The Sony Smartwatch 2 companion app received an update last month that introduced a new watch face editor and some other enhancements. Now Sony is updating its SDK for developers to take advantage of these goodies. With the Sony Add-on SDK 3.0, developers can enable their apps to run in low-power mode, extending how long a user can go before having to plug in their watch. The change lets the app run in the foreground while the backlight is off.
Today's phones are big. They're practically trying to be HDTVs, which makes it hard to get them into your pants, and even harder to get them out. So Sony is releasing a teeny tiny phone for your phone that can answer calls with a microphone and a speaker. Insert Xzibit joke here. The BRH10 was shown off at Mobile World Congress back in February, and it's on pre-order at a few places, but you can't buy it yet.
The Xperia Z Ultra is an odd proposal from a hardware perspective. The huge 6.4" 1080p screen, Snapdragon 800 processor, and 2GB of RAM say "high end," while the 8MP rear camera lacking a flash seems a bit down-market. Perhaps that has something to do with possibly tepid sales at the phone's $679 price point... and also Sony's decision to lower it. XperiaBlog reports that the price for the phone has been dropped to $449.99.
“A mock-up image was mistakenly posted to the Sony Mobile Google+ page. The image has since been removed and we apologize for any confusion this may have caused. For our U.S. customers eager to find out more information about the availability of Xperia Z2, we are excited to share that the device will be coming to the U.S.
Taking the background in an image and blurring it is currently the big thing in mobile photography. HTC touted the feature when raving about the M8's duo camera. Google added a similar lens blur effect in the camera app it recently uploaded to the Play Store. Samsung, too, unsurprisingly packed this feature in alongside the plethora of others it crams into the Galaxy S5. Now Sony has uploaded its pre-existing effort to the Play Store, where it can more easily roll out future updates.
It doesn't matter which phone a Sony QX10 or QX100 owner uses, these cameras are better. The drawback is that the user experience is nothing short of awkward. One particular issue is slow NFC connection times, making it challenging to capture spontaneous shots (and aren't those the best kind?). Fortunately, this is the type of problem an update can address. Firmware version 3.0 is now available for both models, doing precisely that.
Sony has steadfastly refused to abandon its smart watch plans for Android Wear, which is totally its call. It might not work out well down the road, but you can get your hands on Sony's latest Smartwatch SW2 right now on the cheap. How cheap? Just $119.99 with free shipping (continental US only).
Sony's latest and greatest is getting a little bit better today as an update for the Xperia Z2 begins making its way out to devices. The Z2 was already on Android 4.4 KitKat, so there's no change on that front. The update (version 17.1.A.2.55) does include a number of notable tweaks and improvements, though.
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.