Xperia owners, watch out. Lollipops are raining from the sky and smashing straight into your screens. If you welcome this phenomenon, don't do anything. These lollipops have heat-seeking sensors and will find your devices wherever they lay. If you prefer KitKat, you can swat the intruders away, but you'll never get to experience the future changes in store for your Android device.
Sony promised it would bring Android 5.0 to all its Z series phones, and now it's starting to live up to that. The newest generation Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact are first up. The OTA is rolling out now to devices in Nordic and Baltic countries, but other markets should follow within two weeks. There's a nifty demo video to go along with the announcement.
Sony's mobile division may be spiraling into oblivion, but that isn't stopping the company from dropping new hardware at Mobile World Congress. First up is the really hot Xperia Z4 Tablet, a very light and thin 10.1" tablet.
Sony's [email protected] app turns your Android device into a weapon in the war against diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's by contributing your spare computing power to research. It entered the Play Store in early January as a beta exclusively available to certain Xperia phones. Now Sony is expanding the experience to other hardware, including devices running Android Lollipop.
Here you can see [email protected] running on my HTC One M7, a non-Sony device with the latest version of Android.
While it's nice to see [email protected] opened up, the app is still incompatible with tablets and slightly older devices such as the Nexus 4, the Galaxy Nexus, and the Galaxy Note II (the Nexus 5 and the Note 3 are supported though).
A few images of Lollipop running on an Xperia phone have hit the web, and the most noticeable takeaway is what Sony has done to the navigation buttons.
The full-size screenshots can be found over in the original XperiaBlog post. All we care about is what's visible at the bottom of each. To put things simply, Sony has changed the icons, and not necessarily for the better.
Here are the on-screen navigation buttons on a Nexus device.
And here's what we're shown on an Xperia device running Lollipop.
In place of the circle that Google uses as the home button, Sony has inserted a house.
The one Nexus-style smartphone that's even bigger than the N6 is getting its Android 5.0 update today. At least a few owners of Sony's Z Ultra (nee Xperia) Google Play Edition are getting over-the-air updates to Lollipop, as evidenced by this XDA thread. Conveniently, one of those fine folks has found the link to OTA ZIP file, so you can download and flash it manually to your own phone if you don't want to wait for the rollout.
Sony is making it easier to get AOSP ROMs up and running on its flagship devices with a few goodies for developers. After showing off stock Android 5.0 running on the Xperia Z3 recently, the company has posted source code and binaries for the Xperia Z3, Xperia Z3 Compact, Xperia Z2, Xperia Z1 and Xperia Z1 Compact.
Sony's back to its AOSP tricks, working to release some functional (if not exactly ideal) versions of the latest release of Android based on open-source code. This time they've quickly put together Android Open Source Project builds for the flagships of the last two years: the Xperia Z1, Z2, and Z3. You can see the bone-stock builds running in the video below.
As always with Sony's developer promotions, these builds aren't intended for end users - they aren't provided with any kind of promise for reliability or functionality. They don't even include the Play Store or other standard apps, which many people (erroneously) think of as part of "stock" Android.