March 8, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
The White House replies to the SIM-unlocking petition, and they agree! That story and more are covered by Jordan when he reviews all the important stories from this week. Jordan talks about Sony Mobile releasing a develop build of Firefox OS and Jordan mentions his video of Boot2Gecko. Jordan talks about the mods collection for the Xperia P, U, Go and Sola.
Jordan talks about the other videos released this week on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV Producer and newcomer Steve gives a Windows Phone App Review of CloudMuzik, Elite Recognized Developer AdamOutler released a video on GPIO and the Raspberry Pi, and XDA Developer TV Producer TK released an Android app review of Carbon. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
Unless you have been living under a rock (or at the very least away from access to XDA), you will have likely noticed that a somewhat unlikely company has become developer’s best friend. Sony’s mobile division has gone through massive changes in terms of ideology and support of developers and the mobile scene. Said support ended up earning them the OEM of the Year “award” (essentially consisting of bragging rights for an entire year) due to their continued investment in the community with time and resources from their engineering teams. On top of that, they are trying to abide by the law of the land, also known as GPLv2, by releasing kernel sources in a very, very timely fashion. However, their love for what they do seems to not stop where Android ends. Much like Samsung/Intel has done with Tizen OS, the Japanese manufacturer is exploring other venues to further the evolution of mobile platforms. The most recent development, announced at a press conference, introduced the new project that they are working on together with the telecom giant, Telefonica: Firefox OS.
We have briefly covered this new OS a few times in the past. The first indications and projects on this came from the Boot2Gecko project (which is the code name for FFOS), in which ports of this OS were/are being done for several Android devices. The OS itself, in case you are not familiar, is a web-based OS that mainly uses open web standards for all of its application and overall ecosystem (somewhat similar to Chrome OS). The main appeal of this is that it is not restricted by proprietary hardware or even by specific coding languages, thanks to a wide array of APIs for developers to bring their applications. The OS structure essentially consists of 3 parts: Gonk (middle-ware including HAL, libraries, and the Linux kernel), the Gecko runtime layer for running and managing code, and Gaia, which is your UI/desktop/user environment. Seeing the growing success of Chrome OS and web/cloud based technologies as a whole, taking a crack at this is a rather obvious choice.
Sony decided to start off small and has provided a free, easy to set up, developer version of this OS to current Xperia E owners. This is but a preview, alpha version of the OS. As such, quite a few things may/will be broken. In other words, if you are going in on this thinking of making it your daily use OS, you may want to rethink things. Having said that, if you are a developer trying to get a glimpse of what Sony and Mozilla have in store for the near future, you should definitely check it out. The announcement has all necessary instructions and requirements to install this on the Xperia E, and who knows? Maybe with enough tweaks, blood, sweat, and tears, it could end up getting ported to newer Xperias as well. Only time will tell at this point.
Good move Sony, good move.
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[Thanks to OEM Relations Manager jerdog for the tip!]
Recently, we created two new forums for your browsing pleasure. The first is for a phone that we recently examined during our time at CES, the Sony Xperia Z. The second isn’t for a physical device, but rather for Mozilla’s Firefox OS.
The Xperia Z is Sony’s flagship device for early 2013. The device is dominated by a 5″ 1080p display, featuring an incredibly high pixel density of 441 ppi. In order to power such a screen, the device features a 1.5 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, backed by the speedy Adreno 320 GPU. The Xperia Z also features 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB of internal storage, and a microSD card slot capable of taking up to 32 GB cards. The svelte 7.9 mm device not only packs high end specs, but is also water- and dust-resistant. Boasting IP55 and IP57 water resistance ratings, Sony claims that it’s able to withstand shallow submersion for up to 30 minutes.
Next up is Firefox OS. Mozilla’s offering to the mobile OS landscape has been seen running on several devices under its previous alias, including the Samsung Galaxy S II and the Motorola Defy. Last year, however, we saw Firefox OS emerge as the continuation of Boot to Gecko. Needless to say, having another Open Source offering to choose between and develop for won’t be a bad thing. And now that the first Firefox OS developer phones have been revealed, perhaps this may come into fruition sooner rather than later. However, one has to wonder if this will actually gain traction, given the current state of two-party dominance and the difficulties faced by later entrants. Plus, let’s not forget about Ubuntu for Phones!
Those looking to join the discussion can do so by visiting the links below: