November 23, 2013 By: Samantha
Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen some very exciting news and announcements from OEMs and telecom providers regarding Android 4.4 KitKat rollout schedules. Among them, we saw Sony share details on the first raft of Xperia devices slated to receive the update. The announcement wasn’t met with just smiles, however, as many Xperia users have voiced their confusion, anger, and disappointment over the selection of devices Sony has decided to allow into the KitKat party.
If you found yourself disappointed before, hold your horses. The initial announcement only showcased the first raft of devices, which only means that there will be a second raft. This is evident with Sony’s recent update to the Xperia SP‘s support page, which now proudly brandishes the KitKat-flavored Android mascot along with the words ‘Future Version: Android 4.4 (KitKat). Although not an explicit announcement, it’s pretty much a dead giveaway of things to come in the very near future.
As for users of the Xperia T, TX, V and ZR, you may have to wait a bit longer to see if you’ll be catching the second wave. Although the respective support pages also shows the Android 4.4 icon, the accompanying words “Under Investigation: Android 4.4 (KitKat)” are a bit of a dampener. This is somewhat expected for the 2012 devices, as Sony would definitely have to investigate whether these devices will be capable and compatible with a version of Android that’s more than just changes to aesthetics and functionality. That said, we have to wonder why the ZR has also been left out (for now).
Nevertheless, this is great news, and hopefully we’ll be seeing more confirmation from Sony soon. With greater clarity on Sony’s update schedule, what are your thoughts and concerns? Which devices will be on the second raft? And will there be a third? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
As many of you are aware, an announcement was made during the BABBQ by some of the most outstanding developers in the Android world. A new ROM, called OmniROM, would be getting to an Android device near you and everything was find and dandy. Threads have been created in many fora across the site, where experienced and beginner devs alike have shown interest in trying to get this new community project working on as many devices as possible.
All the hype blew over, honey moon was done, and people stepped out of the public spotlight and got down with their hands dirty and sleeves up, attempting to get this to work. On top of that, we got the latest gift from Google in the form of source code for their latest sweet treat, Android 4.4 KitKat. (Personally, I still think that Key Lime Pie was a better, less commercial idea, but oh well.) After the drop, AOSP builds started popping across our site on many, many devices. Also, we got news that CM11 was ready for a few devices, including those in the Sony line up. Well, combining all the aforementioned, we get the news that a new build of 4.4 (Omni distro) is out for the Sony Xperia T, courtesy of XDA Recognized Developer tilal6991.
The build is currently in an alpha state, which means that tons of bugs are to be expected. Having said that, according to the dev, the only “real” issue that seems to be plaguing the device seems to be HDMI out. However, unless you have a dock or an MHL cable, you have little to nothing to worry about. The Omni project (as well as most AOSP versions of KitKat out there) is in a very early stage. So if you are downloading this to try and impress your friends with your new OS, keep in mind that things could happen along the way. Right now, the way the project basically requires that if you do download the ROM and attempt to install it, you must read and follow all instructions. If you are able to provide any kind of useful feedback in the shape of logcats, all the better. And if you do, please make sure that you submit these to the correct place.
So, if you have a Sony Xperia T and feel like giving it a new look with everything that the new version of Android has to offer, please feel free to drop by the thread and flash this to have your break of a KitKat bar.
You can find more information in the original thread. Happy flashing!
November 8, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
Ever since the unveiling of Android 4.4, the question that is hounding almost everyone’s mind inevitably turns to when (or if) their OEMs will break them off a piece of that KitKat bar. We first heard that the current Nexus stable, as well as a few other devices, would be first in line for the update. Now, Sony has decided to weigh in on the upgrade path for many of its current devices.
First off, Android 4.3 will be rolling out to various Xperia devices such as the Xperia Z, Xperia ZL, Xperia ZR, Xperia Tablet Z, Xperia SP, Xperia Z Ultra, and Xperia Z1. This rollout will take place starting next month, but naturally it may vary by market and carrier. Some time after that rollout, the Xperia T, Xperia TX, and Xperia V will also receive the Android 4.3 goods.
After the 4.3 rollout finishes, Sony has plans on updating various devices to KitKat. The first devices that will receive the update are the Xperia Z, Xperia ZL, Xperia Tablet Z, Xperia Z Ultra, and Xperia Z1. There is currently no timetable given for the release of Android 4.4, and this does not appear to be an all-inclusive list. However, if you’re running one of the aforementioned devices, at least you can rest easy knowing that it’s in the oven.
We’d like to know what are your thoughts regarding the update path Sony has shared. Do you prefer the rollouts to Android 4.3 followed by Android 4.4, or would you prefer to wait a little longer and go straight to 4.4? Let us know in the comments section below.
Source: Official Sony Mobile Blog
November 6, 2013 By: Samantha
Bloatware hasn’t been much of an issue for Android users for quite a while now. Once rooted, the gates fly wide open to the beautiful, green pastures of customization. This provides a wide array of ways to get rid of useless, preinstalled software. From then on, you may freely take your picking. Maybe a custom ROM interests you? Perhaps you’d prefer something lighter, such as Titanium Backup? Perhaps a debloat script fits the bill.
There are a great selection of scripts out there for folks who find the final option enticing. However, the issue is that they may not always exactly fit the bill. This is since more often than not, debloat scripts only provide limited options as to which apps are to be removed. Because of this, it’s great to see a tutorial written by XDA Recognized Contributor DaRk-L0rD on how to write your own debloat script for the Xperia T, TX, and V.
The guide comprehensively covers every step of the process, from the necessary tools and requirements, to every line of code that’s needed, to creating the actual ZIP file to be flashed through a custom recovery. In order to aid and streamline the process, DaRk-LorD, along with the help of various forum users, has compiled an exhaustive list of system apps and whether they are safe to remove or not.
If you’d like to try this out, head over to the guide thread.
October 4, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
One of the coolest OEM-specific customizations found on newer Sony Xperia devices is the Small Apps feature. It allows you to run a small app atop your currently running application, making for a much more powerful multitasking interface. In fact, we’ve written about various additional Small Apps created by our community members in the past, as well as how to get the functionality back once you’ve gone to an AOSP-derived ROM.
Now, XDA Senior Member kongaz2 has figured out a way to get multiple small apps to run at the same time on the Sony Xperia T and TX, sort of similar to what we saw earlier on the Galaxy Note 3 when Senior Member soloilmeglio figured out how to get any app to work with Samsung’s Pen Window functionality.
To get started on your own Xperia T or TX, you will first need to be on a deodexed ROM. Then you simply flash the update from a custom recovery, and you’re good to go. Make sure you have a Nandroid backup handy just in case anything goes wrong, though.
Make your way over to the original thread to get started.
September 10, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
The notification bar toggles that were added in Android 4.2 have proven themselves to be immensely useful to most users. That said, they’re not perfect. For example, the CyanogenMod team was quick to reverse the toggle functionality such that a tap toggles the setting and a long-press takes you to the settings page. Furthermore, it’s always nice to be able to customize the options that are modifiable.
If you’ve got yourself a Sony Xperia T or Xperia V and wish to supercharge your status bar toggles, XDA Recognized Themer NuriJ‘s Status Bar Flipper Mod may be exactly what you’re after. While the modification leaves the traditional tap vs. longpress functionality intact, it allows for immense customization. This comes in the form of both toggle order and visible toggles, with 24 possible in all. Furthermore, the mod also brings slider controls for brightness and volume settings in a separate pane, as well as a handy navigation bar softkey editor.
If you wish to make the most of your Xperia T or V status and/or navigation bars, you may wish to give this a shot. Head over to the original thread to get started.
February 20, 2013 By: egzthunder1
Often times, we find certain aspects of flashing ROMs, kernels, and anything that needs to be installed via recovery a bit of a pain. For instance, on older Samsung Galaxy devices (anything before the Galaxy S3), having a custom recovery involves having a kernel lumped alongside because the recovery and boot partition are stored in the same location. This means that updating the kernel will wipe your custom recovery. Now, most owners work around this limitation by flashing what is known as a repack, which is a stock or tweaked kernel that includes a custom recovery image. The likes of HTC and Motorola don’t do this, albeit they do have a few other issues, which we will not talk about right now. Sony Xperia devices are no different from Samsung in that regard, as they also lump boot and recovery in the same area. However, the Sony Xperia T had a little something that was different than other devices with the same “issue.” Upon taking a closer look, XDA Recognized Developers lilstevie, Dees_Troy, and XDA Elite Recognized Developer Rebellos found a small gift from Sony at the very end of the eMMC memory: unused, unpartitioned 300 MB worth of memory. So, ideas started flying around and the devs got to work.
After several weeks of looking into things, and doing some major trial and error, they took that unused space and turned it into a new home for the recovery image. This is completely separate from the kernel (to a certain extent anyways), which means that flashing a new ROM with a new kernel will not replace the custom recovery image. What has been done was to replace a single stage of the entire boot process known as appsboot, which is patched/replaced by LK. It then loads a new stage (mmcblk0p16) that contains the kernel. From that point, the kernel will listen to commands to call upon recovery, which is located on FOTAKernel. The best part is that even after this, there may be enough free space at the end of the chip to do some more creative things such as the ability to store more kernels—perhaps even space for a multi-boot style menu (thanks XDA Recognized Developer cdesai for the explanation). Other added benefits include the ability to use either Sony .elf files or regular Android boot.img, and the ability to go into recovery from the ROM (reboot into recovery).
You will have to make sure that you are running a 4.1.2 official kernel (no CM or other AOSP variants supported as of yet). Also, ICS is not supported either by this release, mainly due to differences in the 3.0 kernel which will cause the device to not boot. Lastly,please understand that this will modify your partition tables. If you are OK with the inherent risks, make sure that you read and understand the installation instructions and take it for a spin.
Since getting the Xperia T the biggest annoyance is only having one bootable partition.
To combat this issue I have spent some time porting the Little Kernel bootloader. This
allows booting different kernels for recovery and boot as well as a full implementation
You can find more information in the original thread.
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January 26, 2013 By: jerdog
Here at XDA, we take the responsibility of carriers and OEMs to provide timely updates to their devices (and to honor their GPL requirements) seriously. There are those who do a good job (Samsung is one of them), those who don’t always do a good job (HTC, Motorola, LG), and those who do a terrible job (Huawei, ZTE, Rockchip to name a few). But there is one who right now is doing a terrific job, and that is Sony Mobile.
Back at the end of 2012, we selected Sony Mobile as our OEM of the Year for many reasons. One of those had to do with their public support of the developer community. Another was the release of beta OS builds for impending updates, shared on XDA by Sony staff in order to seed the ROM development pipeline. In addition, they were very active in supporting AOSP for the Sony Xperia S in the Google AOSP device tree, released the AOSP binaries, and eventually branched out to open their own Github for future AOSP development.
On Friday, Sony continued their string of community contributions by releasing an ALPHA build of Jelly Bean (Android 4.1.2) for the Sony Xperia T. This build is most definitely an alpha, meaning that many of the core components do not work, so it is not meant to be flashed or even mucked around with by the end user. It is meant solely for custom ROM developers to take and use and help make it better in preparation for Sony’s upcoming official build of Jelly Bean for the Xperia T. In order to flash this you will need to use their EMMA tool and your device must have its bootloader unlocked, or else the device will boot to a black screen and you will need to return to stock via Sony’s Update Tool. More information can be found at their Developer World blog. Again, this is not for the end user.
Sony evidently wasn’t content just to be the only OEM to provide OFFICIAL alpha builds for their devices. They ALSO released the kernel source for the alpha build. No other company in our memory has ever done this. Sure, one could argue that it is their obligation to release the kernel source under GPL requirements because they distributed the alpha build. But let’s keep in mind that we’re talking about an ALPHA build—something that is essentially in the infant-stages of its evolution, and not a production build or a finished product.
Let’s also keep in mind that instead of letting it leak like other manufacturers do, and thus not need to adhere to the GPL because they can claim ignorance and that they themselves aren’t the one distributing, they are embracing the fact that the GPL is not harmful. They are stating their case that this is how OEMs should work with the community. They are saying that this sort of thing encourages trust and a sense of togetherness between the community and the OEM, which in turn trickles down to the consumer’s good will towards the OEM. It’s a veritable marketplace “circle of life.” (You’re welcome for having planted the Lion King firmly in your subconscious for the next few hours.)
Other OEMs, like Samsung, frequently release incomplete kernel source that will not build (GPL violation); or fail to release the kernel source for a production build that they later retract even though it was distributed and is live in the wild on consumer’s devices (GPL violation). Or in the case of HTC, just plain ignore the GPL and wait for petitions to be filed or lawyers to be engaged before releasing the kernel source for a software version that is now out of date (GPL violation).
Let this be a lesson to the OEMs out there: When you choose to embrace the very ecosystem that has driven your profits high, and endeavor to work with that ecosystem in a mutual give-and-take, you will see positive results and karma that far exceeds your expectations. Or you can choose to neglect the very base that at one time made you the top smartphone manufacturer in the world and ultimately see your profits and market share slide into the abyss where there is little to no hope of return. Your choice. Choose wisely.
January 19, 2013 By: jerdog
At the end of last year, we started selling XDA cases with our friends at CruzerLite, and we’ve seen some phenomenal interest. Our current lineup is the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, Samsung Galaxy S III, Samsung Galaxy Nexus, and the Google Nexus 4—but we want to add more. So we have decided to hold a poll and let the users choose which device(s) to add to our current lineup.
Below you will find some of the top devices at XDA. Please choose one from the list that you would like to see offered, and we will pick from the top 3 devices. The voting ends on February 15, so make sure you place your vote for the devices you love!
EDIT: The results are in, and displayed below. We’ll keep you updated as to the final options when they become available.
December 30, 2012 By: jerdog
When you purchase a device, it’s always desirable to be able to use it as you wish. Sadly, this is often not the case. This is because most of the time, people purchase devices with a carrier subsidy. What this means is that essentially the carrier is letting you purchase the device at a reduced rate, say $300 off suggested retail, with the terms of a contract stating you will stay with them for (usually) two years. This guarantees that they will keep their ARPU (average revenue per user) over that time.
The trade off is that if you break the contract, they will charge you an ETF (early-termination fee), which adds up to the same amount they “discounted” the phone for, prorated of course. Usually rolled in with that trade off is an agreement between the manufacturer and the carrier that the bootloader is locked, giving the carrier the full control of the device instead of you. Of course, with the talented developers here at XDA-Developers, bootloaders are often hacked, returning the control of the device to the user.
What often doesn’t happen though is manufacturers deciding to give you control of the device on their own, which is exactly what Sony has done with their beta flash tool they call “Emma.” Sure Samsung “leaked” ODIN, but that’s entirely different. This is Sony creating a tool and freely making it available, and then going the extra step to show you how to use it. The tool is for the Xperia S, Xperia Arc, Xperia Arc S, and Xperia T, with more devices to be added in the future. Emma is essentially a “return to stock” tool that will work regardless of what software you currently have installed on your Xperia device, though it does require the bootloader be unlocked which Sony is again more than happy to show you how to do. The other requirements for the tool are that you have Windows installed and a current version of JAVA.
You can use the tool to choose between different stock versions of firmware, which the tool will automatically download for you from Sony’s servers. There are some quirky things with the tool however, with the connection to the Sony servers being temperamental and general JAVA issues. That said, the tool is still in beta, so head on over to the discussion thread to address any issues you might be having and to download the tool.
Smartphones have become an integral part of our lives. And for many of us, heavy use can result in a bit of wear and tear—especially on the moving parts (i.e. the buttons). In case of Android, almost all hardware button functions can be performed using on-screen controls or third party apps, but losing the power button can render your device practically useless.
Without a power button, you can’t turn the screen back on once it times out unless you restart the device, which isn’t practical, especially on devices without removable batteries. You can also connect the device to the charger or a USB data cable to wake it, but that severely limits your mobility. If you choose to disable the screen timeout feature, the battery will run out quicker than your wallet runs out of money. If you own the Sony Xperia T or TX, and find yourself with a malfunctioning power key, we’ve got something for you that should save the day.
XDA Forum Member recoba23 made a mod that allows you to wake the screen of your Sony Xperia T or TX using the volume keys. As you would expect, this mod requires you to have the screen on to be able to flash it, but you can do it via the USB method if your power button is already dead. It can also come handy if you simply prefer to use the volume keys to wake the screen.
For the download link and installation instructions, head over to the forum thread.
November 30, 2012 By: Former Writer
When device developers are faced with a locked and unlocked scenario, things can get interesting. While many devices are either unlockable or not, there are some situations where only some devices are unlockable. Or, in the case of some Verizon devices, it started out unlockable and then Verizon shut it down. In these cases, developers have to find interesting ways to provide the same things to locked and unlocked devices. Now, Sony Xperia T owners who have locked bootloaders, but still have root, can have ClockworkMod Recovery.
XDA Senior Member Sharaz22 released the popular recovery for the Xperia T. For those who have unlocked bootloaders, this was likely a much easier process. However, for those who are stuck with permanently locked devices, you can now get in on the action. Of course, you’ll still need root. As newer firmwares haven’t been rooted yet, users will have to wait for root before they can proceed.
The installation process should be pretty easy. Just root your Xperia T, download the zip, and flash it in stock recovery. There is also a root zip you can download and install, should you need it. The only downside is that AOSP-based ROMs still won’t work because of the locked bootloader. However, if you want to flash a different stock ROMs, this is definitely what you’re looking for.
For more details, check out the original thread.
Sony has made it no secret that they want people to associate the Sony Xperia T with the newest James Bond flick, Skyfall. The shameless promotions have pretty much welded the movie and phone together. Now, Xperia T owners can embrace it even more.
XDA Forum Member ruwsoft has released a theme pack that gives users all the ringtones, images, and other theming bric-à-brac to match the experience users get with the James Bond edition of the Xperia T. This includes some elements within the OS itself that get a little 007 goodness.
To install, users need root. From there, it’s downloading the file, and using an archive manager to remove the files. Then, use your favorite root file explorer app to copy the included APK to system/vendor/overlay/framework/. Finally, reboot and your phone should have a lot more James Bond.
There are a couple of mirrors as well. One of them contains a copy of the APK in .bin format. Users simply need to change the extension back to APK. Other than that, users haven’t reported any real issues. To learn more, check out the original thread.