When you gather all these devices together for an update, there's no doubt Sony really loves the letter Z. Apparently it also loves KitKat, because all these devices are about to get their Android 4.4. KitKat updates. It's more than a number in this case – Sony has made some substantial tweaks.
While the Nexus elite have since moved on to KitKat, there are still a lot of devices just getting by with some flavor of Jelly Bean. At least Sony is keeping its promise of updating devices to the latest version of that sweet-themed platform. Android 4.3 is beginning to make its way to the Xperia Z, Xperia ZL, Xperia ZR, And Xperia Tablet Z.
When Sony released the Xperia Tablet Z back in May, it turned out to be a surprisingly good tablet. Only six months have passed since then, and while numerous alternatives have come out in that time, it's still a solid piece of hardware. Now, listen close. If you don't have any qualms about using pre-owned hardware, you may be pleased to know that you can currently get this 10-inch tablet for just $235, a price that is significantly lower than its $499 launch price and only marginally more expensive than a Nexus 7.
What kind of barbarian would take the living room tablet into the bedroom? Or the bedroom tablet into the den? Outrageous! You need to have a tablet for each room if you want to be a civilized human being. Sony gets that, which is why it has announced the Xperia Tablet Z Kitchen Edition. It's the regular Tablet Z, but with some cooking-oriented accessories (and a higher price tag).
Internally, this is the same Xperia Tablet Z we've seen before with a Snapdragon S4 Pro, 2GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage.
Xperia Tablet Z WiFi owners, the time has come for you to make the jump to Android 4.2.2. The latest firmware update, version 10.3.1.C.0.136, updates the six-month tablet to the next version of Jelly Bean and brings with it a slew of features worth salivating over, such as support for 64GB SD cards, and some that may be more subjective, such as the transition from a tablet UI to a phone UI.
When I checked out the WiFi-only version of the Xperia Tablet Z I was surprised by how solid it was. One of my main gripes was the old software and the UI that came with it. Well, the first variant of the Tablet Z is now getting an update to Android Jelly Bean 4.2.2, and it changes the interface to a hybrid of the old UI and new UI used on the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10.
It's been less than 24 hours since Google announced Jelly Bean 4.3 and published the new code to the Android Open Source Project, and Sony is already talking up their plans for phone updates. That's what I call customer service! In a short blog post, Sony confirmed a 4.3 update for six of their latest phones and (one) tablets:
This isn't necessarily an exhaustive list, and no timeframe has been announced.
In their never-ending quest to bring CyanogenMod to every Android device on the face of the planet (or at least all of them with unlocked bootloaders, modern hardware, and a big user base - not all that many, in fact, forget I mentioned it) the CM team is expanding the 10.1 build to three new devices this weekend. The unlocked international LTE version of the Galaxy S4 (GT-i9505) and Cricket's branded variant both get new nightly builds of the ROM, as does the WiFi-only version of Sony's Xperia Tablet Z.
Sony has taken a real beating in recent years. Even after shedding the dead weight of the Ericsson joint venture, Sony has yet to find its stride. The Xperia Z smartphone was a valiant effort, but other OEMs are overshadowing that device as 2013 drags on.
The less competitive Android tablet space might be where Sony can revive the Xperia name and win the hearts of Android users. And this is the device Sony is hoping does it: the Xperia Tablet Z.