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.
Sony's new new smaller-than-average smartphone is getting a bit more appealing for the DIY crowd with official support for CynaogenMod, courtesy of the FXP dev group. Nightly builds for this device are now listed in the CM download portal.
Sony's Socialife is an attractive app, but it has thus far only found its way into the hands of a limited number of users. This isn't an indictment of its quality. Rather, it speaks to the app's previous exclusivity. The news reader and social network aggregator has only been available for Xperia phones, tablets, and Sony VAIO PCs. Now it's open to any Android device running Jelly Bean or higher. Here it is running on a Nexus 5.
Update: It looks like T-Mobile got cold feet. The support page has been reverted to its previous state, showing only the Android 4.2 update from November. Sorry, folks.
Do you use a Sony Xperia Z? Did you buy it from T-Mobile? Then check that Settings menu - according to this T-Mo support page, you're getting a taste of Jelly Bean 4.3 starting today. Of course these things tend to go out in waves, so those without patience can follow the links on T-Mobile's site and manually download and flash the new software (10.4.C.0.797) using the Sony PC Companion software.
At this year's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, three Android smartphone unveilings really did stand above the rest: Sony's Xperia Z2, LG's G Pro 2, and Samsung's Galaxy S5.
We know which one is going to sell best, which will have the biggest marketing budget, and which has more plastique - the Galaxy S5's success in spite any of any perceived shortcomings is all but assured. That's just kind of how these things go.
I've long had no issue admitting my inability to get excited about Sony's smartphone products. Often, they're too late to market here in the US, have specifications that while competitive are rarely groundbreaking, and really do very little on the software feature front. When I saw the Xperia Z1 at IFA last year, I just wasn't all that impressed - Sony's flagship still suffered from ridiculous screen viewing angle issues, and the UI felt almost no different from what Sony shipped with Ice Cream Sandwich.
Sony announced its new Xperia Z2 Tablet here at Mobile World Congress, so we swung by their booth on the show floor to get a hands-on with the next tablet flagship. This is the successor to the Tablet Z, now more fully aligned with the leading Sony phone in both name and hardware.
The first thing you notice when you pick up the Z2 Tablet is that it is thin. Crazy thin - 6.4mm, in fact, thinner than the previous tablet, thinner than any phone you're likely to get your hands on in the United States, thinner than the iPad Air by more than a millimeter, and lighter as well at only 425 grams.
Sony is showing off its own take on Google Glass at Mobile World Congress, and while the current name, the SmartEyeglass concept, doesn't flow as well as Google's, it already looks less weird. The company has managed to cram an accelerometer, compass, brightness sensor, embedded camera, microphone, and other bits of hardware inside a bulkier but otherwise normal-looking frame.
The company first unveiled the product at CES, and details remain scarce.