You weren’t able to set foot on the Interwebs for the past 48 hours without being bombarded by a never ending stream of news about Chromecast, the new Nexus 7, and of course the updated software it will be running, Android 4.3. As with any update to the Android OS, the usual clamor for factory images and race to bring the update to other Nexus devices has been as frenzied as always. However, it’s not only Nexus devices that are able to take advantage of the latest AOSP updates.
Thanks to a combination of Sony Mobiles efforts to be the Good Guy Greg of Android OEMs and XDA Developer Admin pulser_g2, Sony Xperia Z users can now get a feel for “stock” Android 4.3 on their device. The build is compiled by adding the Sony repository to AOSP 4.3, and as with other Sony AOSP releases, there is no functional radio included. Therefore, no calls/SMS/mobile data (this can be rectified though if you know what you’re doing, and that’s all I have to say about that). For this reason, the build is provided as a fastboot image and not a flashable zip. This is compiled for and tested solely on the C6603, so don’t go throwing this at another model and expecting it to stick.
Obviously, without a radio this isn’t going to be your daily driver. However, it’s certainly worth a look if you want to check out the latest update and don’t have a Nexus device laying around. Check out the development thread for more information.