It’s highly likely that all Sony smartphone or tablet users here on XDA have heard of Flashtool by XDA Recognized Developer Androxyde. It’s a great tool, which allows you to restore your Xperia to stock state, root it, unlock the bootloader, flash a kernel, and do basically everything else that’s needed to enjoy the custom ROM world.
Flashtool works on three platforms, including Windows which needs external drivers to successfully access the flash mode. These drivers were incorporated Flashtool, but eventually became outdated and out of sync with the new Flashtool releases. Androxyde therefore decided to release the driver pack separately. With help of XDA Recognized Developer DooMLoRD, the Flashtool team provides a new version of drivers that should help you to use Flashtool to backup or restore your Sony Xperia device. There are some issues with Windows 8 (surprise, surprise), but they have been resolved and the information to do so is in the thread’s OP.
These versatile drivers can be found in the original thread, which is housed in the Cross-Device Development Projects for Sony Devices forum. If you own a Sony device, don’t hesitate to go there and grab a copy. Don’t forget to get a newest version of Flashtool while you’re at it, which can be found in its thread.
January 26, 2014 By: Samantha
When it comes to Xposed modules focused on UI customization, there are some great choices out there. But because many of them are designed to have maximum compatibility with a wide range of different devices, naturally the amount of customization that is allowed will be restricted. So when an Xposed module developed specifically for one type of device, namely Xperia devices, one can expect greater customization options.
And this is exactly the case with Serajr Xperia, developed by XDA Recognized Themer serajr. This is an Xposed module developed only for Xperia devices running the official Android 4.2.2+ firmware (with a few exceptions). Its great range of customization options are organized into 5 main categories: System, System UI, Power Menu, Xperia Home, and Media. In total, there are a 44 options as of right now, including:
The device compatibility list includes most Xperia devices that have had their Android 4.2 and 4.3 update already such as the Xperia Z1, Z, and L, as well as a few devices which have only Android 4.1 such as the Xperia S and ION.
If you want to check out the Xposed module yourself, visit the original thread for more information.
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 such problems, Sony has Thermanager, a ‘thermal management solution’ for Xperia devices with binaries that were previously released through their Developer’s Portal. An issue with this was developers weren’t given the flexibility and freedom to customize, improve, or analyze the behavior of the thermal management. This then hindered possible fixes and solutions to thermal-related problems, which were not properly addressed otherwise.
Sony decided to address this issue by releasing the source code of Thermanager to the general public. Made available through their Github, this source release is yet another step that Sony has taken inline with their developer-friendly reputation. So if you’re a developer looking to build on the existing thermal solutions, be sure to check their information post.
June 23, 2013 By: Samantha
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 changing app icons into ‘bite-size’ steps that are easily comprehensible and followed. Using the default phone book app as an example to demonstrate the procedure, the tutorial guides you through navigating the chosen APK with 7zip File Manager, finding where the right image files are located, and replacing them with custom icons of your choosing. The process is also illustrated visually with accompanying screenshots of the various steps. Of course, keep in mind that updating the app through the Play store will reverse this modification.
Changing icons of applications this way is usually recommended over using third party apps such as Desktop Visualizer since the changes will be consistent throughout your device rather than being limited to the home screen. So if you would like to give this a go, be sure to visit the original thread for more information.
[Screenshot courtesy of neizel]
March 22, 2013 By: Samantha
The one great thing about Sony’s Small Apps feature found on their Xperia devices is not the multitasking that they grant users, but that developers are allowed and encouraged to develop their own Xperia Small Apps to their hearts’ content with the Sony Add-on SDK. Well, XDA Senior Member soumya_digi came out with not one, but two Small Apps called Media Controls and Let Me Google That For You (LMGTFY).
The Media Controls Small App is a much welcomed and needed Small App for Xperia users. It is not unlike the previously featured Floating Music Controls in function, with the standard next and previous controls, and pausing and playing songs. This means starting music playback without having to exit the foreground app and opening the music player or swiping to that conveniently placed music widget.
The LMGTFY Small App is also pretty simple and self-explanatory, allowing users to generate a LMGTFY link, and packed in a Small App means generating a link without even existing the currently open application. Soumya_digi also included a nifty feature for shortening the LMGTFY link.
Built upon the Xperia Z or T Small Apps framework, it is a requirement for users to have the Xperia Z/T Small Apps framework to have these up and running properly. So if you have the Small Apps feature on your Xperia device and would like to check out these Small Apps, make sure to head over here for the Media Controls and here for LMGTFY.
Installing multiple essential mods on a device that’s been constantly reflashed with a fresh new ROM can be cumbersome and tedious. You run the risk of finding yourself with the dreaded bootloop if you forgot one simple step in the installation process. On top of this, the whole process is extremely time consuming, on many occasions taking up hours of your time. To help alleviate this, XDA Recognized Contributor Pandemic presents ST Octane Settings for the Xperia P, U, Go and Sola.
ST Octane Settings is a collection of useful mods for the Xperia P, U, Go and Sola, all packaged into one simple and flashable zip file. The pack includes mods such as Jelly Bean switches, Quick panel, On Screen Buttons as well as settings to turn them on and off, CPU Control, and location-based WiFi. Installation is relatively straightforward, requiring the user to flash the provided zip file through ClockworkMod recovery, however Small Apps must be installed prior to the installation of ST Octane Settings. Pandemic also has a mod pack for the Xperia S and Ion under the same name, and Xperia Arc, Arc S and Neo called Xperia Go Settings offering similar modifications, all wrapped up and presented in the same, singular zip file.
If you’re running stock Ice Cream Sandwich and you’re interested, make sure to check out the original thread for the Xperia P, U, Go and Sola, here for the Xperia S and Ion, or here if you have the Arc and Arc S, or here if you have the Neo.
You may remember reading or watching our review of the Meizu MX, a well spec’d device that shipped with a heavily themed and modified version of Android 4.0.4 known as Flyme OS. You may also remember seeing that this new flavor of OEM specific Android was ported to the AT&T Galaxy SII. It seems that Flyme OS is proving quite popular, and has now also been ported to the Xperia Neo L & V, with a version for the Xperia Arc also on the way thanks to XDA Senior Member emwno.
Now when I said that Flyme OS is heavily themed and modified I wasn’t joking. It seems as if Meizu tried to completely cover any trace of the stock Android experience, so Flyme may not be for everyone. However, that might just be why some people seem to love it.
This particular port is still something of a work-in-progress, and as you’d expect, there are bugs. Most of the main functionality is there, but the one thing that may put you off is the lack of 3G data. 2G, however, is working. It might not be usable as a daily driver just yet, but if you’re the curious type, this certainly looks like it could be worth a shot. Head on over to the development thread for more info.