Sony hasn't always been the best at updating its phones, but the company does have a commitment to AOSP unlike most others. It contributes a lot of code to Android, and developers are encouraged to tinker with unlocked devices. In fact, Sony has just announced support for AOSP on the Xperia E3 and Xperia T3, meaning all Qualcomm-based phones from 2014 can run pure Android with very little hassle.
Google likes naming phones after fish, and according to a look we took at the recently released version of the new standalone Lens app, There's a new fish/phone named "Blueline" that Google may be planning. According to another leak, "Bonito" may be the name for Google's upcoming Snapdragon 710-powered device.
"Smartwatch. Reinvented." declares the title on the Neptune Pine's Kickstarter page. Did we need them to be reinvented? Have smartwatches been around long enough to need a complete reboot? Simon Ian and his team think that they do, and at least 404 people agree with him - they've pledged a total of $118,245 CAD towards the smartwatch in just over one day.
The project's title is also strange in that it's a bit of throwback: instead of being a companion device a la the Galaxy Gear, Sony Smartwatch, or Pebble, the Pine is more like a tiny, full-fledged smartphone that lives on your wrist.
Recently there's been arumor that Sony is planning on releasing stock AOSP ROMs (clean, Nexus-style builds of Android) for some of its high-end phones and tablets. It's easy to understand why Sony in particular might attract that kind of attention: the company has better support for aftermarket development than most, promptly releasing binaries and source code on the company's own GitHub and even some developer-grade AOSP builds. But as for consumer-ready, finished and fully supported AOSP ROMs? Yeah, that's not happening.
At least not yet. While this blog post says that some of the members of Sony's development team love the community that's grown up around its open source Android releases, there are no current plans to support retail Sony Xperia hardware with full AOSP ROMs.
It would appear that AOSPA isn't just back, it's here to stay. Today the developers for the project have announced a new release with a handful of new features, bug fixes, and support for six new devices, including the OnePlus One, Nexus 6, and one of our favorite new-old phones, the Nextbit Robin. New features include an Accidental Touch mode, Pocket Lock, and a new collaboration with Shuttle+.
Samsung has been muddying the waters of the Galaxy brand ever since it launched, and the Galaxy S4 has been sent to new depths, with no less than three "S4" variants following the original's release by only a few months. But the Galaxy S4 Active - the sporty, tough, waterproof version of Samsung's flagship - is the first of the company's myriad extended line that actually deserves the same name as its more mainstream brother. With specifications that match the US version of the S4 in nearly every category, plus a design that's both "ruggedized" and appealing, the S4 Active is worth a look for AT&T customers who want a top-of-the-line smartphone that they won't have to treat like a delicate flower.
After numerous nightly and monthly builds, CyanogenMod 10 is finally ready for its stable release. The custom ROM is already available to download for the Samsung Galaxy S II LTE, LG Optimus Black, and the Samsung Galaxy S III (both Verizon and Sprint models).
If you can't see a stable build of CyanogenMod 10 for your device just yet, hang tight, as some builds have been failing. Hopefully, the issue will be addressed soon, but we aren't sure how long this might take.
Who says that Nexus owners get to have all the fun? Yesterday an innocuous XDA thread claimed to have a beta version of an Android 7.0 build, ready and waiting for Huawei's dual-camera phone, the P9. Usually that sort of post when we're still weeks or months away from a full AOSP release of a new Android version is, to put it bluntly, bunk. But in this case, users who have flashed the ROM say that it's functional and apparently legitimate - Huawei's proprietary EMUI skin, marked as version 5, is running on top of Nougat. It's working on the EVA-L09 model; others may not be compatible.
The good news keeps piling up for owner of Sony's latest badass-est flagship, the Xperia XZ Premium. Not only did they discover it's one of Sony's most durable phones to date, but they can also benefit from better AOSP ROM development on it thanks to the Open Devices program, and now they'll also be able to watch Netflix content in HDR on its beautiful display.
The Xperia XZ Premium was just added to the very short list of Android phones that support "HDR" streaming on Netflix.
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.