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.
December 30, 2012 By: Former Writer
Many modifications are maintained for an extended period of time. However, sometimes mods are forgotten for a while and resurface with exciting changes. After all, new features on older apps can deliver an total facelift. Now, there is a modification for the Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini, Mini Pro, Active, and Ray that’s making a comeback.
XDA Senior Member serajr has updated a modification that first began back in July. Since then, it has been updated to bring some Jelly Bean-like goodness to Xperia devices in a friendly systemUI mod for those running Ice Cream Sandwich. The feature list includes:
- New JB style 23 toggles with tabbed slider controls (Created by Me from Scratch)
- New Me toggle (to edit it´s image or title, go to Contacts and edit Myself first contact)
- Fixed first Quick Panel row (3 top toggles – Me | Settings | Recent Apps)
- New JB style full screen notifications and quick panel expanded views
- New flip Notifications to Quick Panel transition animation
- New slide In/Out Quick Panel Toggles to Sliders transition animation
- All Toggles and Sliders in sync with android settings (observers added)
- Notifications is default view when opening Status Bar
- SystemUI Preferences screen now is opened by tapping device Menu button while on expanded notifications view
- 4 new customizable background images for Status Bar, Notifications, Notifications Header and Quick Panel
- Full working two state Status Bar open/close drag handle
- Preference to choose status bar opacity percentage or Use Custom Image
- Preference to enable/disable full screen notifications and quick panel expanded views
- Preference to choose Quick Panel Tabs screen position (top or bottom)
- Removed thin and gray notifications glow separators
- Fixed preference screen Quick Panel Tab force close issue
There is quite a lot of new stuff in this latest update, making it far more complete than prior versions. If you have one of the aforementioned Xperia devices and care for the look seen in the featured image, check out the original thread.
[Thanks to Till-Kruspe for the tip.]
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.
November 3, 2012 By: Former Writer
Making cameras better than they actually are has been kind of a trend here at XDA, as seen on the International Galaxy Note and the Nexus 7, among many others. Now there is a new mod for the Sony Xperia Ray, Active, Mini, and Mini Pro that adds a few new features.
This mod was released by XDA Senior Member Rizal Lovins. There may be some confusion because Rizal Lovins actually released a different camera mod for the Xperia Ray a couple of months ago. This new mod is for all four of the aforementioned devices. Some of the features include:
Camera Mod Fast Capture
Smooth HD Recording
HQ Stereo Audio Video Recording
Improved HD Video Audio to 256kbps From 128kbps
Format HD Video Recording changed to MPEG4 from H264 for better performance Smooth
100% JPEG Quality
If you’ve been wanting a little more out of your smartphone camera, this is definitely a mod for you to check out. It has been out for a few releases already, so it’s pretty stable. And after the latest updates, no one has reported any issues or bugs.
To learn more, check out the original thread.
October 25, 2012 By: Former Writer
Another Sony Xperia device was released recently. If you’re unfamiliar with the development culture of Xperia devices, that means that everything on the new Xperia device will be ported to every other Xperia device in short order. For now, though, the Sony Xperia Ray, Active, Mini, and Mini Pro have gotten a port of some Sony Xperia T goodies.
XDA Recognized Themer Pranav110089 has released a decently sized package of Xperia T goodies for the older Xperia devices. The initial release was reported as buggy, but Pranav110089 has been able to fix most of the bugs and the package is pretty much ready for daily use. The features includes:
* Xperia T Small Apps [Full Port for MDPI Devices]
* Xperia S lockscreen compatible
* Xperia GX and Jelly Bean like SystemUI [Without Any Bug]
* Removed Reboot Option [Because there is bug ]
[Still you can reboot via Notification Toggle]
* 30 Step volume MOD
For those who don’t know, Small Apps are actually applications that appear on your screen as windows. This is similar to the multi window feature on the Galaxy Note 2, except it doesn’t take up two halves of the screen. Installation is easy, just flash the package in recovery.
For additional details, check out the original thread.
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 25, 2012 By: Former Writer
It seems as though no device’s development is complete without a toolkit. Many devices have them, and many of them are compatible with more than one device. Some are pretty well known too, such as mskip’s Samsung Universal Toolkit or hasoon2000′s HTC toolkits. Despite being well known for cross device development sharing, there isn’t yet such a toolkit for the Sony Xperia 2011 lineup.
Looking to fill that hole is ROM Hub. Developed by XDA Senior Member xdevilium, the toolkit is compatible with a large number of Sony Xperia devices, including:
And there are a few more. The features of the toolkit are as expected for such a release, and include a number of features including:
Download and install stock firmware – Not all firmwares are online.
CWM for locked bootloader – untested.
Root – GB only.
Unroot – GB only.
Flash system image
Erase Data and Cache.
Install update.zip – not ROM zip.
Install ROM addons.
Install Boot animations – please suggest more.
XRH Backup – Backup & Restore system, data and cache.
XRH Nandroid Backup – Make a Nandroid backup when the device on.
NEW: Adding ICS Firmwares!
The toolkit is a very new release. New that the firmwares aren’t done uploading yet, so do give it some time before you start downloading all the stock firmwares you need. Also, users have reported that some anti-virus websites pop up a warning. These are false positives, as many flash tools are incorrectly marked as trojans. To learn more, head over to the original thread.
August 20, 2012 By: Former Writer
Given the extreme sharing nature of the Sony Xperia lineup, it was only a matter of time before the recently released Sony Xperia GX had its software ported to every other Sony Xperia device. Thus, the Sony Xperia Mini, Mini Pro, Active, and Ray all got a port of the Docomo app from the GX.
Posted to the forums by XDA Senior Member Till-Kruspe, the Docomo application is essentially the launcher from the GX, along with some applications on the side. Unfortunately, many of the options for it are still in Japanese and in need of translation, so it’s hard to identify all of the features. According to Till-Kruspe:
very fast and fluid…you can add up to 12 home screens…and there is “KISEKAE” which I think a theme setting (maybe) can’t understand because it is written in Japanese. Media player with Dynamic EQ…Nice UI with a lots of setting…can play videos as well…
It’s not difficult to install either, just side load it onto your device like any other APK file. Since there are no framework files to install, it’s probably compatible with many other untested devices as well. For download links and screenshots, head to the original thread.
In the past, we brought you news of the ICS Walkman app port to a couple of devices and the Walkman app ported to MDPI Xperia phones running Gingerbread. With the popularity of the Walkman port growing, so too is the number of devices it is ported to. With the Gingerbread port already solidly in place, the next step was porting the music application to Ice Cream Sandwich for the same devices.
The app is available for the Sony Xperia 2011 line running ICS, including the Mini, Mini Pro, Active, and Ray, and was posted by XDA Senior Member Rizal Lovins. The application installation process is rather simple. Download the recovery-flashable update.zip and flash in a custom recovery.
There are a few issues, however. A common problem is the Sound Enhancement forces closes for some, along with a few other bugs. For Sound Enhancement issues, users are instructed to clear data. It has also been suggested by some users to disable xLoud, as it’s known to interfere with the application. Otherwise, users are reporting that it works pretty well.
To learn more, head to the original thread.
June 5, 2012 By: Former Writer
Bloatware sucks. It takes up space and is usually comprised of applications that no one wants. Even worse, in some cases, it even runs in the background constantly and causes diminished battery life and performance.
While some carriers and OEMs have recently begun curbing this nasty habit, many older devices will never get this improved treatment. That’s one of the many reasons why users root their phones. However, many users aren’t always sure which applications are safe to remove. This why there’s automatic bloat remover tools.
XDA Senior Member Knight47 has released such a tool for the Xperia Mini, Mini Pro and Active that browses through your system and removes every piece of junk that’s safe to get rid of. The tool is very simple to use and could even be classified as a one-click solution. Users simply need to download the tool and run it from their computer, while the phone is plugged in and USB debugging is enabled. After that, the tool does the rest. Additionally, if there are any apk files you need to side-load, the application allows you to batch install them.
Continue on to the application thread to get started.
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.
While camera quality may not be the key determinant as to which phone to buy, it’s always nice to know that your camera can shoot decent footage or pictures in a pinch. Some users, however, do depend on their phones to double as their camera. For those people, any camera modification that makes things a little better or easier is always a good thing.
Thankfully, many phones in the 2011 Sony Ericsson Xperia Lineup now have a mod to deliver 10 Mbit, 720p video recording thanks to XDA Senior Member hansip87. The mod is available for both ICS and Gingerbread, and should work on most Xperia devices from the Ray to the Pro.
The mod itself comes in the form of a recovery flashable update.zip. Users have a choice between Gingerbread and ICS versions, as well as a version for MDPI devices, with the Pro having its own version. Hansip87 also outlines how to change the JPEG compression level on the ICS camera, thanks to previous work by XDA Forum Member larut.
For additional information, download links, and a very short Q&A, head on over to the modification thread. As usual, don’t forget to make a backup, just in case something goes wrong.