December 10, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
Two new devices have entered the Google Play edition family. They are the LG G Pad 8.3 and the Sony Xperia Z Ultra. Curiously, though perhaps indicative of Sony’s commitment to provide a true Google experience, they’ve dropped the Xperia moniker in the Z Ultra.
Both devices have landed in the Google Play Store, packing the same hardware that we’ve seen in their retail variants, but devoid of their typical OEM skins that normally obfuscate the Android experience. They both pack Android 4.4 KitKat, although it is unclear if they will have the newly released 4.4.1 or 4.4.2 goods.
The G Pad 8.3 GPe comes in at a relatively wallet-friendly price of $350 USD. For this money, you get a device packing an 8.3″ 1080p display, 1.7 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 600, 2 GB of RAM, a 4600 mAh battery, and an all-aluminum back coming in at just 8.3 mm.
If the G Pad 8.3 GPe is the world’s first Google Play edition tablet, the Z Ultra GPe is the world’s first Google Play edition phablet. The Z Ultra GPe will set your wallet back a bit more, at $650 USD. For that price, you get a 6.4″ 1080p display, a quad-core 2.2 GHz Snapdragon 800, 2 GB of RAM, 7 bands of LTE, and a 3000 mAh battery.
You can get your hands on the two devices by visiting the Google Play edition Devices Page in the Google Play Store. You can also find direct links below, for your convenience:
Are you planning on making one of these devices yours, or would you rather buy the standard variant and load a GPe-derived ROM like what we’ve seen available for the other two GPe devices? Let us know in the comments below!
[Thanks to OEM Relations Manager jerdog for the tip!]
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
September 20, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
If there’s a take home message regarding development on Sony Xperia devices, it’s that what appears on one device will inevitably appear on another. Be it due to the developer friendly nature of the company or similarities in internal architecture, we’re not complaining.
We recently talked about how losing the TA partition on an Xperia Z1 could have disastrous effects on camera functionality if a backup is not made prior. And given other reasons to keep a backup of that partition, we would highly recommend that would-be rooters make a backup before unlocking. Luckily, though, that’s not the only news we have to report on the Z1′s camera.
Thanks to porting efforts by XDA Recognized Developer krabappel2548, the Xperia Z1′s camera software can now be installed on the Xperia ZR, Xperia ZL, Xperia Z, and Xperia Z Ultra. So what features does this upgraded camera software bring? According to the developer:
- Info Eye
- Augmented Reality effects
- Timeshift mode
- Manual Mode
- Social Cast mode
- Automatic mode
To get started, head over to the appropriate thread below:
July 15, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
You can now get the look of the Sony Xpera Z Ultra on your Android 4.2.2 Device. That and more are covered by Jordan, as he reviews all the important stories from this week. Included in this week’s news is an article about Securing Your App from the web side and news about executing terminal commands with Quick Terminal.
Jordan talks about the other videos released this week on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV Producer Jayce released a video talking about the new Android Hacker School. Later, he released a video asking if your are smart enough to be a developer. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
July 12, 2013 By: Samantha
For ‘phablet’ fans and haters alike, if you’ve been reading the tech headlines recently, you may have heard of the newly announced Xperia Z Ultra from Sony. With a Goliath 6.4 inch screen as its main selling point, your eyes may have been drawn to its new user interface and what not, especially its new launcher, widgets, and wallpapers. Good thing for you folks, as XDA Recognized Themer ThilinaC brings a complete transformation pack for your device featuring these new goodies.
ThilinaC has managed to port the new launcher and widgets of the Xperia Z Ultra, with a whole bunch of additional features not native to the original versions. Most notably, support for multiple resolutions means you don’t need a phablet to enjoy these ports. And aside from the default 6×4 app drawer, custom dimensions have also been made available, such as 7×5 for xhdpi devices, 5×4 and 4×4 for hdpi, and 4×4 for mdpi. The rest of the feature are as follows:
Installation is straight forward and pretty much the same for both Xperia and non-Xperia devices, requiring you to download the base zip files of the launcher and widgets ports and simply flashing them through a custom recovery such as CWM or TWRP. However, the latter does require an additional reboot in between the installation of the two base zip files. If there’s an aspect of the launcher you’re not a fan of (such as the dimensions of the app drawer) or if you don’t like the bar of the home dock, ThilinaC has conveniently provided various modification zip files with different options.
It must be stated that the ports are compatible only with devices running Android version 4.2.2 as of now, and root access is a must. So if you would like to learn more or give this a go, be sure to head over to the original thread for more information and downloads.