Despite being one of the most developer-friendly OEMs, Sony isn’t quite known for its timely Android firmware updates. But despite this, Sony has already managed to update its 2013 flagship devices to the latest version of Android.You may recall that a little over a month ago, Sony “indirectly confirmed” their plans to officially update the Xperia Z, Xperia ZL, Xperia ZR, and Xperia Tablet Z to Android 4.4 KitKat sometime this month. Now with just a week and a half left in May, Sony is finally making good on their plans by rolling out the official KitKat goods to the aforementioned last generation devices.
News of this firmware rollout comes straight from the official Sony Mobile blog, and states that the firmware will begin rolling out to select regional variants, starting today. So what does this update bring? According to Sony, we get KitKat, a PS4-like interface, revised status bar and quick settings, revised first party apps, Xperia Themes support, and compatibility with the new SmartWear wearables experience.
As stated on the Sony blog:
- Google’s Android 4.4; KitKat as standard – bringing improved performance & user interface (UI) optimisation…
- If you’ve got a Sony PlayStation 4, you might recognize our new user interface – we’ve added the same sleek launch animation and live wallpaper across the lock and home screens. You’ll also spot a revamped Status Bar and Quick Settings… now more intuitive and customisable (also with a fresh new look)… cleaned up to ensure you only get the notifications you really need
- As you might expect, we’re also uplifting Sony’s entire native app portfolio to the latest versions bringing tweaked / improved / current experiences for one and all… some of our favourites look like:
- Messaging – a few UI adjustments here & there, including a slicker “send” animation, and deeper Emoji support for some expressive fun… also worth noting, you’ll find smileys wherever there’s an app with a keyboard
- Email – you’ll be able to both load and see more mails… but don’t fret, navigation of said load is easier with a more responsive viewing pane – split screen modes divide info for easy digest… especially useful / works a treat on Xperia Tablet Z
- Smart Social Camera – our social imaging experience makes its debut on our first Z Series devices; a selection of Xperia Camera apps directly accessible from your viewfinder… including personal favourite “Creative Effect”, and more for download to boot!
- Battery STAMINA Mode - level-upping our unique power management feature, bringing smarter data management & more for prolonging your juice
- Sony’s Media apps: WALKMAN, Album and Movies, with Sony Entertainment Network cloud service integration* – a more converged and full Sony entertainment experience – Sony Entertainment Network & PlayMemories integration with a more intuitive UI, better download speeds, and more…
- And proving pretty popular, now totaling over 2 million downloads (!) – our unique custom interface experience: “Xperia Themes”, with downloadable UI packs from Sony Select – skin up to 280 assets across your Xperia smartphone with a variety of styles…
- Compatibility with our SmartWear Experience; SmartBand SWR10 and Lifelog app– enabling you to record social, physical and entertainment activities and have them all visualised in a beautiful interface… reminisce at that past, make the best of the present and plan for the future
Although most other former flagships from the same era have already received KitKat long ago, these updates are definitely better late than never. Now let’s hope the worldwide rollout is as quick as possible.
Luckily for Xperia Z owners, XDA Recognized Contributor Jozinek has captured and mirrored the update for your sideloading / ROM building pleasure. However, the same cannot be said for the other devices. That said, we’ll update this thread with the OTAs for the ZL, ZR, and Tablet Z once they’re available. But until then, you can head over to the Xperia Z, Xperia ZL, Xperia ZR, and Xperia Tablet Z to look for the firmwares once they’re found and captured._________
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