January 1, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Despite all of Sony’s recent developer-friendly awesomeness, a few relatively recent devices have fallen through the cracks and have been left without official Android updates. While most of these devices generally have found vibrant aftermarket development communities that have filled these gaps, this isn’t the case for every device.
One such instance is the Sony Xperia Ion, a device that was only officially updated to Android 4.1.2 and never received stable aftermarket builds of Android 4.2 or 4.3. Now thanks to hard work by XDA Senior Member MrGezz and Recognized Developer RaymanFX, a nearly fully functional Android 4.4 KitKat build has appeared for the device. This release comes in the form of an unofficial CyanogenMod 11 release, and it builds on work originally created by FXP for their CM10 builds.
There are currently two known bugs: The LED indicator does not light up when charging, and the battery percentage does not initially show properly in the status bar. The first bug is only a minor inconvenience, as the battery still charges even though the light does not come on. The latter, while annoying, has a functional workaround that is accomplished by changing the battery status style in CM settings.
If you’ve got an Xperia Ion and want to give KitKat a try, head over to the original thread and get in on the action.
[Thanks to Forum Member XPERIA ION for the tip. I wonder what device he uses. :P]
Tweaks and mods can be fun. They add functionality and customization not usually found within the framework of most Android devices. However, when there are a lot of tweaks you enjoy, it can be a pain to find and install them all. That’s why there are tweak and mod packs out there that give you a bunch of mods all at once. For Sony Xperia Ion users, there is a mod that packs in quite a bit.
Called Smooth Ion, it was released by XDA Senior Member ganeshbiyer. It requires users be running a stock ICS ROM and that it be deodexed first. The features are as follows:
What is “Smooth ION”?
Collection of apps.
Build prop tweaks.
What does “Smooth ION” contain/do?
Xperia GX Home Launcher. (credit serajr) (not in At&t version)
Jellybean Status bar with Sense 4 recent Apps. (credit ou! & DdcCabuslay)
Latest Sony Xperia V Walkman. (credit Rizal Lovins Sundanesse)
Google Now v4. (credit ReekoTubbs)
Add Jellybean Keyboard (not in At&t version) and Hackers Keyboard (my personal favorite ).
Adds init.d support if not there already.
Adds init.d tweak scripts.
Adds tons of build.prop tweaks.
Delete unnecessary apps.
The pack brings various tweaks and other goodies to Xperia Ion users. To install, just flash via ClockworkMod recovery. The zip wipes cache and Dalvik for you so no need to worry about that.
For additional details, check out the original thread.
August 21, 2012 By: Former Writer
For those who don’t know, Init.d is required to run scripts on most Android devices. It can be used on pretty much any device that’s rooted, but sometimes it can be hard to make it stick. Usually, it requires flashing a kernel or a ROM that has Init.d support in a custom recovery. For those rocking the Sony Xperia Ion, you now have a different option. You also have some fun new scripts to play with.
Thanks to the efforts of XDA Senior Member popfan, the Xperia Ion now has Init.d support, a CPU Editor, and a ClockworkMod Recovery. This is a great start for a device that was only rooted a short time ago, and provides ROM and kernel developers with a solid development base on which to work. There some problems with ClockworkMod Recovery. It mostly works, but it has shown to be unstable and will reboot randomly. Work is being done to correct it, but for now users should proceed with caution.
For the Init.d support, users thankfully don’t need ClockworkMod recovery. Popfan has provided a nice Windows-only script that will add Init.d support to the Xperia Ion without having to flash it via recovery. After that’s done, users can then use the CPU Editor. The CPU Editor has quite a few nice features, including:
Change CPU Governor
Change CPU Min/Max Frequencies
Apply Settings on Boot – Sticky Mode
Set Dual Core CPU’s Independently – Governor and Frequencies
Force Dual Core – Second Core Online ALL The Time
Seperate Menus For Single and Dual Core Devices – Auto Selects
View Current Settings For Everything
Now uses config file to store values
Even though the Xperia Ion doesn’t have prolific developer support yet, there are some very useful tools for users to play with until more things become available. For more info, check out the CPU Editor thread, the init.d thread, and the CWM thread.
As usual, when a device is first released, the biggest worry around here is whether the device will get rooted. In some cases, the root method can be ridiculous. In other cases the root method can be pretty simple. In all cases, root being achieved is a positive thing and that’s even if it’s an overly complex method. Sony Xperia Ion users are fortunate, however, as their root method is relatively simple.
XDA Forum Member yuunanase has released a method that’ll get the LT28i rooted pretty quickly and without much effort. Users are first instructed to unlock their bootloaders. From there, they are to download an insecure kernel to flash. After that, it’s a matter of running a quick root package script and downloading the Superuser and Busybox Installer apps from Google Play. That’s all there really is to it.
Although the root method has been reported working, there are a few users who may be uneasy about flashing an insecure kernel. For these users, there may be another solution in the works, as yuunanase may be working on a pre-rooted system.img with the help of XDA Senior Member Spectre51 for users to flash instead of the kernel. So if the kernel method is not for you, there may be a second option coming soon.
To learn more, check out the original thread.
Back in October, we were greeted by news that Sony was set to buy out the remainder of Sony Ericsson for a cool $1.45 billion—a move made with the hopes of delivering better product integration and bolstering patent holdings. Fast forward two-and-a-half months, and now we have our first purely Sony phone since the 2001 merger—and what a phone it is!
The Xperia Ion by Sony will be the first Xperia-branded phone to pack 4G LTE connectivity. The goodness doesn’t stop with network speeds, as the Ion also comes loaded with a 4.6″ Reality display with Bravia technology and a massive 1280 x 720 resolution.
A beautiful screen and fast network mean nothing, however, if there isn’t enough grunt to back it up. Luckily, the Ion packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon S3, which mates the ARM Cortex A8-derived Scorpion CPU with the AMD Adreno 220 GPU. Sound familiar? It should—that’s the same SoC that’s powering the T-Mobile variant of the Galaxy S II, various HTC phones such as the Evo 3D, and even the hacker’s delight HP TouchPad. The memory and storage are equally impressive at 1 GB and 16 GB (expandable via microSD), respectively.
Unfortunately all is not peachy, as the Ion will launch with Android 2.3 Gingerbread rather than the oh-so-sweet Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. This being XDA, we are sure to see plenty of custom ROM ports within hours of release, but it’s always preferable when the OEMs at least pretend to care about what’s best for their customers. Given Sony’s recent track record with ICS updates, however, we remain hopeful that the Ion will officially receive ICS in a timely manner.
Has the Xperia Ion made the short list for your next device upgrade? Let us know in the comments section below!
Up until recently, AT&T’s Android offerings have been somewhat lacking compared to the other major American carriers. And while the Samsung Galaxy S II and Galaxy S II Skyrocket have certainly helped close the gap, there’s no denying that other carriers simply pack a stronger punch.
Luckily for Ma Bell customers, AT&T is bolstering its Android arsenal with six new LTE-enabled and Android-packing devices: the Samsung Exhilarate, Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket HD, Sony Xperia Ion, Pantech Burst, the Pantech Element tablet, and the Samsung Galaxy Note smartphone/tablet hybrid.
Of most interest, the Galaxy S II Skyrocket HD features a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor and the same 4.65″ HD Super AMOLED screen as the Galaxy Nexus—all while keeping itself slim-and-trim at just 9.279 mm. The Xperia Ion packs a 4.6″ HD display, 12 MP rear-facing camera, and a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor. The Pantech Element, as its name suggests, is a weatherproof tablet for those who take tablet computing to the extreme. The Pantech Burst is a 4.0″ 1.2 GHz dual-core phone, and it marks Pantech’s first truly high end device. The Galaxy Note, already released in Europe, is an HD-packing tablet/phone hybrid with S-pen functionality for easy copy/paste and note-taking. And finally, the Exhilarate boasts a 4″ screen and eco-friendly construction.
Interested in having a look at the new offerings yourself? Sneak a peek courtesy of the official AT&T site (PDF warning). Or, you know—you can eschew technology thanks to the SpareOne we covered earlier if all these new-fangled thing-a-ma-bobs get a bit too overwhelming.