of the last two years: the Xperia Z1, Z2, and Z3. You can see the bone-stock builds running in the video below.
As always with Sony's developer promotions, these builds aren't intended for end users - they aren't provided with any kind of promise for reliability or functionality.
In the Android Police review of the OnePlus One, we called it "the best flagship you can't buy." That will change soon: the independent and often divisive manufacturer has finally seen fit to set aside its invitation system and start selling phones the old-fashioned way. Pre-orders will be available via OnePlus.net starting on Monday, October 27th at 15:00 GMT (8 AM Eastern time).
But it just wouldn't be OnePlus without some needless complication, right?
Sony's relationship with "pure" Android is an interesting one. As a company they generally make it easy to root or otherwise modify their phones or tablets, with a few notable qualifiers. The AOSP for Xperia project, which provides the basic tools for building standard Android ROMs on popular devices, is also one way that Sony stays relevant for those who buy phones with the intent to add aftermarket software. Today it gets two new flagship options, the older Xperia Z1 and Z2.
The OnePlus One has had its share of bugs, but there has been one issue that effectively breaks the phone without the owner being even accidentally at fault. One minute you're swiping through the app drawer looking at the best way to kill time for a couple of minutes, the next you're hit with a spontaneous reboot and staring at a phone that boot loops indefinitely, leaving you with a bricked device.
The problem is suspected to stem from the "persist" partition getting corrupted during the reboot, even though CyanogenMod doesn't use this particular location.
The camera app packed inside of CyanogenMod 11S, the version of the ROM that launched on the OnePlus One, has found its way onto the Play Store. People who own that particular handset can now look for camera updates to appear alongside all of their other apps. If any of you head over to Google Play right this moment, you may even see that there's one already waiting for you.
If you turn to the Play Store without a OnePlus One running the latest version of CM11S, don't expect to get your hands on anything.
HTC is set to unveil some new hardware at a New York City event on Wednesday. The company itself has already given us some clues to a GoPro-style sports camera (including a couple of unintended product images), and a few less reliable sources claim there will be a phone with a 13-megapixel Duo camera. This weekend the Twitter leak account @Upleaks showed some images of an alleged "HTC Desire Eye," a phone that embraces the selfie craze (ugh) in a big way.
In the seemingly never-ending saga of companies believing that, despite generating no real revenue, they're worth some multiple of an Instagram, Cyanogen Inc. is reportedly seeking additional funding on the basis of a $1 billion valuation. This apparently comes on the heels of talks with Google's Sundar Pichai, who expressed interest in acquiring Cyanogen, presumably to become part of Google's Android group.
Cyanogen has allegedly been using this offer as a form of leverage in negotiations for funding, which of course they have, because who wouldn't use that as a way to convince investors your not-profitable company is worth throwing large sums of money at?
Recently there's been arumor that Sony is planning on releasing stock AOSP ROMs (clean, Nexus-style builds of Android) for some of its high-end phones and tablets. It's easy to understand why Sony in particular might attract that kind of attention: the company has better support for aftermarket development than most, promptly releasing binaries and source code on the company's own GitHub and even some developer-grade AOSP builds. But as for consumer-ready, finished and fully supported AOSP ROMs?