Nothing lasts forever. As it is with leftovers, so it is with Android phones, or at least their manufacturers' willingness to expend time and money updating the software. XperiaBlog reports that Sony announced a dozen of its older Android phones won't be getting any more software updates. That means no software at all, not just major Android version bumps. The former flagship Xperia S and its American cousin the Xperia Ion are probably the most popular phones among them. Here's the full list, complete with the last major Android revision officially released:
Xperia S (4.1)
Xperia ion (4.1)
Xperia P (4.1)
Xperia J (4.1)
Xperia U (4.0)
Xperia SL (4.1)
Xperia arc S (4.0)
Xperia acro S (4.1)
Xperia go (4.1)
Xperia miro (4.0)
Xperia sola (4.0)
Xperia tipo (4.0)
All the models in that list are at least 18 months old, with some stretching to two years.
A post on the Sony Xperia Product Blog this morning said that the update will be coming to the arc, arc S, neo, neo V, mini, pro, active, and ray "starting from this week". Depending on the country that you live in, you may have to wait a little longer for the update, as it will have to be approved by local carriers before it's rolled out.
Sony has done an excellent job at being transparent with its progress on the bringing Ice Cream Sandwich to a number of Xperia devices. It has kept users aware of what's going on throughout the process, as well as shared alpha and beta builds along the way. Now, though, it looks like the beta days are behind them and the build is ready for prime time for a certain Xperia devices.
The rollout will being with unlocked variants of the Xperia arc s, neo v, and ray (seriously, Sony, stop with the lowercase device names. It looks awful) in Nordic Countries and will continue over the next four to six weeks.
CyanogenMod (CM) has long been the modding community's custom ROM of choice, and for good reason: it takes the goodness that is basic Android (AOSP) and adds a hearty dose of all-around improvement. The list of devices supported by CM is quite a long and impressive one (truth be told, they do a better job of supporting devices than the manufacturers do), and last night, cutting-edge nightly CM9 releases dropped for the Sony Xperia Arc (Anzu) and Xperia Neo (Hallon).
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.
Before Sony Ericsson became Sony Mobile, the company seemed committed to developing an Android 4.0 update, going so far as to release alpha ROMs for a number of Xperia devices, and more recently a beta for the Xperia Play. Here we are, a quarter of the way into 2012, and Xperia owners are still gnawing on last year's official Gingerbread. Although, there may finally be a light at the end of the tunnel; the Sony Mobile blog has announced that the first Android 4.0 updates will roll out to select Xperia phones in mid-April. Don't get too excited when wireless carriers are involved though.
Back in December of '11, Sony [Ericsson] released an Android 4.0 alpha ROM for the Xperia Arc S, Neo V, and Ray. The Sony dev teams has now released an update to this ROM, bringing into its beta stages.
Since the previous release, Sony has made a number of improvements to the ROM, including an updated UI, improved lockscreen, activated GSM modem and FM radios, and a quick dialer.
Unfortunately, Google Apps are not available for this ROM, nor are Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, as they're both still waiting for approval before they can implemented into the product.
If you intend on flashing this ROM, however, you need to be aware that it's intended primarily for developer use, and there are still a lot of quirks.