Fire OS is a solid operating system if all you need is the ability to consume Amazon content in various forms, but it just doesn't cut it for the nerdier stuff we pickier types get off on. In some ways, it's a shame, because Amazon puts out solid hardware at affordable prices. On the other hand, there's the option to wipe the slate clean, so to speak, and flash something more exciting onto the tablet.
Sony's typically quick about releasing the open source underpinnings of its devices. After having announced the Xperia T2 Ultra earlier this year, the company has now made the kernel files for the device available for download. The company's offering these files up for three variants of the device, the D5303, D5322, and XM50h. The software version for the first model is 19.0.1.A.0.207, while the latter two fall under 19.0.D.0.253.
Sony may not have the best track record when it comes to making its phones available across a wide number of carriers in the US, but it has no problem sharing its open source kernel files on a timely basis. The company officially announced the Xperia Z2 a month ago at Mobile World Congress, and now much of the handset's internal code is available for download on the web.
These files also apply for the Xperia Z2 Tablet, which Sony also unveiled at Mobile World Congress.
HTC got KitKat out to the HTC One relatively quickly, doing a decent job of updating its Sense UI in the process. Now it's time to get the update out to the flagship's multiple variants. We still don't have news of an impending OTA, but HTC has now made open source kernel files for the HTC One Max available online.
The Neo is a more affordable version of the Galaxy Note 3 that comes with a few compromises, most notably regarding its screen and camera. Samsung officially announced the handset at the end of last month and eventually revealed that it would not come to the US or the UK, but it would still be available in many other markets across the globe. The Neo hasn't launched yet, but Samsung has now made the device's kernel source files available to all.
Sony has a solid track record when it comes to quickly making open source kernel files available to the public. The company released them for the T-Mobile exclusive Xperia Z1s last week on the same day that the handset launched in stores. Now Sony is following through with the Xperia Z1 Compact just after launching the phone in Europe.
These files are what developers need to make the custom ROMs many of us can't get enough of.
Sony announced the Xperia Z1s at CES earlier this month, and it quickly showed up on T-Mobile's website. So Americans looking to just own the handset have had a week to order one online from the carrier, while those wanting a deeper relationship with the device - to love it for what's on the inside, rather than the outside - have had to wait a little longer. But now their opportunity has come as well.
Samsung has been cranking out the open source kernel files for the Galaxy Note 3 since before the device launched internationally. While the company didn't release files for every model all at once, if you take a look over at Samsung's open source site, you will find that they've been busy. They uploaded the open source kernel files for the AT&T and Sprint Galaxy Note 3's a couple of days after their release, and they're now upping their game by sharing the open source files for the Verizon Galaxy Note 3 (SM-N900V) a few days ahead of its intended launch date.