[Update: New launcher in development] Sony Xperia Home launcher will no longer receive new features, beta program will end soon
Xperia Home is the launcher that comes pre-installed on Sony’s Xperia phones. It is the first launcher that got Google Feed support (it was called Google Now Cards back then). While on default settings, it is pretty close to stock Android and old-fashioned-looking, to be honest, it is still fairly customizable. You have an ability to change icons, their sizes, hide apps, get app recommendations, customize the dock, etc. Well, seems like those tare he features you’re going to be stuck with for a while, as the app enters maintenance phase. Xperia Home beta community will be closed in a couple of weeks too.
Based on that decision, the latest update, 11.3.A.0.17, contains only bugfixes. Here’s how the official changelog looks:
- Widgets not updated.
- Corrected calculations of blurred wallpaper offset in landscape.
- Improved visibility of search personalization card
- Open MMS matching text
- Fix a crash when search fails to fetch a photo
- Handle display size changes for shortcut icons
- Don’t animate away Google Feed when Home is stopped
Entering a maintenance phase means two things, First, the app will no longer get any feature updates. You won’t see any new features “for as long as deemed necessary”, the company says. The second is that the app will still receive a lot of bug fixes and improvements. You wouldn’t want an app with a handful of features but with more bugs, would you?
I personally think that Sony’s decision on this matter is wise. I rarely used Xperia Home launcher as I don’t have an Xperia device, but every app should go to a maintenance phase every once in a while. Most likely, maintenance stage will be continued for a couple of months. Nevertheless, I welcome that business decision as stability is always better than functionality, and quality is always better than quantity.
Update: New launcher in the works
In a comment on the original Google+ post, Erika confirmed the reason why they put Xperia Home into maintenance mode is to develop a new launcher.
The reason for discontinuing new feature development in the current Xperia Home Application is that we are developing a new Home Application.