CyanogenMod 13 is the latest version of the popular open source custom ROM. It delivers Android Marshmallow to hundreds of devices, many with no hope of ever receiving an official update. On other hardware, CyanogenMod offers a chance to remove heavy skins and enjoy a mostly stock Android experience. The latest wave of devices receiving version 13 represents both types.
Team Win Recovery Project is the de facto standard for Android custom recoveries. While the open-source project often makes its way to disparate Android phones and tablets by the efforts of interested indie ROM developers, the maintainers of the project work tirelessly to bring official builds out as well. Today no less than seven new devices get the official treatment, and most of them are more niche, low-volume hardware that might not get major attention otherwise.
Owners of the Xperia T, TX, and V had a little hope before today that their beloved devices would see some of that KitKat goodness, but now their hopes lay dashed to bits at the feet of Sony's heartless engineers. These devices won't be making the jump to Android 4.4 KitKat, but will continue to live on with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean.
Let's forget about KitKat for a moment. A large number of Android devices out there still need an update to the latest version of Jelly Bean, and while many of them will never receive such an OTA, four of Sony's handsets are receiving one this week. The company is rolling out an update to the Xperia T, TX, SP, and V.
In addition to Android 4.3, the OTA brings updated Sony pre-installed apps, more integration between the company's media apps, and the launch of the new "Xperia Themes" custom interface. These are joined with the security enhancements that typically come with newer versions of software.
It seems that the CyanogenMod team is on a roll with Sony devices. Just yesterday the first nightly turned up for the Xperia ZL, and today the Xperia Z and Xperia V are joining the ranks. We know the two phones can survive water and boiling soup, but thanks to CyanogenMod, they will now survive the test of time with the latest versions of Android.
Definition: A "nightly" is a bleeding edge release that is built on a daily basis, usually at night after a full day's worth of new code has been committed.
It could oftentimes be unstable and not properly tested, lacking any changelogs, but eventually evolving into alphas, betas, release candidates, and finally stable releases.
I suppose you have to give Sony credit for at least keeping its customers informed. Today, the manufacturer announced an update to its plans for bringing its phones up to Jelly Bean. If you're rocking the Xperia T, Xperia TX, or Xperia V, you should see Android 4.1 "during February and March." Of course, this will depend on what market you're in or which variant you own.
Following those flagships, the Xperia P, Xperia J and Xperia go will start to receive their upgrades starting around the end of March. Following that release, the Xperia S, Xperia SL, Xperia ion and the Xperia acro S will be updated "in the subsequent weeks." Of course, schedules are always subject to change, but all of this information lines up pretty well with what we've heard before from the company.
Sony, as part of a trio of new phones, today announced the Xperia V at IFA. The Xperia V carries specs similar to the newly-announced Xperia T, but has a unique twist: the device is water and dust resistant, with the ability to withstand full submersion as deep as a meter for an estimated thirty minutes.
Those who enjoy promotional videos may also be interested in seeing Sony's "Xperia – Designing out Smartphones" video, which takes a look at just how this new lineup of devices came to be.
Besides water resistance, the Xperia V carries some impressive-sounding specs, from a 13MP camera to a 4.3" HD Reality Display powered by Sony's Mobile BRAVIA Engine.