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 13, 2014 By: Samantha
Among the most recent Sony devices to receive the highly anticipated Android 4.3 update, the Sony Xperia V has been left in the dark with regards to leaks and other news. First came the firmware leaks for the Xperia SP and T, courtesy of XDA Recognized Developer DooMLoRD. Then not long after, Xperia TX owners also got their hands on the leaked firmware, thanks to XDA Forum Member MN-Ming.
Now it looks like the Xperia V is no longer the odd one out, as MN-Ming has also leaked the Android 4.3 firmware for the device. As we have seen with the Xperia TX leak, the firmware build is also 9.2.A.1.131, with its functions and features mostly (if not completely) the same as those found on the 4.3 leaked firmware for the Xperia TX, as well as probably the Xperia T and SP.
As with all the previous leaks, one’s device must have an unlocked bootloader in order to install the leaked firmware. But other than that, there seems to be no other prerequisites to installation. If you’ve been waiting for the Android 4.3 update to come to your Xperia V, you can start by visiting the original thread for more details.
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.
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 6, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
“Your call may be recorded for quality assurance purposes.” If you’ve ever spent any time waiting for a customer service representative, you’ve undoubtedly heard that message a few too many times. In addition to “quality assurance,” there are many other reasons why one would want to record a phone call such as treasuring time with loved ones and so on. For this reason, certain devices in certain regions come with the built-in ability to record calls.
XDA Forum Member nicemblem discovered how to enable call recording on the Sony Xperia V running Jelly Bean, and it may be possible that this works on other Xperia devices such as the Xperia Z. Installation is just a quick flash through a custom recovery. Using the modification is simple as well: Just press menu and enable recording. Afterward, you can access your recorded phone calls in the record folder of your SD card.
Please keep in mind, however, that call recording may not be legal in your area. And in other areas, you are obligated to first inform the other party before recording a call. Please check up on your local regulations before installing this mod. And regardless of legality, you should always inform the other party when you are recording a call, no matter where you and your call recipient live. That’s just common courtesy.
Head 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.