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.
Update: The app has been removed from the Play Store. Good job, Google/Sony/users who flagged the app.
Oh dear. The folks at XperiaBlog got a nasty shock when checking the My Apps section of the Play Store on an Xperia Z3: the Backup & Restore app (a default application pre-installed on the phone) seems to have been compromised. A Play Store page has been added for the app, and now shows "Nirav Patel Kanudo" as the publisher.
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.
Over the last week there have been a rash of reports that folder with labels mentioning the Chinese search engine Baidu have been appearing on phones. The most obvious and prominent examples have been Sony's new Xperia Z3 series of phones and others running KitKat. Many users (and media outlets) jumped to the conclusion that these files were evidence of spyware, perhaps bolstered by recent and more credible reports of digital spying and hacking linked to the Chinese government.
If you live in a real-life version of the latest James Bond or Spider-man flicks, where absolutely every piece of electronics everywhere is made by Sony, then we've got good news: the PS4 Remote Play app is now available for download. This lets the Xperia Z3, Z3 Compact, and Z3 Tablet Compact use a PlayStation 4 controller and super-fast streaming video to play PlayStation 4 games over a home Wi-Fi network.
Today is a good day if you like big, powerful phones, and if you want (or need) to use them on Verizon. The Galaxy Note 4 and the Xperia Z3v, the current flagships of Samsung and Sony, have both launched on Big Red. You can pick up a Galaxy Note 4 for $299.99 with a new contract or a whopping $699.99 without one. The Xperia Z3v is slightly cheaper at $199.99 and $599.99.
Sony's latest and greatest has been expected on T-Mobile for a few weeks, but now it's official. The Xperia Z3 will be available from T-Mobile on October 29th in stores. However, there's an online-only pre-sale kicking off on October 15th, meaning you can get the phone shipped before it's in stores.
The Xperia Z3 has the same 20.7MP camera most of Sony's recent phones have used, but the other specs are a bit improved with a 5.2-inch 1080p screen, 3100mAh battery, Snapdragon 801, and 3GB of RAM.
Sony releases a new flagship smartphone roughly every other month. That's a complete estimate. Sony isn't on my radar much because its phones often don't usually come to US carriers, and when they do, it's months late. Such is not the case with the new Xperia Z3, which is coming to Verizon as the Z3v later this month.
When Google first pulled the lever on Chromecast's screen casting, the functionality was limited to a select number of devices. Well, it still is, but the list is slowly growing, and we've noticed that the Sony Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact have made their presence known towards the bottom. This puts them in the same exclusive club as a number of Nexus, Galaxy, One, and G devices (boy is it awkward to say these names without the manufacturer attached).