Sony is ahead of most other OEMs when it comes to its support of open source. It contributes significantly to AOSP and even releases binaries for many of its devices so developers can build AOSP ROMs for them. Today, Sony is announcing support for the first three 64-bit devices in the Open Device project.
It seems like the only thing anybody can talk about is Android M, but we should remember that we've got about 4 more months with Lollipop v5.1.1 as the current version until Mango Mojito (probably not) is officially released in October. This is no more apparent than when an update appears on AOSP and brings with it thousands of changes. In fact, this update is large enough it probably deserved more than a barely noticeable revision bump.
The code drop for LYZ28E comes a bit later than expected, since the build number was first seen in a Nexus 6 update that began rolling out a month ago.
The Android M Developer Preview was released just yesterday and we're all very closely examining the changes. While there's still quite a bit to dig through, it looks like Google is getting some of the source code up right away. Before anybody gets too excited, it's likely that this code dump occurred to ensure GPL compliance. However, there are quite a few projects in the changelog that wouldn't normally require updates due to licensing, so there may be quite a bit more going live on this release.
The entire changelog totals about 29,000 commits and weighs in at about 4.7 MB. It's not entirely clear where the official starting point would be, but we generated the changelog from 5.1.1_r4, which is currently the latest release available.
Google will be unveiling the successor to Lollipop at Google I/O in just a few days, but we won't get a real name. It will likely just be called Android M until it's released, but Google has an internal code name just as it did for L and K. It's called Macadamia Nut Cookie (MNC), a name which is already being referenced in AOSP.
Changelogs come in all shapes and sizes. Well, maybe there is just the one shape, but many different sizes. A new tag for 5.1.1_r3 turned up a few hours ago in AOSP and we've generated a list of changes the change for those who would like to know what's going on. As it turns out, this update sets a record for the smallest changelog ever, at just one lonely commit. On top of that, it's specifically for the Nexus 6 (Shamu).
The lone commit in this release appears to be a bug fix for devices with encryption enabled. The adspd process has been set up to run with the encryption lock screen instead of after.
Sony is continuing its odd support for modifications and software based on Android's open source core. Today they're releasing a collection of flashable recovery partitions for some phones - technically these count as "custom" recoveries, but they're based on AOSP, and therefore pretty close to what you'd find on Nexus devices. Sony's intro video does state that the recovery can restore data, flash custom ROMs, and boot to multiple ROMs, something that most stock recoveries can't handle.
The new recovery is available on the Xperia Z1, Xperia Z1 Compact, Xperia Z Ultra, Xperia T2 Ultra, Xperia T3, Xperia M2, and Xperia E3, all of which need to be unlocked at the bootloader level and running the latest "generic" software from Sony.
The leap from 5.0.2 to 5.1.1 is not insignificant, so the Nexus 9 had quite a bit to gain from this upgrade. To take another look at those, check out the changelog posts linked below. This release makes a few modifications beyond what we've seen for other Nexus devices, so far.
I'm sure everybody can agree, it makes almost no sense that the Nexus 9 is only now receiving a tiny maintenance update to 5.0.2 a couple of months after 5.1 came out. Nevertheless, that's how events are playing out, so we should at least know what's so special about this update. We've generated a changelog from AOSP, and honestly, there's not much to see.
Be aware, the Nexus 9 update goes from 5.0.1_r1 to 5.0.2_r3. However, since we've already seen the changelog for 5.0.1_r1 to 5.0.2_r1, we're keeping the previously seen changes in the old list, and producing a new one that includes only the commits that make up r1 to r3.
When a new version of Android hits, we want to know what's inside of its candy-coated shell. One of the best ways to discover all of the new treats is to read through the developer comments located in the Android Open Source Project. We've downloaded the code and generated a changelog of every single modification made between v5.1.0_r5 (LMY47O) and the newly released v5.1.1_r1 (LMY47V).
There are a total of 34 commits, with the majority falling into either core OS functions, media decoding and handling, or telephony. From a quick look, it's not hard to pick out some of the more well-known issues that are fixed with this release: