One of the best features of Android is its open ecosystem. Any manufacturer can come around and use this amazing OS or even tinker around to improve it (or mess things up). Sadly, manufacturers are not always great at what they do, and depending on your preferences, you might want to get rid of those stock UIs. Sony Ericsson is very conscious of this and openly supports the development community behind Android.
The CyanogenMod team has just announced that they will be supporting the whole Xperia line very soon. There are not many ROMs available for such devices, so this comes as great news to Sony Ericsson Xperia owners. As a response to this announcement from CyanogenMod, and all the hype that this is getting, Sony Ericsson decided to go ahead and post an article demonstrating their support towards the independent Android developing community.
Sony Ericsson mentions that they “firmly believe in the openness of Android” and “are really impressed by the huge activity shown in [their] products.” This is why they have supported such projects. Not only by providing bootloader unlocking and kernel building guides, but by actually helping developers.
By being supportive and open, we hope to both learn from the open community and also share knowledge when that is possible. Karl-Johan DahlstrÃ¶mHead of Developer Relations, Sony Ericsson
Karl-Johan DahlstrÃ¶m (pictured above with an Xperia Arc sporting CyanogenMod 7) is the Head of Developer Relations and speaks of the work Sony Ercisson has been doing with the FreeXperia team (a group of developers). While Sony Ericsson emphasizes that unlocking a bootloader and installing custom ROMs can void your warranty, they understand that this is an important part of the Android ecosystem and are willing to help developers with support and information. Not only that, but Sony Ericsson has actually provided developers with 20 Xperia devices.
A few proprietary solutions needed to be explained and we helped them with that. This included the camera, where we provided debugged and rebuilt camera library binaries, which we will soon make available on Developer World under a special EULA license. We also supported the group with approximately 20 devices to make their work easier.Karl-Johan DahlstrÃ¶m
Head of Developer Relations, Sony Ericsson
Manufacturers should know that the developers cannot be stopped. Not only because of their great potential, but because custom ROMs are at a huge demand in the Android community. A great device also includes a great UI. Let’s face it: sometimes manufacturers make great hardware, but the software doesn’t work well with it (or we might just not like it).
This is a great move on Sony Ericsson’s part. Unlike other manufacturers who try to fight off developers, Sony Ericsson has decided to support them in order to further improve the overall Android ecosystem. The company has been improving their devices this year, which was great, but bringing support to the development community just wins our hearts.
We tip our hats to Sony Ericsson. Timescape is great, but it’s not for everybody. Those looking for something different will soon be able to get CyanogenMod on Xperia devices, so get ready for some custom ROM action! What do you guys think? Should other manufacturers follow Sony Ericsson’s lead? Are you more likely to buy an Xperia device now?