January 16, 2014 By: Samantha
HTC Sense 4’s approach to the recent apps interface function is probably the most unique and visually appealing of them all. As opposed to rather dull and stock(ish) vertically scrolling tiles of your recent apps, you get a full preview of an app, which you can swipe left or right to the next recent app—and all in snazzy 3D. And although it is true that this isn’t the most efficient way of navigating to a recent app, not everything in life is about efficiency.
So for users of the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc, Arc S, Pro and Neo who are getting a bit bored with their current look of the recent apps interface, XDA Senior Member Madaditya ported the Sense 4 recent apps interface to the aforementioned devices. However, only users running either the official Android 4.0 ICS firmware or CyanogenMod 10 on their devices will be able to install the port.
There are two ways of installing this mod with very little variation between the two. The first method is to simply flash the provided zip file called ‘Whole Mod’ through a custom recovery. This installs the mod with default settings. If you want to switch things up a bit, you can change the dimensions of the recent apps preview thumbnail by editing an xml file in the Framework-res.apk according to instructions, and flashing the zip file called ‘SystemUI only.’
December 7, 2013 By: Samantha
Ever since Google unveiled Android’s latest flavor, 4.4 KitKat, users have been on the edges of their seats, biting their fingernails in anticipation of trying it out on their own devices with an official update or with custom ROMs. This is no different for owners of the aging and relatively old Sony Ericsson Xperia devices of 2011, being the Xperia Arc, Arc S, Pro, Ray, Mini, Mini Pro, Active, Live, Neo and Neo V.
Thanks to the efforts of XDA Recognized Developer mikeioannina, users of the aforementioned Xperia devices will not be left out in the cold, as mikeioannina has brought Android 4.4 in the form of an unofficial CyanogenMod 11 build. Credit must also be give to XDA Recognized Developer nobodyAtall, whose Linux 3.0.8 kernel serves as the base of the Android 4.4 ROMs.
As of now, it is still at the Alpha stage, meaning there shouldn’t be any surprises if you happen to encounter bugs and flaws. But according to many responses from the XDA community, the ROM appears to be quite stable. Expectedly, some features still do not work at this stage, with the main ones being 720p video recording, FM radio, HDMI and WiFi hotspot. WiFi connectivity works, but still has a few kinks.
So for those who have been eagerly awaiting for an Android 4.4 KitKat ROM to appear on one of these devices, check out the respective forum thread for the Xperia Arc, Arc S and Pro, Ray, Mini, Mini Pro, Active and Live, and Neo and Neo V.
April 3, 2013 By: Samantha
The LED light found on many devices may be the only indication of notifications for many users. The downside is that the LED light, by default, is neither bright nor noticeable—and it could certainly be brighter. Users of the Sony Xperia Arc, Arc S and Pro running CyanogenMod 10 however, are enjoying a significantly brighter LEDs and reaping the benefits of such a simple modification. Sure, those who want brighter LEDs can set custom brightness values through third party apps, but the likelihood of the average user even knowing which particular value is suitable for their specific needs and wants is slim. Thankfully, XDA Forum Member om22 has created a nice little package that rids of all the complications of having brighter LEDs.
Om22 has created flashable Zips for the Xperia Arc, Arc S and Pro that can be conveniently flashed through recovery, resulting in differing LED brightness levels. Working with any stock Gingerbread-based and Ice Cream Sandwich-based ROM of version .587 and .13, three different packages are being offered:
Om22 has assured his users that these LED brightness packages should not damage the LED if used with aforementioned devices, however does not guarantee the same if tried with any other device. He is also taking requests to look into working with other devices.
Xperia Arc, Arc S, and Pro users interested in this modification may want to check out the original thread for more details.
Quick Edit: This mod is now compatible with all 2011 Xperia devices
December 25, 2012 By: Haroon Q. Raja
Do you have a Sony Xperia Arc, Arc S, Neo, Neo V, Ray, Mini, Mini Pro, Active, Pro, Live with Walkman, or another similar Xperia series device from 2011? Why not add a whole bunch of goodies, including a feature-loaded Smart Settings app and AOSP-style lock screen? We’ve got just the right mod for you. XDA Senior Member gagan.u20 initially built this mod for his Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo V, and has now shared it with us for all the aforementioned devices running a rooted stock ROM or a stock-based custom ROM.
The Smart Settings part of the mod offers CPU control, location-based Wi-Fi settings, Sony Bravia Engine 2, tabbed SystemUI with preferences for status bar customization, and the developer’s own lock screen style. And for those would prefer a different experience, you can also easily switch between AOSP-style and Xperia T-style lock screen.
So what are you waiting for? Head over to the forum thread, read the instructions, and start customizing your Xperia to your heart’s content!
Update: Please also visit this thread for the Xperia Neo by XDA Recognized Contributor Pandemic, which predates the efforts from gagan.u20 and may serve as an alternative for those running the device.
September 21, 2012 By: Former Writer
When it comes to multi-device releases, it doesn’t get much more straightforward than a widespread Sony Xperia release. Given how close the hardware and software is between devices, it isn’t overly difficult to get a single piece of software working on a number of devices. As such, unofficial AOKP Jelly Bean was ported to 14 Sony Xperia devices practically all at once.
XDA Recognized Contributor championswimmer, on behalf of the KangXperiaProject, brings us the ROMs. However, many thanks go to the FreeXperia Team, whose work was critical to the achievement. In championswimmer’s words:
It is very important to mention here that nothing, yes i repeat NOTHING was possible without the awesome work done by FreeXperia team for the community. For all 2011 devices we are using their device trees almost untouched. So all the hardware work (making camera, sensors, gralloc, hardware acceleration etc work flawlessly) is purely the credit of FreeXperiaTeam (FXP, bin4ry, defer and Kali- ) If there is anyone whom you really need to thank for Xperia devices being able to run CM9/AOSP/AOKP/MIUI or whatever non-stock ROMs it’s the great people like : ZdZihu, FXP, Bin4ry, defer, Kali-, KeiranFTW, DoomLord, Androxyde, Achotjan, Azuzu and many many more. The only thing that KXP team has done is made the devices and vendor trees fit into the groove of AOKP source tree and manage a buildable environment. Our contribution in KXP ROMs is much much less as compared to the contribution of Team Kang and Team FreeXperia. (Ofcourse on older devices we had to work a lot becuase FXP does not support them anymore)
The functionality varies depending on device. However, there aren’t more than two or three things broken per device, and none of it is bad enough to be considered unstable. In addition to releasing the ROMs for all these devices, KXP has also written up a nice tutorial showing users how to download and compile their own source code. So if users want to grab the latest and greatest or just tinker around, it is available. Do be advised, the tutorial for compiling is for 64-bit Ubuntu, and will require at least 10GB of disk space.
If you’d like to know more and see the full list of supported devices, check out the original thread.
August 22, 2012 By: jerdog
Sony has been one of the most proactive handset manufacturers as of late in releasing updates to their Android handsets, as we reported earlier this year. Now they’re rolling out firmware updates for the Xperia arc, Xperia arc S, Xperia neo, Xperia neo V, Xperia mini, Xperia pro, Xperia active and Xperia ray beginning this week. They had this to say on their Xperia Blog:
Starting from this week, Xperia arc, Xperia arc S, Xperia neo, Xperia neo V, Xperia mini, Xperia pro, Xperia active and Xperia ray will receive a new Ice Cream Sandwich software update that comes with bug fixes, performance tweaks and other improvements.
Xperia mini pro, Xperia neo L and Live with Walkman are next up, and will start to receive their serving over the next few weeks.
If you’ve already upgraded to ICS, you’ll receive a notification in your phone and be able to download it over-the-air. For those guys on Gingerbread, you’ll need to plug in and upgrade using PC companion or Bridge for Mac. For more information, please visit http://www.sonymobile.com/update.
As is always the case, you stand to lose root on your device with these updates if you’ve already applied a custom ROM. So if that is important to you (and why wouldn’t it be?) you can wait for the talented developers on XDA to provide a solution for you.
August 18, 2012 By: Ian Stacy
Some very exciting news has arrived from the Technical Lead of the Android Open Source Project at Google, Jean-Baptiste Queru. In a Google Groups announcement earlier this week, he revealed that the first-ever experimental device has been added to the AOSP tree—the Sony Xperia S.
This could mean great things for Android as an open source platform. For starters, this marks the first time since the release of the Nexus One that a non-Nexus phone (not many people will use a Xoom as a phone) is supported by AOSP. Additionally, it is the first Sony device to be supported.
This is being done in an effort to see if AOSP can live up to its goal of being a modular system that hardware-specific files can easily be added to. The Xperia S was picked as the next target because it’s a current-generation, powerful GSM device with an unlockable bootloader. It should be mentioned, however, that Queru is hesitant to throw the word ‘supported’ around lightly.
“I expect that we’ll need at least a few iterations before that can become usable as a day-to-day phone, and it’s unclear whether that’ll ever happen,” he wrote when questioned about the long-term goals of the project, “There’s a reasonable chance that it could be useful for people working at a lower level, literally several layers below the UI and applications that everyone is familiar with.”
Despite his trepidation regarding the possibility of bringing fully functional AOSP to the Xperia S, developers have rallied in support of the experiment and are offering to help. When considering the success of the CyanogenMod 10 build for the device, a working direct AOSP build seems highly likely. This is a great chance for developers to get involved with the official AOSP building process and to see how Google will approach it on this non-Nexus device. If you fit the bill and want to help out, you can find the original post in the Android Building Google Group.
The Sony Xperia line up has been rather busy in recent weeks. With the Xperia S lock screen being ported to five other Xperia devices and ICS AOKP getting ported to 16 Xperia devices, users have had a lot to do with their Xperia devices. The trend doesn’t seem to be stopping any time soon, as over half a dozen Xperia devices now have CM10 ports. Specifically, the Sony Xperia Ray, Sony Xperia Neo/NeoV, Sony Xperia Arc/Arc S/Pro, and the Xperia S.
Normally, there would be a laundry list of developers responsible for a laundry list of CM10 releases like this. That is not the case this time. XDA Recognized Developer FXP is actually responsible for all of them. In fact, FXP has released all the CM10 ROMs in the same threads as the CM7 and CM9 releases, making CyanogenMod really easy to find for these devices.
As expected, they are alpha builds. This means that there are bound to be bugs in each ROM—some of which may not be that bad, but a few could be deal breakers for now. While there isn’t a list in the thread that lists the bugs, users can use FXP’s bug tracker for each ROM to find out exactly what’s wrong. Users have reported that at least network, WiFi, camera, and a few other basic features indeed work. While it may not be great for daily use, it’s definitely stable enough to enjoy.
For download links and change logs, check out the corresponding links below.
In a world where it would seem handset manufacturers balk at rolling out new Android OS updates to their entire line (e.g. Samsung’s stance on the Galaxy S series), Sony continues to step up to the plate. By doing so, they become the first carrier in the industry to release ICS to an entire line of devices.
Beginning yesterday, they have made available the ICS updates for the Xperia Arc S, Xperia Neo V and Xperia Ray in Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Finland and Norway. This rollout will happen over the next 4-6 weeks, and they will be adding more global markets as well. The rest of the Xperia line will receive their update starting the end of May/early June, which will make the owners of the Xperia Arc, Xperia PLAY, Xperia Neo, Xperia Mini, Xperia Mini Pro, Xperia Pro, Xperia Active, and Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman very happy.
Kudos are definitely in order for Sony. If only the other manufacturers would follow suit, the entire industry as well as the consumer would benefit.
December 22, 2011 By: liwen
After Samsung, Sony Ericsson has also announced its plans for Ice Cream Sandwich updates. Also, not unlike Samsung, only its most recent models will get the update, exluding, for example, 2010’s Xperia X10.
If you’ve got a 2011 model, however, here’s the schedule for the phased rollout: starting in late March, the Xperia arc S, Xperia neo V and Xperia ray will get their skinned Android 4.0 goodness, while owners of the Xperia arc, Xperia PLAY, Xperia neo, Xperia mini and mini pro, Xperia pro and Xperia active will have to wait a month longer till late April.
December 15, 2011 By: Will Verduzco
Remember way back when Sony Ericsson tried to convince us that their skinned version of Android 2.1 Éclair was better than Android 2.2 Froyo, and thus an upgrade to vanilla Froyo would actually be a downgrade? After that PR nightmare, we were all shocked when Android 2.3 Gingerbread was released for the X10 in a relatively timely manner.
On behalf of the Sony Ericsson development team, XDA forum member KalleD has unleashed an official alpha build of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich for unlocked Xperia Arc S, Xperia Ray, and Xperia Neo V devices. With this release, Sony Ericsson has become the first non-Nexus smartphone OEM vendor to provide a legitimate (albeit alpha) Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich Upgrade! What a long way we’ve come.
We just released a blogpost http://developer.sonyericsson.com/wp…xperia-phones/ announcing that we have made an ICS alpha ROM available for users with very good tech skills. This means that you should have an unlocked boot loader http://unlockbootloader.sonyericsson.com, and have the knowledge to switch between different ROMs (read our blog post for further disclaimers ; ) ). Also, please note that the released SW is only applicable for Xperia™ arc S, Xperia™ neo V and Xperia™ ray. Xperia™ arc will not work, as it has different partition layouts.
Officially released ICS Alpha? This is almost too good to be true for us early adopters. Given that this is the first time Sony Ericsson has pulled a move like this, it is in everyone’s best interest to leave constructive feedback to ensure this soft of thing in the future. Hopefully other vendors can follow suit.
[Thanks to XDA Recognized Developer DooMLoRD for the tip!]