Following Huawei’s move to make available early alpha and beta ROMs of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich available on existing, released handsets, Sony Ericsson is doing the same for many of the company’s Android smartphone under the XPERIA brand. Sony Ericsson is making available Ice Cream Sandwich alpha ROMs–which are supposed to be even less stable than beta products–available for developers, hackers, and experienced users to load on their unlocked, non-carrier branded XPERIA devices.
As these ROMs are still in alpha stage, there should be a number of instabilities, bugs, and missing features. Chief of those missing features is the ability to make or place calls, which is one of the most important feature for having a phone, so don’t run the experimental Android 4.0 ROM if you intend on calling people. Here’s the full list of known bugs:
- Google Mobile Services (GMS) apps are not included (for example, Gmail, Google Maps, etc.).
- Modem is turned off and SIM card will therefore not be recognised (this also means you can’t make any phone calls).
- Bluetooth™ is turned off.
- Wi-Fi® is turned off.
- ANT+ is turned off.
- FM-radio is turned off.
If you’re willing to accept those bugs and any risks running an experimental ROM, here are some of the new changes that are included:
- New “Roboto” font.
- New “Holo” theme is supported (you are able to test apps written to make use of the Holo theme).
- Music player control from lock screen.
- Updated UI in the Settings menu.
- Updated UI in the web browser.
- Updated UI and interaction with the new messaging action bar.
- Updated UI for improved multitasking.
- Swipe to dismiss notifications, tasks and browser tabs in the Notification menu.
The move shows that Sony Ericsson is in fact working on an update for many of its phones to Android 4.0 and is opening up to the developer community, which is in stark contrast to some of the instances of locked bootloaders that we’ve been hearing on various devices from carriers and other manufacturers.
Via: Sony Ericsson