Sony is ahead of most other OEMs when it comes to its support of open source. It contributes significantly to AOSP and even releases binaries for many of its devices so developers can build AOSP ROMs for them. Today, Sony is announcing support for the first three 64-bit devices in the Open Device project.
There are a few things to keep in mind before you rush to the source page below. A wordpress error appears for links to the "easy-to-follow guide" and the "necessary software binaries" that you need to create a test image and flash it to your own device.
The FreeXperia team of contributors help maintain CyanogenMod support for Xperia devices, and they've done such a great job that Sony has decided to hire one of the group's developers. Alin Jerpelea was one of FreeXperia's founders in 2010, and he is now the newest member of Sony's Developer Program. Having already built up a reputation for his work bringing the freshest CyanogenMod ROMs to Sony devices, he will now help the company with its open source initiatives.
“I am very happy that Alin is joining us, as this is a great way for us to increase our activity on Android Open Source Project (AOSP) and other open source initiatives.
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.
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.
If you're using the T-Mobile variant of the slick Sony Xperia Z, check your notification tray - you might have a very welcome waiting for you. According to this T-Mobile support page, the Xperia Z is finally getting an over-the-air update. It's probably not what you were hoping for: the update brings the phone up to Android 4.2. You know, the version that's now over a year old.
If it makes you feel any better, it's been only five months since the Android 4.2 update was sent to the international version of the Xperia Z. (I guess that probably doesn't make anyone feel better.) Sony had announced its intention to update the Xperia Z, among other devices, to Android 4.3 way back in July...
When it comes to hardware aesthetics, Sony has some of the best industrial design around. The 6.4-inch Xperia Z Ultra is undeniably attractive in its glass and metal casing. The software isn't so appealing, and not just because it's Android 4.2 - Sony's custom interface leaves a lot to be desired. If you'd like to run something closer to AOSP, not to mention a latter version of Android, the indefatigable CyanogenMod team is now offering nightly builds of CM 10.2.
Sony usually leaves their hardware alone in terms of bootloaders and other anti-modding methods, so current versions of the Xperia Z Ultra should be good to go if you've got a custom recovery installed.