If you’ve followed XDA for a while, you will likely know that we have somewhat mixed feelings towards Sony and the attitude they used to (notice the use of past tense) take towards the developer community. If anyone remembers back to the legal battle against George Hotz, where a multi-million dollar corporation essentially went full force against an underground developer/hacker for letting people know how to run CFW (custom firmware) on their Playstation consoles, it was something that earned (and rightfully so) the rage and anger of the entire modder community. However, it seems that the Japanese conglomerate is turning around and trying a different approach towards this group of customers (us).
According to a recent post on Google+ by XDA Recognized Developer cyanogen, Sony has literally opened the flood gates by adding the Dynamic Android Sensor Hardware Abstraction Layer (DASH for short) to the world of open source. What this means essentially is that now developers have access to and can contribute towards the development and betterment of the code behind the sensor hardware’s inner workings. This is rather interesting, and quite a big step for manufacturers, since this kind of information is usually obtained via reverse engineering, espionage, or (normally) not at all.
Most developers out there who work on porting operating systems (like in this case, cyanogen) spend monumental amounts of time digging through bits and pieces of information that is scarcely available to try and fix bugs caused by incompatibilities between the custom code and the closed source code. So, this addition will have a benefit for both parties: on one side, developers will not have to spend countless hours trying to figure out how to make things work because they will have access to the actual code from the same people who make these. On the other hand, Sony will benefit from the added expertise of the modding community, as we have a bit of a reputation when it comes to finding bugs in manufacturer’s products. This goes hand in hand with the addition of the Xperia S to the device vendor list in the AOSP source.
This is indeed quite a change of heart by the same people who just a little over two years ago were in absolute denial and going after underground hackers, who ironically were their customers and a big driving force behind a percentage of their sales. Keep going down the right path, Sony! We are proud of you and we sincerely hope that the others will follow your example as well (ahem… HTC… we hope you are taking down notes). Last but not least, a big thumbs up for cyanogen and his team for opening Sony’s eyes. Way to go, guys!
Want something published in the Portal? Contact any News Writer.
[Thanks to pulser_g2 for the tip!]
April 19, 2012 By: jerdog
We recently told you about numerous things Sony has been doing in an attempt to embrace the independent developer community. Starting with official ICS test builds then providing instructions to build kernels for their Xperia S, they are now at it again.
On their Developer World Blog, they just recently announced a new program that they are calling the Device Loaner Program. Essentially, if you are an Android developer and would like to test your application against a physical device but cannot afford one, just hit up their program. The quick details are as follows:
The Device Loaner Program was created with you, the developer, in mind. For the smaller studios and independent developers with limited resources, this is a perfect program to take advantage of. With it, you can immediately borrow an Xperia™ smartphone for up to 30 days. The service is completely free, and initially aimed at the U.S. and Canadian market. If you’re a developer outside of these markets, please be aware that you’ll be paying for international shipping fees, plus applicable customs/duties for your particular destination.
They currently are offering up pretty much their entire Xperia line, from the new Xperia S to the Arc, X10, and even the LiveView. No other manufacturer is currently going to such lengths to provide the independent developer community with the means to further their product. If you are interested, visit the Device Loaner Program and sign up.
February 5, 2012 By: Ian Stacy
Sony’s LocationFree Player is a system for streaming video content like cable, satellite, home DVR, and even your DVD collection anywhere in the world at any time (think Slingbox, Sony style). Launched in 2004, the service allowed users to stream to devices like the Sony PSP, VAIO Laptops and even to your home television via standalone players. Many people still use the service even though Sony no longer develops it.
One thing the LocationFree service always lacked in comparison to its competitors was support for mobile playback. With the exception of the PSP and a dated Windows Mobile program, there has been no way to take you LocationFree service with you. XDA forum member mgschwan has created an app for Android that does just that. It’s already been tested on several devices and seems to work well on higher end models. From the original thread:
The current status of the software is:
* Compatible to LF-B1 and LF-B10 BaseStations
* Support for EU and US models
* Remote control support
* Registration works from within the app
* Fullscreen playback
* Works over Wifi/3G/4G
Before getting too excited you should know that mgshwan hasn’t released the app, choosing instead to await approval from Sony. He seems to be having a difficult time contacting an appropriate representative, so anyone who might know where to point him can check out the original thread here. Want to see it in action? Head to the youtube video here!
February 4, 2012 By: Former Writer
Sometimes development can be fueled by nothing more than a well made tool or tutorial that gets people started. In most cases, it’s some sort of kitchen that takes some of the hard parts of making a ROM and turns it into a simple menu option. In other cases, it’s a 10 minute tutorial showing users what’s what and how to do things.
The pre-requisites are relatively simple to understand, and include:
1. Linux (any form will do, for example virtual box etc)
2. Perl (already included in Ubuntu, me thinks)
3. The Xperia Boot Tools package attached in this post
4. The mkbootimg binary (I already compiled it for Linux x86 and included it in the attachment)
5. Reading this post VERY VERY VERY carefully
From there, it’s a bunch of terminal commands that do the work for you. However, as long as you’re attentive and careful then you shouldn’t run into too many problems. And, as always, make sure you make a complete backup of your device before attempting to flash your work, just in case you skipped a step somewhere.
For those budding developers who want to give this process a try, you can check out the full tutorial in the original thread where you can also find discussions and additional information. Being ever so humble, iridaki has also said that if you manage to find any mistakes then you should post them in the thread so corrections can be made.
Despite their many efforts, Sony has never been especially popular in the Android world. They have some very nice looking devices, but they have never been able to achieve the popularity of HTC, Samsung, or Motorola with their Android offerings. With that in mind, Sony has been branching out in an attempt to gain some of that all important marketshare. One of the more interesting steps they seem to be taking has been a move into Windows Phone space. Recently there have been leaks back and forth of shots of a slider phone from Sony, sporting the Windows Phone 7 button layout to drive the message home. Slider phones are great for some, but to really compete with a phone like the Nokia Lumia 900, Sony needs to bring something big to the table. Something powerful, sleek, and sexy. Something like the Sony Xperia Arc.
An anonymous source reports that what we see here is a piece of hardware that looks almost exactly like the Xperia Arc, but running Windows Phone 7. From the shots, you can clearly see where Sony has baked in some of their own features in their very own Sony tile, which will undoubtedly work like the HTC Sense tile we’ve seen before. It looks like Sony is planning a multiple device launch into Windows Phone territory, and with any luck they will maintain the modder friendly policies that have adopted recently with their Android devices.
UPDATE: Turns out this is fake. Nothing to see here, folks!
January 20, 2012 By: Former Writer
Battery life on phones is very important and especially so on Android devices. One of the biggest and longest running complaints of the Android line is bad battery life. While manufacturers and Google have worked together to build phones with bigger batteries and better power management, some phones came out after these improvements and could use the extra help.
There are a few requirements before you give this a shot, should you want to, and include:
1. Your Live must be ROOT
2. Having already init.d folder, if not done this there can come a tutor>> http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=894445
3. if there is such previous script2 juwel ram script, V6 and script2 battery please delete it before just follow the tut’s is so clashed …. but if you want to try without doing a delete script2 mentioned above … please … … don’t forget, still could always do a backup first for awasome try this script! Do Way on Your Risk!!
So for those who own one of the aforementioned Xperia phones, you can check out this nifty little script in its original thread to find additional information, installation instructions and download links. The installation instructions make it look a little tough, so make sure you understand the instructions before attempting. Otherwise, have at it.
Back in October, we were greeted by news that Sony was set to buy out the remainder of Sony Ericsson for a cool $1.45 billion—a move made with the hopes of delivering better product integration and bolstering patent holdings. Fast forward two-and-a-half months, and now we have our first purely Sony phone since the 2001 merger—and what a phone it is!
The Xperia Ion by Sony will be the first Xperia-branded phone to pack 4G LTE connectivity. The goodness doesn’t stop with network speeds, as the Ion also comes loaded with a 4.6″ Reality display with Bravia technology and a massive 1280 x 720 resolution.
A beautiful screen and fast network mean nothing, however, if there isn’t enough grunt to back it up. Luckily, the Ion packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon S3, which mates the ARM Cortex A8-derived Scorpion CPU with the AMD Adreno 220 GPU. Sound familiar? It should—that’s the same SoC that’s powering the T-Mobile variant of the Galaxy S II, various HTC phones such as the Evo 3D, and even the hacker’s delight HP TouchPad. The memory and storage are equally impressive at 1 GB and 16 GB (expandable via microSD), respectively.
Unfortunately all is not peachy, as the Ion will launch with Android 2.3 Gingerbread rather than the oh-so-sweet Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. This being XDA, we are sure to see plenty of custom ROM ports within hours of release, but it’s always preferable when the OEMs at least pretend to care about what’s best for their customers. Given Sony’s recent track record with ICS updates, however, we remain hopeful that the Ion will officially receive ICS in a timely manner.
Has the Xperia Ion made the short list for your next device upgrade? Let us know in the comments section below!