Google won a lot of minds when it unveiled Android Wear, and Motorola made off with a ton of hearts when it followed up with the Moto 360. The thing is, not everyone wants a device that's so integrated with their Google accounts, and this leaves room for earlier smartwatch manufacturers to wiggle. The Sony SmartWatch brand has been around long enough to draw quite a few apps into its ecosystem, making it worth a look for some.
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.
One of the many, many wearables we saw at Mobile World Congress is now available for purchase, even if it is a little hard to find. Sony's Smartband SWR10, the company's answer to the Fitbit and similar devices, is now shipping from an Amazon reseller. We're not sure why one Amazon vendor seems to have it before everyone else, even before Sony's own store, but it's there if you want it.
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.
It's been scarcely a week since Android Wear exploded into the wearable scene, and everyone's been wondering about what will become of existing smart watch platforms. In the case of Sony's SmartWatch 2 (SW2) and SmartBand, it's full steam ahead. Yes, Sony isn't planning any Android Wear devices right now.
Lots of talk out there today. We’re focused on SW2 & SmartBand right now, but door’s def not closed to #AndroidWear - early days...
Sony has been doing an admirable job keeping its Android hardware on the latest releases, and today they're bringing KitKat to three of the newest phones in their lineup. The flagship Xperia Z1, the slightly smaller Xperia Z1 Compact, and the super-sized Xperia Z Ultra all get an Android 4.4 upgrade starting now, according to this Sony Mobile blog post.
We haven't actually seen any updated devices from tipsters, and Sony makes the usual disclaimer that the rollout may vary by location and carrier.
Sony's released another Xperia-exclusive app into the Play Store, and while this piece of software does extend what your phone's camera is capable of, it isn't quite the Zperia Z1's Timeshift Burst feature that the company posted to Google Play a few months back. This one's just for laughs. Voice Balloon Photo is a dedicated camera app, but rather than improving the quality of your shots, it adds character by capturing the voices around you and turning them into speech bubbles in real-time.