November 28, 2012 By: Joseph Hindy
Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve brought you news on bootloaders on Verizon getting unlocked. Verizon is notorious for making OEMs lock their bootloaders before releasing phones to the public. Apparently, there is at least one phone they don’t care about anymore, the Sony Xperia Play. It can now be unlocked via Sony’s bootloader unlocker website.
XDA Forum Member dt674 found that the Verizon version can now be unlocked on the website, whereas before it was unsupported. As dt674 explains:
Good news for all of you R800x users. Sony has finally added MEID support for unlocking your phone through their website.
I just went through the instructions on the Sony’s website for getting the unlock code and then followed Ridder’s guide and the install ran without any trouble.
I’m now off Verizon’s horrible rom and running CM9
This is great news for those still carrying around the now discontinued Play. The process is very similar to unlocking other Sony devices. It has been confirmed by other forum members that this is not only possible but that it works. So if you want to get that bootloader unlocked, check out the original thread.
[Thanks to XDA Senior Member Leraeniesh for the tip!]
A while back, we reported that the Meizu MX’s customized version of Android, Flyme OS, was ported to the AT&T Galaxy S II. Apparently, it generated some interest, as a similar port was released for the Xperia Neo V and L a couple of weeks later. Now, the Flyme goodness is spreading again. This time to the Sony Xperia Play.
XDA Senior Member emwno has released a port of the Meizu skin for the Xperia Play. It’s laid over Android 4.0.4, and for an early port, it isn’t half bad. There are only a few things that seem to be wrong or buggy, including:
Network tab in settings
Keyboard LED (Pro)
Auto LED off
Everything else seems to be working just fine—including 720p video recording and the essentials like data, signal, and SD card. So in terms of usability, it may not be daily driver material, but it’s close. So far, users haven’t had any big complaints aside from the things already wrong. The biggest drawback is that this is for the GSM version only. So those carrying the CDMA version will have to wait a little longer.
For screen shots and more details, check out the original thread.
September 21, 2012 By: Joseph Hindy
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.
September 12, 2012 By: Joseph Hindy
Getting the next best thing isn’t always about getting entire ROMs ported to your device. Sometimes it can come through in pieces, one application at a time. In these cases, users get to experience the latest and greatest without having to flash a half working port. This has especially been true for the Sony Xperia line up, which really has set the gold standard in sharing development. Even Google wants to share with Sony Xperia. Now, Sony Xperia Play users are getting some more Xperia shared love in the form of a new lock screen.
Called NxtLockScreen, the lock screen gives users a fresh taste of Xperia goodness as well as a few other modifications. Some include a themed battery and a centered clock. The main features, though, are the ability to set your own lock screen wallpaper and the inclusion of music toggles. To use the music toggles, users just need to swipe the clock and they appear. It was posted by XDA Senior Member sdojoin and based off of work done by XDA Senior Member DiKeJ.
It is also quite easy to install, as it comes in a recovery-flashable zip. It is still in testing, but most reports that it works well with most ROMs. For more info, check out the original thread.
August 25, 2012 By: Joseph Hindy
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 19, 2012 By: jerdog
It has been said that there are three constants in life: taxes, death, and carriers and OEMs adding unnecessary bloatware. Ok, you got me. I added that last one on my own, but it has become no less real than the first two. In an effort to drive revenue and make up for the subsidies they have to give in order to sell a device on a contract, carriers put their own (often unnecessary) software on the device and leave it looking like the this article’s title image. This of course has an obvious negative effect, as the device does not perform as it was originally intended, and in turn provides a hampered experience for the user.
One of the reasons people come to XDA is to take ownership of their device back from the carriers and/or manufacturers, root their phone, and install a custom ROM or at least remove the bloatware. In the instance of the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play, users have a very nice, intuitive way to do so courtesy of XDA Senior Member fma965. Using the AROMA installation package, he has created a custom recovery-flashable zip he calls “SuperSpeed Bloat Remover.” It provides a nice visual wizard for selecting the bloatware to be removed from the device. He lists the features as:
- Remove BloatWare
- Remove Certain Apps
- Enable ZRAM
- ZipAlign at boot (not tested)
- Switch WiFi Modules
- More to come.
If you own the Xperia Play and have not yet debloated your device, head on over to the thread to give it a try yourself.
July 31, 2012 By: Joseph Hindy
The spread of Jelly Bean across XDA would be alarming if it weren’t so wonderful. Devices old and new alike are enjoying the latest and greatest from Google to some capacity. Some of the more recent devices to get Jelly Bean are the GSM HTC EVO 3D, LG Optimus GT540, and the Sony Xperia PLAY.
While the GSM EVO 3D is following its CDMA sibling and the Xperia PLAY is following its X8 and X10 siblings, the Optimus GT540 is perhaps the lowest spec’d device to get Jelly Bean thus far. With a 600MHz processor, 156MB of RAM, and just 139MB of user-available storage space, getting Jelly Bean on the Optimus GT540—which also has a smaller development atmosphere than most, if not all, other devices we’ve covered that got Jelly Bean—is truly an impressive feat. For the GSM EVO 3D, Jelly Bean was posted by XDA Senior Member Ubuntuz. The Xperia PLAY was the work of nickholtus with some help and the Optimus GT540 was done up by XDA Forum Member DevSwift1.
As you might have guessed, these builds are all on the experimental or preview stages of development. With bugs on all 3 ROMs ranging from camera and WiFi issues to data not working and broken hardware codecs, none of these ROMs are quite stable enough to use as an everyday ROM. That is not to say that they aren’t fun to play with. They make it easy to check out some of the features of Jelly Bean. Just make sure you have a Nandroid backup handy.
For additional information, check out the corresponding links.
July 10, 2012 By: mustangtim49
One of the most recent types of development here on XDA is the idea of a hybrid ROM that melds tablet- and phone-based features into one ROM so that users can experience the best of both worlds. Paranoid Android is the first such hybrid ROM, and thanks to XDA Forum Member sechko, it is available for the Sony Xperia Play.
The port is on its second version, and is based on the FXP127 base. Sechko has fixed the UI crashing that plagued earlier attempts. In addition to the many features offered in tablet mode, there are different themes and kernels available to select from.
Head over to the original thread for more information.
If unlocking a bootloader were as easy as inserting a key and turning, there would be a many fewer people angry at Motorola. Unfortunately for new users, it isn’t and often involves manually entering commands. While this isn’t difficult, many new users can certainly appreciate a step-by-step guide to walk them through the process—especially when the guide explains each step and provides screen shots.
Thanks to XDA Senior Member fma965, Sony Xperia Play users now have such a bootloader unlock guide to walk them through the process. Additionally, the guide has a few additional tidbits of information. For instance, some Xperia Play devices can have their bootloaders unlocked manually and some can’t. This guide will immediately help identify which is which. As if that weren’t enough, the guide thread also contains all of the required ADB drivers and fastboot files so users do not need to install the Android SDK in order to make it work.
Head over to the original thread to get started.
This week on XDA TV, XDA Forum Moderator and Recognized Developer shenye gives us a basic rundown through some of this week’s biggest development stories. In addition to talking about some April Fools news, Shen highlights the release of the HTC One line and how it should not be compared with the OMAP-based Galaxy Nexus. He then talks about CM9 on the Galaxy W, and how CyanogenMod itself has now found itself a new mascot.
Next, Shen talks about development work and ICS updates for the Transformer, Transformer Prime, Galaxy Nexus, Nexus S 4G, Xperia Play, and the AT&T Galaxy Note. Finally, Shen discusses the release of Instagram and Swiftkey 3 Beta for Android.
Well, it seems that Sony (not Ericsson) is doing everything in their power to try and get the developer community back on their good side once again. Over the last couple of months, the electronics and media giant has been hard at work pushing early betas for some of their devices in the Xperia series released last year. Fact of the matter, ICS is almost going to be phased out and it hasn’t even been released yet (Jelly bean is lurking in the shadows after all), so they need to try and push it out before it is too late and becomes old news.
According to Sony’s blog, they received several requests for the beta from the Play community after seeing the other Xperia’s getting the goodies. They do claim that most functionality works well on this beta firmware, but they do add the disclaimer that it is probably not a daily driver due to stability issues. However, it seems that they are interested in getting feedback regarding the gaming experience of the play with ICS as it should be a gaming phone and several games are not exactly optimized for this platform just yet.
The blog has more information regarding what this build actually contains. Having said this, the really important, underlying, and unmentioned advantage of this hitting the shelves is that Xperia Play developers now have a real ICS kernel with official drivers to play with, which will mean that most bugs present in current port may soon be fixed. So, thank you Sony for this early birthday gift for the Play owners and devs.
Upon request we’re today releasing an Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) beta for Xperia™ PLAY, and we’re really interested in getting your feedback on this beta release. As games are such a crucial part of Xperia™ PLAY, we would like to know how well this ICS beta for Xperia™ PLAY works when you’re playing games. Read on for download links and installation instructions!
You can find more information in Sony’s blog and in the official XDA launch thread by XDA Forum Member and Sony Mobile Developer Relations Team Member KalleD. If you have feedback, please leave it in the XDA thread, following KalleD’s template.
Want something published in the Portal? contact any News Writer.
A few days ago PoorCollegeGuy posted an article explaining a method of taking the UI from Sony’s new Xperia S and using it on an Xperia Play. Now that’s all fine and dandy for Xperia play users, but what about everyone else? For the rest of you looking to try Sony’s sleek UI on non-Xperia device, XDA member ra3al has been hard at work with you in mind.
He has managed to port the entire UI from the Xperia S and optimise it for non-Xperia devices with a variety of different screen resolutions. The package will install the launcher, clock widgets, toggle tools, photo widget, and weather widget. There are even links to the original static and live wallpapers for the full Sony Mobile Xperience (see what I did there?). While this seems to work perfectly on the majority of devices, some people are reporting that they aren’t able to install, so success is unfortunately not guaranteed. That said, this is definitely worth a try if you’re interested in rocking the UI.
This mod is currently only compatible with Android 2.3 based ROMs, but an ICS version is on the way. It’s also worth mentioning that it should only be installed on NON-Xperia devices. So if you feel like your phone could use a bit of a makeover, check out the modification thread.
January 6, 2012 By: Joseph Hindy
We’ve already brought you reports of a work in progress for the HTC HD2 getting touch-enabled recovery. As it turns out, there’s several other phones who’ve had it for a couple weeks already.
There’s a few phones they’re actively supporting their touch-enabled recovery on. For those who are unfamiliar, touch-enabled recovery is a recovery that utilizes touch screen controls to navigate instead of the old school volume rocker + power button method. We can all agree, those poor hardware buttons could use a little break, right?
Those wielding the Sony Xperia ARC have a few more options, as you can check it out via DooMLoRD’s kernel for Gingerbread, and Ice Cream Sandwich. It’s also available in Stock Gingerbread form as well.
It is important to note that all the touch enabled recoveries are based on the legendary and always awesome ClockworkMod Recovery. So you already know it’ll work.
So for those with the aforementioned devices, if you’d like to check out the touch-enabled recoveries on some awesome kernels from a couple of XDA’s finest, then hit up the source links and check em out! For everyone else, the UtterChaos train is firmly rolling, so don’t be surprised to see them working on other devices very soon!