One of the coolest things about Android is live wallpapers. Yes, they aren’t particularly utilitarian, but some of the live wallpapers are truly breathtaking. Now Sony has released an app to enable you to add a personal touch to your live wallpapers.
Xperia Motion Snap is a new app from Sony, which can record a short video and use it as a live wallpaper. After you record a video, the app will automatically convert into a looping live wallpaper. There are a few additional options, including miniature effect, which adds a nice looking blur effect to the video.
The bad news is that this app is only available for Xperia users in Japan. Fortunately for us, some enterprising users have already extracted the APK and shared it with the world. You can download and install the APK on any device. The other alternative is to use Video Live Wallpaper, which is a free app available in the Play store. Video Live Wallpaper has a few more options and can cycle through multiple videos. Xperia Snap, on the other hand, only works with videos recorded through the app, and is less configurable. However, Sony’s graphics engine is capable of recording pretty looking videos that work well as live wallpapers.
Just days after Sony Ericsson Nazomi was leaked, another Sony Ericsson device has shown up on the interwebs. The new device goes by the codename Nypon and is running ST-Ericsson Novathor U8500, which is a dual core 1 GHz chip. The capacitive touchscreen is said to have a resolution of 540 x 960, and the device already features Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0). The videos published by ST-Ericsson are embedded below.
Little else is known about the Nypon, which also goes by the name LT22i. It’s still early days for Nypon, which is shown to be running from a board in the videos. If appropriately priced, it can turn out to be an exciting addition to the mid-range smartphone segment. However, the show stealer for SE’s 2012 series of devices will be the Nazomi that is slated to feature a 1.5 GHz dual core processor, 1 GB RAM, and a full HD 4.3-inch screen.
In many ways, 2011 was the year of course correction for Sony Ericsson. It learnt from its past mistakes and focused on enhancing its ecosystem by becoming more consumer friendly. The beleaguered phone manufacturer also made some crucial decisions like ending the joint venture with Ericsson in order to better leverage Sony’s other properties, and exiting the low margin dumb phone market. Samsung has been providing a tough challenge to all Android manufacturers, but if Sony gets its act right, 2012 could well be the year of its resurgence in the mobile phone market.
Sony Ericsson’s current flagship, the Xperia Arc S, seems grossly underpowered when compared with the dual-core beasts from other major Android smartphone manufacturers like Samsung, HTC, and LG. While Sony Ericsson got its software segment in order in 2011, it was let down by the hardware department. It made a lot of right calls to woo the Android aficionados, including shipping devices with Gingerbread, unlocking the boot loader, and even officially providing support to the ROM development community. Both the Arc and Arc S are stunning handsets with a gorgeous body and a snappy operating system. Unfortunately, under the hood, both of them house a single core CPU that make the Xperia devices a dubious choice for the demanding consumer.
The good news is that Sony Ericsson’s next flagship device is indeed going to be a dual-core power house that can compete with the latest and greatest from other smartphone manufacturers. The device, which is currently going by the name Sony Ericsson Xperia Nozomi LT26i, will be powered by a 1.5 GHz dual-core CPU and have 1 GB of RAM. Here are some leaked snaps by the way of JustAmp.
Nozomi will sport a 4.3-inch capacitive touchscreen, with a massive resolution of 1280×720 pixels. While Google’s Nexus Prime also has similar resolution, it has a slightly bigger screen, which means that the Nozomi will have an advantage as far as pixel density is concerned. Detailed spec-sheet for Nozomi is currently not available; however, from the leaked snaps it is clear that SE will include both front and rear cameras. The pictured handset is running Android Gingerbread 2.3.5, but this can change before release. Given that the handset will probably be released in Q1 2012, Sony Ericsson should ideally launch its next flagship with Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0).
2011 is turning out to be the year of dual-core Androids. LG has Optimus 2X, Motorola has Atrix, Samsung has Galaxy SII, and HTC has Sensation. The only major Android handset manufacturer that is yet to join the party is Sony Ericsson. SE’s current flagship device, the Arc, runs on a single core Scorpion chip. However, SE almost certainly has a dual core Android handset in the works.
At this moment, absolutely nothing is known about the successor to the gorgeous Xperia Arc. However, a picture of a previously unseen Xperia device has surfaced on the Chinese website Mobibal. Aesthetically, the new Xperia handset looks similar to the Xperia Pro. The sharp square edges present in the X10 and the Arc have made way for a more roundish look. The screen also seems to be a ginormous one, and might even be bigger than 4.3 inches. The Xperia blog believes that this device will be called the Xperia Duo. If the name seems familiar to you that is because earlier rumors had suggested that the Xperia X10 Mini Pro successor is going to be called the Xperia Duo.
Needless to say, there is a good chance that the entire thing is a fabrication. However, Sony Ericsson has never been very good with secrets. What ever the truth is, expect it to be revealed over the coming weeks through more leaks.
As much as Google likes to boast about Android’s openness, the harsh reality is that most manufacturers have been playing spoil sport by locking down the boot loader. Motorola is the first name that pops into one’s mind, courtesy of their eFuse mechanism. However, back in January, after a public relations fiasco, Motorola hinted at the possibility of future devices shipping with an open bootloader. Now, it seems that Sony Ericsson might follow suit.
Sony Ericsson hasn’t received much love from the developer community thanks to their lackluster update delivery, and fortified bootloader. Even after a year of Xperia X10’s release, the folks at XDA haven’t managed to get past Sony Ericsson’s protections. Although all the Xperia devices have received soft-root, the locked bootloader has kept custom ROMs with a modified kernel at bay. Now, in a surprising move, Simon Walker, the Head of Developer Program and Engagement at Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications, has admitted on Twitter that he is in favor of rooting.
In another recent blog post, Rikard Skogberg from SE had explained that, “In our phones there are functionality that have to be secure such as SIM-lock and DRM. We currently don’t have a solution in place to secure that while opening the bootloader and therefore it would break legal agreements with many of our partners if we do”.
Essentially, Sony Ericsson can’t ship devices with unlocked bootloaders until they have a mechanism in-place to guarantee their commercial interests. We presume that this is what Walker also meant by “if we do it right”. Let’s hope that Walker succeeds in convincing the people that matter. After all, it certainly won’t harm Sony Ericsson to court the devs and Android power users.
We have already shared with you how the Sony Ericsson PlayStation phone looks, what are its specifications, and what it might be called. Now, we even have some benchmarks to judge its performance.
A Chinese technology website managed to get hold of a PS phone with pre-release firmware for half-a-day. If you can read Chinese or don’t mind Google Translate, head over here for the details.
As we already know, the PlayStation phone ships with a single core processor – a 1 GHz Snapdragon. While this might soon get outdated due to the expected onslaught of dual-core Android handsets, the good news is that Sony Ericsson has done a very good job at optimizing its custom shell.
The PlayStation phone clocked in a Quadrant score of 1,733, which is admirable for any phone with default ROM. The Adreno 205 GPU also pushed the Neocore score to 59.1fps, which is once again, excellent.
The lack of cutting-edge hardware in a gaming device is surprising. In fact, one of the videos shot by IT168 shows the PlayStation phone getting beaten by another current generation phone in Dungeon Defenders. Nevertheless, at the very least, the PlayStation phone will be able to handle all current generation games. Sony will undoubtedly tap into content partners to make some big-name games available for the PlayStation phone. These games, which targeted at the device, will be accessible through a bundled app called PlayStation Pocket.
Last time, Sony Ericsson angered many of its fans by announcing the Xperia X10 several months before it was ready. This time around, SE has been keeping its mouth shut. However, that doesn’t mean that we don’t have any idea regarding what Sony Ericsson has been cooking. The steady stream of leaks have already outed the successor to the Xperia X10 and the X10 Mini, besides revealing a new Android powered gaming phone.
At this point it’s not clear if Sony Ericsson will unveil the PlayStation phone at CES 2011 or MWC 2011. However, the newfound polish of the hardware buttons suggests that the phone is ready for manufacturing.
The Android 2.1 update for Xperia X10 has been released a few weeks ago and brought some joy to users. However, a very important feature, Wi-Fi tethering, didn’t come with the update. However, since Android 2.1 on X10 can be rooted, Wi-Fi tethering can be enabled using a third party app. Here are the two steps to enable Wi-Fi tethering on your X10 and other Android device.
First thing to do is root your Android device. The easiest way to do it is by installing z4root from Android Market on your phone. This app will root your phone in one click. I rooted my X10 using this app. However, it took three tries to root my phone, so try again if it didn’t work for the first time.
To enable Wi-Fi tethering on the Xperia X10, install Barnacle Wi-Fi Tether from Android market after rooting your phone. After the installation, run Barnacle Wi-Fi Tether and click Start. Now your phone is ready to share its internet connection with other Wi-Fi capable devices. Enjoy!
It’s finally official. The much delayed Ã‰clair (Android 2.1) update for Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 series (Xperia X10, Xperia X10 Mini and Xperia X10 Mini Pro) will begin rolling out on October 31. As announced earlier, the update will be deployed in a phased manner. Nordic countries will be the first ones to get it. Users in the rest of the world should begin receiving Android 2.1 over the next couple of weeks. However, if you are using a branded (carrier locked) handset, you might have to wait longer. Xperia X8 owners are also out of luck, and probably won’t receive Android 2.1 before December.
Sony Ericsson’s inability to deliver updates on time has already damaged the company’s reputation as a reliable Android device manufacturer. In fact, it led to Gizmodo questioning how much longer Sony Ericsson is going to be around, and even prompted angry X10 owners to storm Sony Ericsson’s Live Chat support service.
The October 31 evening release date means that Sony Ericsson is waiting until the absolute last moment before pushing out the update. This, coupled with their earlier refusal to commit on a specific date, seems to suggest to me that Sony Ericsson is still struggling to polish the update to a satisfactory level. Let’s just hope that I am wrong.
So which one of you saw the strikingly built-for-a-watch-strap iPod nano and exclaimed I WANT!before realizing that it’s not all that great an accessory in real life? How about something similar that is actually a great accessory and works with your Android phone?
Enter Sony Ericsson LiveViewâ„¢ a Bluetooth enabled 128×128 OLED mini-display that does a host of things such as announcing the number of unread messages, RSS items and other such notification while managing to look sleek and tidy. It also has four touch-enabled areas:-
The Sony Ericsson LiveViewâ„¢ uses Bluetoothâ„¢ connectivity to wirelessly pair up to a compatible handset. The LiveViewâ„¢ features a 128×128 pixel, 1.3 inch organic LED (OLED) display with four touch areas. LiveViewâ„¢ also has two additional keys for on/off and select. By default, it can function as a remote control for the music player, display messages and feeds from the phone and social networking services, and also display call information and calendar reminders
The size of the Sony Ericsson LiveViewâ„¢ is 3.5 cm x 3.5cm x 1.1 cm, and the battery will last up to four days during normal usage. The LiveViewâ„¢ will work with most phones running Androidâ„¢ 2.0 and above. A list of compatible phones will later be available on www.sonyericsson.com/liveview. LiveViewâ„¢ is compatible with Bluetoothâ„¢ 2.1 technology. The Sony Ericsson LiveViewâ„¢ will be available in selected markets from Q4, 2010.
Made specifically for Android phones, Sony Ericsson will also release the SDK to make the device work with many applications that can be accessed by any phone running Android 2.0 or up.
Considering that the XPERIA Android line of SE phones are to update to 2.1 in October, it is safe to assume that the device will be released after October, perhaps in the Christmas season. Keep a look out!