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.
Some devices just refuse to die, no matter how long they’ve been around. That said, a team of devoted developers has come together to bring the Linux kernel 3.0.8 to every 2011 Xperia device. The last official kernel release from Sony (Ericsson) for 2011 Xperia Devices was version 2.6.32.
XDA Recognized Developer nobodyAtall based this kernel on the ‘M7630AABBQMLZA404033I’ CAF tag, which is ‘the latest tagged release for this arch and is linux 3.0.8.’ The supported devices and the developer behind each one are as follows:
The kernel for each of the listed devices is available for download and testing from the kernel thread. The kernels for the Mini, Live with Walkman, Pro and Neo and Neo V are said to be bootable and usable, with near 100% functionality, while the rest are still at various stages of development (at the time of writing). More detailed status for each of these kernels can be found in the discussion thread.
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 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 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.
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.
One of the coolest things about hacking Android is cross compatibility between phones. With frameworks and system files being used over and over again by OEMs, it’s becoming more and more likely your device is compatible with other devices from the same company. The Sony Ericsson Xperia line up shares a particularly diverse range of mods that they share among one another, as making it work on each phone requires little to no effort on the parts of developers. Make a mod and changing maybe a couple lines of code can make it compatible with pretty much every other Xperia phone.
With this in mind, XDA Senior Member sdk16420 has compiled a list of mods that work on the Xperia Neo that are actually from other phones in the Xperia line up that, with no modification required at all, work on the Xperia Neo. The list is pretty extensive and includes things like themes, mods, tweaks and even some ROMs that will work on the Xperia Neo. Such mods include 30-step volume bar and various status bar mods and even a couple of ROM tweaks such as V6 Supercharger script and the ever popular MIUI Music Player are listed along with about a couple dozen others.
To see the full list, check out sdk16420’s thread. Most of them are flashable via recovery so they’re easy to use. As always, be sure to make a backup before using as they are for other devices and can potentially cause problems.
March 9, 2012 By: Former Writer
Some of the most underrated modifications that developers make are the status bar widget modifications. Being able to pull the status bar down and change everything from 2G and 3G (on some phones, even 4G), turning Bluetooth and WiFi on and off and even having a flashlight toggle.
XDA Senior Member hansip87 released a modification for the Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray that gives Ice Cream Sandwich users a 15-button status bar. The developer is also adapting the mod for the Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo and the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc. The modification is pretty simple and actually includes more than one mod. Not only is there a 15 button status bar widget included, but it also includes a 6-in-1 mod, specifically for ICS. If it is anything like the 10 in 1 Gingerbread Mod for the Xperia Ray, users can expect to see features like 2G/3G toggling, Bluetooth and WiFi toggles and even a flashlight toggle.
The mod, while still available for use, still has a few things to work out before the final version is released. According to the developer:
In ICS the mod is reduced to 6, since some mod is unapplicable, already inside ICS, or already merged to other mod (e.g. 15 button in status bar widget). So the only thing left is:
1. 30 step Volume
2. Reboot Menu
So for anyone who’s wanting some modified goodness for their Ray, they can check out screenshots and download links in the original thread. For Arc and Neo users, you’re still on the wait list, but launch threads have been set up for the Neo and the Arc so keep your eyes peeled there for releases. As always, don’t forget to make those backups before flashing anything.
February 26, 2012 By: Former Writer
For the unaware, there is a bug for some Sony Ericsson Xperia phones—namely the Xperia Neo and the Xperia Arc—which causes the battery gauge to misread the charge as 0%. Though there is no inherent danger, the bug is still annoying. The bug primarily appears when users downgrade from 2.3.4 to 2.3.2. XDA Senior Member Bazoocaze has posted a workaround for the Neo and Arc to make the 0% bug a thing of the past.
FuelGaugeApp fixes the 0% bug and gives users accurate battery monitoring. Using it is very simple—just install it like you would any other 3rd party apk. The patch has also been integrated into several kernels, some of which are ICS friendly. Despite the ease of use, the method itself is a little convoluted and it’s very highly recommended that anyone who attempts this read the detailed FAQ featured in the Xperia Arc thread.
February 15, 2012 By: Former Writer
When a phone gets rooted, things can go a little haywire. The guide to get root is separate from the guide to unlock the bootloader and those are separate from the guide to install a custom recovery, etc. Then there comes the issue of not having the most popular phone out there and development isn’t what it should be. Download links get broken, methods become old and things just go down hill.
Well, thanks to people like XDA Senior Member vimjam, that won’t be happening to users carrying the Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo. vimjam has released an updated method that will give users root, unlock the bootloader, install ClockworkMod Recovery and walk new users through installing a ROM.
The process sounds run of the mill. However, unlocking the bootloader takes some know how and even though vimjam has supplied a step by step guide with pictures, it is only recommended that users try it if they’re confident that they know what they’re doing as it appears that there is some hardware modifications involved.
For those carrying the Xperia Neo and have been looking for that method to help them out, you can find all the methods in the original thread along with information, screenshots and even a how to if you do not want to risk unlocking the bootloader.
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.