Sony Ericsson has already made it amply clear that its previous generation Xperia handsets won’t be receiving Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS). However, all hope is not yet lost for the Xperia owners. The enterprising ROM chefs at XDA are already working on porting Android 4.0 or ICS to the Xperia X10. In fact, the first alpha build of ICS for the X10 is now available for download.
Zdzihu, who is one of the most respected developers in the X10 community, has succeeded in getting the ICS to boot on the X10. As of now, most of the basic stuff, including touchscreen, radio, bluetooth, and GPS is working. However, Wi-Fi, mobile data, and audio playback is problematic, and pretty much everything else doesn’t work. The ROM is based on the existing 2.6.29 kernel, and supports devices with unlocked as well as locked boot-loaders.
The biggest challenge in porting a new version of Android is getting the hardware drivers to work. Earlier, Sony Ericsson had stepped in and helped out the FreeXperia team to port the Cyanogen Mod to different Xperia devices. It will be interesting to do see if they intend on doing something similar with ICS. Even otherwise, the release of ICS for the newer Xperia devices should help the ROM chefs. However, we might not even have to wait that long to get a fully functioning ICS ROM, given the track record of Zdzihu and others at XDA forums.
Sony Ericsson has come a long way since last year, when it released its first Android handset the Xperia X10. It got a lot of things wrong with the X10. However, it seems to have learnt its lesson. This year it launched the Arc and the Neo with the latest version of Android. It decoupled its custom skin (UX) from the Android core. It gave users of the new Xperia handsets the option of unlocking the bootloader. It backtracked on its initial announcement, and decided to provide the Gingerbread update to the Xperia X10. It delivered dual touch to the X10. And, Sony Ericsson doesn’t seem to be done yet.
If Sony Ericsson Brazil is to be believed, then the new update will introduce full multi-touch support to the Xperia X10. As mentioned above, Sony Ericsson delivered dual-touch to the X10 through a firmware update released earlier in the year. While dual-touch is good enough for pinch-to-zoom, two-finger scrolling, and other simple operations, it is often not good enough for gaming. SE Brazil reiterated in the comments section of its blog update that the new update will indeed deliver full multi-touch, and promised more details soon. The multi-touch issue has been a sensitive one for Xperia X10 owners since Sony Ericsson has changed its position multiple times. While this news will undoubtedly excite Xperia X10 owners, it will also raises a very important question. Full multi-touch support through nifty software tricks is impossible. And if the Xperia X10 hardware was capable of multi-touch all along, then why did Sony Ericsson insist to the contrary?
Unconfirmed chatter also suggests that Sony Ericsson might deliver multiple other improvements including 16 M colors, new kernel, and an unlocked bootloader. The update is scheduled for Q3, 2011; however, don’t be shocked if it is released earlier.
It took more than a year, but the devs at XDA-Developers have finally made it happen. The Xperia X10 boot loader has been bypassed, which means that installation of custom kernels is now possible.
There are already dozens of custom ROMs available for Xperia X10, including some pretty decent FroYo (Android 2.2) and Gingerbread (Android 2.3) ROMs. However, the locked-down boot loader meant that all of them had to use the official kernel (2.6.29).
Although Sony Ericsson has announced that it will be allowing power users to unlock the boot loader in the near future, users of older Xperia models (Xperia X10/X10 Mini/X10 Mini Pro/X8) won’t be getting this privilege. Thankfully, Zdzihu, of the FreeX10 fame, has managed to load a fully working custom kernel. He has released an alpha kernel, which is a modified version of the stock 2.6.29 kernel, as a proof of concept. Among other things, the patched kernel does away with the artificially imposed frame-rate cap, implements netfilter, and reduces the voltage to conserve battery.
Quite obviously, the alpha release of the modified kernel isn’t suitable for daily use. However, this does open up a lot of new possibilities, and gives the developers more freedom. Zdzihu will soon start working on porting the Gingerbread kernel from Xperia Arc. In the meanwhile check out video demonstrating the enhanced fluidity of the interface with Z’s custom kernel.
The awesome developers over at XDA Developers have done it again! A developer with the username TripNRaVeR has managed to port the Xperia Arc ROM to the Xperia X10.
The Xperia Arc ROM for the X10 is based on Android 2.3.1 Gingerbread with Sony Ericsson’s proprietary MediaScape and Timescape UI running on top of it. The ROM is still in its early stages so some bugs are to be expected.
Most of the stuffs including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, Network, Data and Timescape/Mediascape work just fine. One major gripe with the ROM is that the sound output of the phone does not work at all i.e. users won’t be able to hear what the other caller is saying while on a call.
Nevertheless, the developer TripNRaVeR has promised to fix the sound output bug in the next release. He has already warned that fixing the sound output bug may result in other stuffs not working.
Xperia X10 owners who don’t mind tinkering around with their phone, and want to taste the Gingerbread ROM on their handset, can visit this thread over at XDA forums.
Via Xperia X10 Blog
Last year, Sony Ericsson confirmed that even though the current line-up of Android based Xperia smartphones will not get the Android 2.2 update. However, the company did state that they will release several updates which will improve the functionality and the overall user experience of the phone.
These several updates’ brought many new features to the biggest member of the Xperia family the X10 including partial multi-touch support, improved performance and updated version of TimeScape and Mediascape. However, Sony Ericsson had also promised that the X10 will get D-LNA support with one of these updates.
Sadly, Sony Ericsson has confirmed on their Product Blog that the X10 won’t be getting DLNA feature, officially at least. The reason behind the DLNA feature not making it to the handset is as follows :
Q: Wasn’t DLNA supposed to be in the latest update for Xperia X10?
A: That was our plan, as stated here back in May last year. However lots of things has changed since then like splitting the update into two parts, changes to timing, adding Pinch Zoom touch etc. One of the consequences of all those changes was unfortunately that DLNA had to be de-scoped. I know that there are 3rd party apps available that enables DLNA though so hopefully you can enjoy one of those.
The blog post also contains some useful information about the upcoming XPERIA handsets from Sony Ericsson. Readers can read the whole blog post here.
The current line-up of Xperia handsets from Sony Ericsson may never get the Android 2.2 officially, but this has not stopped the developers at XDA forums to support the phone. The biggest member of the Xperia family the X10 got its Android 2.2 based custom ROM quite a few weeks ago.
Now, three of its smaller siblings the Xperia X8 and the X10 Mini/Mini Pro have got their share of Android 2.2 based custom ROMs. The ROMs for all the three phones mentioned above are based on Android 2.2 with HTC Sense UI on top of it. These ROMs have been ported to these smaller Xperia siblings from the HTC Hero and Legend. Kudos to the developers for all their hard work!
However, not everything works at the moment. In most of the ROMs, the camera functionality is broken along with some Bluetooth and media playback issues. Nevertheless, the developers are hard at work and are churning out new updates with every passing day.
Hopefully, these issues will soon be fixed by the developers and all the members of the Xperia family can get their share of Android 2.2 love, unofficially. X10 Mini owners should head over to this thread while X10 Mini Pro and X8 owners should head over to this and this thread, respectively.
Over the last week, Sony Ericsson has started rolling out a new software updated for their Xperia range of Android phones including the X10 and the X8. This new software update aims to bring pinch-to-zoom feature to the X10 and update the UXP UI found on the Xperia family.
Sony Ericsson have also improved the performance and stability of the Xperia X10’s and the X8 with this software update. Sadly, only the biggest member of the Xperia family the X10 gets the pinch-to-zoom feature support.
According to the Sony Ericsson Product Blog, other important changes in this software update include :
- Moxier in an updated version (2.7.13) that includes a great overview widget for e-mail, calendar and tasks.
- Moxier e-mail shown in Timescape.
- Possibilities of trimming videos in the phone.
- Videos are transcoded to fit into MMS-messages even if they were recorded in high quality.
- Minor changes to Mediascape with access to Now Playingin the top right corner.
Sony Ericsson has also enabled ANT+ support for the X8, the X10 Mini and Mini Pro handsets. ANT+ is a short-range communication technology will allow these handsets to wirelessly communicate with heart rate monitors and other devices. Readers can find more information about ANT+ technology here.
Owners of the Xperia handsets can update their handset by using Sony Ericsson’s PC Companion or directly via OTA (Over-The-Air).
Although Sony Ericsson has decided against rolling out FroYo or newer versions of Android for the Xperia X10, there are still a couple of more significant updates in the pipeline. The first of them will introduce partial-multitouch (dual touch), while the other one will spruce up the Timescape and Mediascape applications. As we reported earlier, Japan’s NTT Docomo customers will be the first to receive this update. However, you don’t need to be at the mercy of your carrier or Sony Ericsson to enable dual-touch on your X10.
Bina4y from xda-developers forum has released a patch that should add dual touch support to any ROM for the Xperia X10. The hotfix requires the use of Flashtools, and while the installation procedure is fairly simple, it is not for the faint hearted. If you are not comfortable with messing around with Android, it is highly recommended that you wait for the official update. If you have a rooted handset, you should also follow this guide to enable dual-touch support on all apps that can make use of it.
The biggest benefit of the aforementioned hotfix is that it will enable the pinch-to-zoom gesture on apps like Browser, Angry Birds and Maps. However, Xperia’s multi-touch is broken, like Nexus One’s. Don’t expect more complex gestures like rotation (in Google Maps 5.0) to work. It will also fail wherever more than three inputs or high precision is required.
A couple of months ago, we had reported that the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 will get partial’ multi-touch support via a software update from Sony Ericsson. The company had promised to release the software update by Q1 of 2011.
Now, it looks like Sony Ericsson is going to roll out the update slowly and steadily. Starting this week, the company is going to release the multi-touch’ software update in Japan for the NTT DoCoMo branded X10’s.
The software update will only bring partial’ multi-touch to the X10. It will only allow users to take advantage of the pinch-to-zoom gesture. All the in-built applications on the phone like the Browser and the Maps will be updated to support this new multi-touch gesture as well. However, users won’t be able to enjoy the new multi-touch gestures offered by the new Google Maps 5.
Third party applications can also make use of this limited’ multi-touch support on the X10. But, users should expect this multi-touch gesture implementation to be erratic at best since it’s more of a hack. The X10 digitizer does not support true’ multi-touch and Sony Ericsson has got this partial’ multi-touch working by some clever driver coding.
Nevertheless, something is better than nothing and this software update will hopefully please all the X10 owners out there.
Sony Ericsson UK has confirmed that the Xperia X10, X10 Mini, X10 Mini Pro and the X8 won’t be getting the Android 2.2 update after all. This news is definitely not going to please all the Xperia owners out there.
However, Sony Ericsson says that the Xperia X10 and its other siblings will get many other enhancements via software update.
Sony Ericsson has already stated that they will release a software update for the X10 in Q1 of 2011 which will bring multi-touch support to the handset. Apparently, Sony Ericsson will also release another update which will add new functionalities to the MediaScape and TimeScape UI of the handset.
However, X10, X10 Mini Pro, X10 Mini and X8 users now need to look at the Custom ROM scene for their handset to get Android 2.2 or Android 2.3 running on their handset.