Sony may have disappointed by backing out of bringing Ice Cream Sandwich to its PlayStation-certified Xperia Play, but there are still several other Xperia devices out there due an upgrade to Android 4.0. Having recently dealt with the Xperia Arc and Neo, next up is the pint-sized pocket slider, the Xperia Mini Pro. As you might expect, this will include Sony's usual UI customizations, but considering the Xperia Mini Pro's rather unique form factor such additions may be welcome in this case.
Sony was among one of the first manufacturers to be completely transparent about bringing Ice Cream Sandwich to its devices. Throughout the process, the company has posted numerous entries on its blog regarding the process, where they were at with various devices, and even offered up downloads of the beta product for advanced users and developers to test out.
With the most recent post, however, comes a bit of bad news: the Xperia Play has been dropped from Sony's ICS upgrade path.
Sony, you really confuse me sometimes. The US is just about to get the Xperia Ion on AT&T, supposedly the Sony-branded flagship smartphone. The problem is that the Xperia GX just took that crown from the Ion - before it even came out. I'm not sure what Sony's grand master plan here is, but looking from the outside in, it seems like the company (that lost $5.7 billion last year - most of it in the fourth quarter alone) is flying completely and utterly blind.
An eager, eagle-eyed XDA member spotted a Google ad while searching for "xperia ion" that may be showing AT&T's hand concerning the release date of said device. One of a few ads that appear when searching for the device states that the Xperia Ion is "Coming Exclusively to AT&T in June." Well, that narrows it down a bit!
The ad doesn't give a specific date, but it does narrow down the date range significantly.
I know, I know. 4.0.2 sounds a lot like Android 4.0, but it isn't. It's actually Gingerbread 2.3.4, and Verizon Xperia Play owners who wish to rock out like it's May 2011 need only mash the update button.
The good news (in addition to the version bump) is that this update will let you take pictures with the right trigger (how did they not think of that earlier?), enable 720p video with continuous autofocus, and fix those crazy bugs like charging forcing landscape mode.
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.
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.
In a time when many users are wondering if an Android 4.0 update will ever come to their devices, it was a pleasant surprise that Sony was open enough to release a beta version of ICS for some of their devices - the Xperia Arc S, Neo V, and Ray. But they didn't stop there, as they have, "upon request," released a beta ICS ROM for the Xperia Play (or as you may know it, the PlayStation Phone).
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.
Sony completed its $1.47 billion acquisition of Sony Ericsson today, launching an aptly-named venture, Sony Mobile Communications. The Japanese conglomerate stated the official goal of Sony Mobile Communications in a statement announcing the transaction back in October:
The transaction gives Sony an opportunity to rapidly integrate smartphones into its broad array of network-connected consumer electronics devices - including tablets, televisions and personal computers - for the benefit of consumers and the growth of its business.