XDA News Articles

Samantha · Dec 17, 2013

How to Add Custom Banners in ‘About Phone’ on Xperia Devices

There are a wealth of guides on the XDA forums that teach folks how to tinker with the information displayed in the 'About Phone' menu of an Android device, allowing people to change the build number, Android version, the 'easter egg' animation, among others. More often than not, such changes are only for novelty and aesthetic purposes, with no effect on the device's performance, but that's what make them fun. Another equally nifty and neat modification Xperia device owners are...

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Samantha · Nov 13, 2013

Xperia Z1 Camera Ported to Qualcomm Xperia Devices

With the release of the Sony Xperia Z1 came the 'new and improved' camera app exclusive to the device. With a couple simple taps on the screen, you'll be able to spawn in dinosaurs and erupting volcanoes in a boring office scene, search additional information on the book or a landmark you snapped, and stream live videos onto your Facebook profile. It goes without saying, it's a camera app that has definitely caught the attention of many smartphone users. Hence came...

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Samantha · Nov 7, 2013

Sony Makes Thermanager Open Source

We'd like to think that temperature control is the least of our problems when it comes to our smartphones and tablets. It's a factor that the majority, if not all, of the large manufacturers refuse to acknowledge---instead preferring to tout form, power, and performance. So when we do CPU-intensive activities, such as playing games, or when the weather's hotter than usual on a particular day, we don't expect our devices to usually heat up to such a degree. To manage...

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Samantha · Nov 5, 2013

Customize the Light Pulses on the Sony Xperia SP

I've always thought the illumination strip located at the bottom of some Sony Xperia devices to be pretty funky. Despite how 'gimmicky' it feels, the novelty is sure quite fun. This is evident with its ability to light up with the color that's most prevalent in an image in the gallery app or the album art in the Walkman app, as well serving as a notification light for messages and calls. In fact, users loved it so much that Sony...

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Will Verduzco · Oct 6, 2013

Create Your Own Themes for Xperia Devices with XThemer

One of the main reasons why many of us choose to use Android rather than a more locked down mobile OS is customization. Simply stated, Android allows us to tailor our devices to our own needs and tastes, in order to make them truly our own. By virtue of its supremely modular nature and fantastic intent system, Android allows you to select default apps for pretty much anything. But what if instead of changing your default applications, you'd rather change...

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Will Verduzco · Sep 28, 2013

Voice Out Small App for Xperia Device Text Messages

Just a little while ago, we featured a guide showing users how to bring Sony Xperia small apps to other Android 4.2.2-based ROMs such as CyanogenMod 10.1. As if the more common small apps weren't enough, third party developers will continually bring out additional apps that make use of these device-specific APIs. One such application coming from XDA Forum Member luisarn serves as a small and lightweight TTS (text-to-speech) client for incoming text messages. Voice Out is both free and ad-free. Like other...

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Will Verduzco · Sep 27, 2013

Easy Rooting Toolkit Makes Rooting Simple on Sony Devices

Normally when rooting a non-Nexus device, your first order of the day becomes finding out exactly what its particular rooting instructions are and what tools you need. For most users, this then means downloading a toolkit with the appropriate root exploit, superuser binary and control app, and a custom recovery. However, it's always nice to see a utility that is compatible with a large number of devices. Well thanks to XDA Recognized Developer DooMLoRD, this is no longer a big issue...

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Will Verduzco · Sep 20, 2013

Enable Multi-Boot on the Xperia U, SOLA, GO

We've featured multi-boot methods for various devices in the past. If for no other reason, having multi-boot is just plain cool because it allows you to try various ROMs without having to lose your current installation. Now thanks to XDA Recognized Developer munjeni's app Multi Boot Manager, you can accomplish this relatively easily on the Xperia U, SOLA, and Go. And thanks to Senior Member NoobCoder, there is now an easy guide for using munjeni's creation. The guide, which is available in...

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Will Verduzco · Sep 10, 2013

Experimental Motion API for the Sony Smart Imaging Stand

The Sony Smart Imaging Stand may seem like a novelty item, but it has some genuine potential. It is essentially a motorized "tripod" for Sony Xperia devices running Android 4+ that can adjust its position to perform tasks such as making sure your face is in the shot and more. In fact, that is exactly what Sony's first party SmileCatcher app accomplishes while recording video. Bluetooth pairing is also a breeze, as it's initiated via NFC. However, the built in functionality...

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Will Verduzco · Sep 4, 2013

Kernel Flasher Tool for Sony Xperia Devices

A few days ago, we featured a simple Windows batch file that helps users quickly flash kernels on Sony Xperia devices. The simple batch, made by XDA Senior Member HeadFox, is nothing revolutionary. That said, it speeds up the flashing process for those who want to get in and out as quickly as possible. However, its main limitation is that it only supports .IMG files. What if you wish to flash a kernel that comes in .SIN or .ELF format? Well, this...

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Will Verduzco · Sep 3, 2013

Easily Backup the TA Partition on Your Sony Xperia Device

Some time ago, we talked about the importance of backing up the TA partition on Sony Xperia devices. Doing so on Sony Xperia devices saves your DRM keys. Why is this important? These keys are required in order to use a few proprietary software bits such as Bravia Engine in the Gallery app and OTA updates. As we learned before, however, once you unlock your bootloader for the first time, these DRM keys are irreparably lost unless you previously created...

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Will Verduzco · Sep 1, 2013

Quickly Flash Xperia Kernels with Fastboot Speed Runner

We generally try to do things as quickly as possible. If this weren't the case, we wouldn't have a love affair with microwaves and instant ramen noodles. Luckily, various utilities also allow us to optimize our connected lives such as apps that help with multitasking and so on. Luckily, there are also various scripts that help us perform various modification tasks more efficiently, and now we have one to more quickly flash kernels and create backups of existing kernels on Sony Xperia devices....

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Samantha · Aug 14, 2013

How to Download Sony Firmwares and Create FTF Files

Xperia users are no doubt familiar with FTF files, a file extension used for official firmware packages on Xperia devices. We see plenty of them floating around the forums, but not everyone knows exactly how they're created. Some may want to know this because of curiosity, or would just like to share a certain version with the community. To help out with that, XDA Senior Member Apollo89 created a tutorial that guides you through the process. A rather simple procedure, the guide...

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Samantha · Jun 23, 2013

Beginner’s Guide to Changing App Icons on Xperia Devices

One of the first steps to theming brilliance for any aspiring themer is the changing of application icons, a skill that any experienced themer will undoubtedly need in their endeavors. And the great thing is, the process of doing so is not that difficult. Because of this, any novice can have a crack at it without the risks of the more complex activities. Written by XDA Senior Member Rajeev, this simple and straight forward guide breaks down the process of...

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Samantha · Jun 22, 2013

APIs Released for the Illumination Bar on Xperia Devices

Further testament to Sony's increasing support for third-party developers comes with their release of 'experimental' APIs for that funky translucent illumination bar found on many of their phones such as the Xperia S. The new APIs will allow developers to play and experiment with the bar's functionality in various situations, apps, and ROMs. Announced at Sony's Developer World, the APIs will allow developers to control the bar in unrestricted ways never before possible, such as setting the LED color, controlling...

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Samantha · Jun 19, 2013

Avoid Framework Bootloops on Xperias Running Jelly Bean

If you're a Sony device owner running a stock Android Jelly Bean firmware and have tried to edit the framework of your phone for modding or theming, you may have come across the almost inevitable bootloop. A known bug among many users, the inability to compile framework-res.apk successfully without a resulting bootloop on your phone severely limits the potential for development on these particular devices. Thankfully, XDA Senior Memeber erorcun, who ported Sony Socialife and the Xperia Jelly Bean lock screen to other Xperia...

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Will Verduzco · Jun 16, 2013

Guide to Porting a ROM to Various Xperia MDPI Devices

So you are browsing the XDA forum for a device you don't happen to own, and you stumble upon a ROM that catches your eye. What's more, the supported device even has a vastly different resolution than your own. What do you do next? Since we're still trying to battle upgrade-itis, you're not going to give in and buy the new device just yet. But how can you adapt some of the same experience for use on your own device?...

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Samantha · Jun 5, 2013

Xperia Z’s Stamina Mode Ported to 2012 Xperia Devices

Sony's power management software Stamina Mode is one hallmark feature of the Xperia Z and its siblings marketed by Sony. With capabilities of extending battery life by more than four times and being a native piece of software to the 2013 Xperia lineup, it's with no wonder that owners of earlier Xperia devices would love to get their hands on this piece of goodness. So for those with the Xperia S, SL, Ion and Acro S, the anticipation is finally...

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Samantha · May 17, 2013

Make Your Xperia Z, T, TX, V Status Bar and On-Screen Buttons Transparent

If you've only recently made the transition from hardware or capacitive navigational buttons to on-screen buttons like I have, you may have found the virtual buttons to be quite obstructive and intrusive, for a lack of better words. If you own either the Sony Xperia Z, T, TX, or V; there is now a guide that allows you to not only make the on-screen buttons transparent, but also the status bar if you wish. Written by XDA Forum Member Spaun_Studio, the...

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Samantha · May 10, 2013

Three New Small Apps to Add to the Collection

Previously we introduced two small apps developed by XDA Recognized Themer soumya_digi. Those were a music control small app and a LMGTFY small app, and they were created using the Small Apps add-on SDK provided by Sony. If you are not aware, small apps are floating, miniature applications that hover over any running application. They allow you to do some quick calculations, jot down some notes, and much more. Now, soumya_digi has developed 3 more small apps for Xperia users out there....

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