February 13, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Just a few days ago, we talked about how Android 4.3 was starting to roll out (and was subsequently ripped and repackaged as an FTF) to the Sony Xperia SP. Now, Sony has begun rolling out the Android 4.3 goods to other members of the Xperia family: the Xperia T, TX, and V.
In addition to bumping up the Android version to 4.3, the latest update also updates Sony’s entire native app portfolio to their latest versions. Furthermore, the update also brings support for “Xperia Themes” UI customization, as well as some security tweaks and changes to Battery Stamina mode.
The update has now begun rolling out, but as always, availability may vary by carrier and region. That said, if you’ve got an Xperia T and want to get in on the update a bit early, head over to Forum Member macallen‘s FTF thread, which should contain the goods in about an hour. We’ll keep you informed if we spot similar repackaged firmware threads for the other devices as well.
Those looking to learn more about the update should visit XDA Senior Member meyourchum‘s update discussion thread. Don’t forget to rant about carrier-imposed delays or gloat about your shiny new Android 4.3 build in the comments below.
[Source: Sony Mobile Blog]
January 20, 2014 By: Samantha
Now that Google’s Holo theme has been around for quite a while now, it’s probably safe to say that a very large portion of apps, if not the majority, have adopted the Holo look. But as OEMs are, they like to keep things their way, and this is no different when it comes to Sony. But unlike some OEMs and their preferred interfaces, the aesthetic route Sony has taken doesn’t stray too much from Holo. This may have resulted many folks taking a liking for Sony’s UI, leading to XDA Recognized Themer BDFreak creating an interesting framework for the Sony Xperia Z1, Z, ZL, SP, T, TX and V.
As Xperia owners would know, the Sony UI can only be seen on apps made by Sony, such as the messaging app, Walkman, and the calendar. What this framework does however, is force the Sony UI to replace the UI of any non-Sony app, making the Sony look consistent throughout your phone. No matter which app you have installed, and what sort of theme they have, be it Holo or something made in MS Paint, the framework replaces every UI element with those of Sony.
If you’re unsure or wary of how this might turn out, BDFreak has provided some side-by-side comparisons of apps’ interfaces before and after installation of the framework to help you decide before diving in. Installation is very simple, merely consisting of downloading the appropriate zip file and flashing it through a custom recovery. There are also convenient zip files which revert everything back to they way they were before if you don’t like what you see.
If you would like to check this framework out, head over to the original threads for the supported devices.
January 18, 2014 By: Samantha
One of the more attractive aspects of the new Android 4.3 update on a number of Sony Xperia devices is what Sony calls the “Smart Social Camera.” Originally exclusive to only the Xperia Z1, the camera software allows users to install additional Xperia-only camera apps for additional functions and features to enhance your photo and video experience. Such apps may include Social Live, which live streams whatever your camera lens sees straight to Facebook; or Info Eye, which brings up information on whatever your camera is pointed towards.
The thing is, though, a few Xperia devices seem to be missing a couple of camera apps after being updated to the latest Android 4.3 firmware. It turns out, none of the following apps were to be found after the firmware update:
So to remedy this predicament, XDA Recognized Contributor and Themer Rizal Lovins decided to port the Smart Social Camera software in its entirety from the Xperia Z1s to the Xperia T, TX, V, SP, Z, ZL, ZR, Z1 and the Z Ultra. This means any camera app that was not found in the original camera software of these devices will now be available for everyone who has installed the port. The Background Defocus app, however, is exclusive to only the Xperia Z1 and Z Ultra for now.
The port will only work with the aforementioned devices running the official Android 4.3 firmware, and only if they have been de-odexed. Other than that, there shouldn’t be any problems with installation, with the process simply consisting of wiping the device’s cache, flashing the provided zip file, and rebooting the device.
So if you would like to finally give some of the missing camera apps a go on your device, head over to the original thread for more information.
January 16, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
We’ve been talking quite a bit about Android 4.3 for the Sony Xperia, T, TX, V, and Xperia SP as of late. About a month ago, we saw the devices receive DLNA certification for the upcoming 4.3 update. Then not too long after, the leaks started pouring in—first for the Sony Xperia T and SP, then for the Xperia TX, and finally for the Xperia V.
After all these highly functional leaked builds, we all had a feeling that an official update would start rolling out soon. Accordingly, the official Sony Mobile News Twitter account stated earlier today that Jelly Bean 4.3 would start rolling out to end user devices by the end of January or early February.
Now for most of us, the official OTAs are more of a convenience than a necessity. After all, all of these devices have relatively functional builds of not only Android 4.3, but also the latest and greatest 4.4 KitKat. Regardless, it’s still nice to see Sony support their devices, even if they’re still a major version behind after this update.
What are your thoughts on Sony’s updates? Are you happy that (unlike HTC) they are at least coming, or are you disappointed that it took this long to receive a version of Android that isn’t even the latest? Let us know in the comments below, and don’t forget to head over to the Sony Xperia, T, TX, V, and Xperia SP to get in all the discussion!
January 11, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Two days ago, we talked about a leaked Android 4.3 firmware build for the Sony Xperia T. The leak, so generously provided by XDA Recognized Developer DooMLoRD, came in at version 9.2.A.0.278, and featured generally great performance aside from a strange “NFC closed error.” This highly functional status prompted many to question when a leaked build for its sibling, the TX, would emerge.
Now, a version for the Sony Xperia TX has appeared, thanks to XDA Forum Member MN-Ming. This leaked build comes in version 9.2.A.1.131, and it packs in a few interesting features. User reports so far seem to be primarily positive, with reports of improved multitasking and overall performance. Furthermore, this build now integrates the camera software previously seen on the Xperia Z1.
You will need an unlocked bootloader to give this a try on your TX. Those looking to get started should head over to the leak thread and give this a shot. Once you’ve given it a try, don’t forget to share your experiences here and in the thread to let other users know whether it’s worth the plunge.
January 9, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
You may recall that just yesterday, we talked about how the Android 4.3 update for the Sony Xperia T and Xperia SP was drawing near. We were made aware of this thanks to XDA Recognized Developer DooMLoRD, who shared screenshots of the latest test builds for both devices and was taking requests for any other screenshots that users might be interested in.
Now just a few hours after his previous “sneak peak,” DooMLoRD has decided to make the firmwares available. Initially, the firmware was meant for developer (brown) devices only. Luckily, DooMLoRD was able to get the update to boot on production devices. However, users should note that this is for devices with unlocked bootloaders only.
For those keeping track, the builds come in at version 9.2.A.0.278 for the Xperia T and 12.1.A.0.256 for the Xperia SP, and both are Android 4.3 with a Linux 3.4.0-based kernel.
Are you looking forward to giving the leaked 4.3 builds a try on your own devices? Let us know in the comments below.
Make your way over to the leaked firmware threads below to get started:
January 8, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Android 4.4 KitKat is all the rave, with more and more devices receiving aftermarket builds by the handful practically every day. Some devices such as the current Nexus lineup, the Moto X, Moto G, and certain variants of the HTC One also have official KitKat releases. Despite this, many devices, especially older ones, are stuck on pre-4.3 releases. This is the case for the Sony Xperia T and Xperia SP, which only ever made it to 4.1 in official capacity.
You may recall that a little under a month ago, the Android 4.3 update for the Sony Xperia SP, T, TX, and V was DLNA certified. This signalled that the update’s release was drawing near, as certification is a necessary step prior to firmware distribution. Now, we have even more reason to believe that an update is drawing near, as XDA Recognized Developer DooMLoRD has shared various leaked screenshots of the updates for the Xperia T and SP in their latest incarnations. And in addition to simply sharing screenshots, DooMLoRD is also taking requests for any other screenshots users might be interested in. The builds come in at version 9.2.A.0.278 for the Xperia T and 12.1.A.0.256 for the Xperia SP, and both are Android 4.3 with a Linux 3.4.0-based kernel.
Head over to the sneak peak threads below to get in on the action. Just keep in mind that DooMLoRD has stated that he cannot provide a dump, ETA, source code, or feature checks.
[Many thanks to fellow news writer SammiSaysHello for the tip!]
December 26, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
As you’re making your way down the list of things to try with your newly acquired tech toys, one thing you’ll undoubtedly get around to is flashing a custom ROM. Those looking for aftermarket firmware now have one more Android 4.4.2-based option, as the AOKP team has just finished incorporating Google’s latest and greatest into their nightly builds.
Currently, Android 4.4.2-based nightly builds are available for the Google Nexus 5, Nexus 4, Nexus 10, Nexus 7 (2013), Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy S III, Galaxy S 4, HTC One, Xperia Z, Xperia ZL, Xperia T, and Xperia V. More devices will be added to the nightly list as soon as they’re ready. The AOKP team recommends a full wipe when installing the latest JB-MR2 nightlies, but users on unofficial builds released after December 10 may be able to get away without a full wipe.
December 15, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
There’s no denying that Android 4.4 KitKat is all the rage now. The current Nexus lineup and the Google Play edition devices have already received their official updates to Android 4.4.2. Furthermore, many popular devices are getting highly functional unofficial ports left and right. Most consumer devices, however, have not yet gotten the goods. In fact, most are running firmwares that are at least a couple Android revisions old.
Luckily, we’re at least seeing progress. This past week, we saw quite a few Samsung and HTC devices receive the Android 4.3 goods. Now, a good number of last year’s Sony devices seem to be next in line for the update.
According to XperiaBlog.net, the Sony Xperia SP, Xperia T, Xperia TX, and Xperia V are all slated to receive Android 4.3 in the very near future. How do we know this? The devices all received DLNA certification on Android 4.3 five days ago. There are no known leaks yet for these devices, but with newly certified builds certified after testing, the release shouldn’t be too far off.
While this certainly offers no indication about a possible timetable, it’s reasonable to assume that the update is coming sooner rather than later. There is no word at this time regarding what new features, if any, the update will bring along with the Android version bump. In any case, it’s still quite good news that an official update is being prepped.
Are you an Xperia SP, T, TX, or V owner eagerly awaiting this update, or are you one of the many who’ve ditched OEM updates entirely, in favor of community-built ROMs? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
[Many thanks to my fellow XDA News Writer eagleeyetom for the tip!]
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.