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.
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 14, 2012 By: Haroon Q. Raja
Smartphone cameras have come a long way—from being mere spec entries in the mid 2000s, to the serious point-and-shoot competitors of today. While most smartphones today come equipped with pretty decent cameras for point-and-shoot purposes, there is often room for improvement. If you’ve got a Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray and want to add features like fast photo capture and smooth HD video recording with high quality stereo sound, we’ve got a mod for you.
XDA Senior Member Rizal Lovins has taken MooDeD Camera ICS for Xperia Arc by XDA Senior Member jader13254 and modified it for the Xperia Ray, adding a few improvements in the process. The mod is meant for Ice Cream Sandwich only, and has been tested to be fully working on the official 4.0.4 ICS ROM for the device.
The mod can be flashed from a custom recovery. After installation, be sure to clear data on the camera app. For more information, head over to the forum thread.
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 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.
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.
As many people already know, Sony has been releasing a lot of ICS Xperia Source Code recently. Coupled with Qualcomm’s release of Adreno 2xx GPU drivers for ICS, developers of the Xperia line up have been up to their elbows in new code to play with.
Not all code is perfect, however, and for some devices, namely the Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray, the GPU libraries proved problematic, causing a few bugs with the video driver with camera preview and video playback. XDA Forum Member arcatarc has taken the video driver and, well, fixed it.
The modified driver has had positive reviews from the testers so far and seems to fix all the problems with the video driver from Qualcomm. Says arcatarc:
hi all,as you know Qualcomm released a new updated driver for ICS
But the problem is that the original package causes a problem with camera preview.
I managed to resolve(?)this by using the original eglsubAndroid.so.
So..here you are,the NewAdrenoICS.zip is the originalupdate(camera bug),NewAdrenoICSSony.zip is the modded one,use OriginalAdrenoICSSony.zip to revert back to original.
The method of installing the modded driver is as easy as it gets. Simply make a backup, because you know should always make a backup before flashing anything, and flash the .zip in recovery then reboot. For those who want to check it out, you can find the download links and user feedback in arcatarc’s thread. Don’t forget to leave some feedback if you try it so others know how it will work.
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.
March 9, 2012 By: Former Writer
ROM development is a challenging and lengthy process. A number of developers have created tools to make the process a little easier, such as various kitchens, APK Tool, and APK Manager; but the down and dirty of ROM making still requires quite a bit of study to achieve.
XDA Senior Member jjdoctor has contributed to new developers working on the Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray by releasing a method for people to port their favorite ROMs from the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc and Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo. The method is lengthy, a little complicated, and definitely not for the feint of heart. It runs the gamut on porting from adding camera libs to making the audio, GPU, and LED lights work. It even includes how to write the updater-script. There’s also a .zip that will do all the work for you, but as the guide author says:
I cant guarantee its full compatibility… Its always better to do the job by hand….Its for ICS 4.0.3 Beta ROMs… Flash ARC/Neo ROM and then Flash the Patch… Now your ROM is fully functional…
So for those who have some free time and want to get some Arc or Neo goodness running on the Xperia Ray, you can find the full method, download link for the universal .zip, and all the additional info you need in the original thread. Remember to make a backup before testing the ROM you made in case something goes wrong.
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.