Sony’s willingness to support third-party developers and hackers is well known at this point. Just some months ago, with support from Google, Sony more or less turned the Xperia S into a Nexus smartphone. They provided all the binaries they could for the device, along with a developmental AOSP, stock Android, build for developers to play around with. Unfortunately, Google backed away from the project within a short time, and the Xperia S never became a bonafide AOSP managed device. But that didn’t stop Sony from keeping all the necessary files to run stock Android available on their github page.
Announced today on their developer blog, Sony is now doing the same thing with their latest flagship smartphone, and has released an AOSP build for the 5-inch 1080p Xperia Z, complete with as many binaries as they can possibly supply. Sony was able to provide the necessary files to get the SD-card, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, LED light, and most sensors working, but cannot provide the binaries for the camera or modem. Although they do have both working well internally.
Because of the broken modem and camera support, along with a handful of bugs, AOSP for the Xperia Z isn’t ready for every day use quite yet, but it could be only a matter of time. A quick look on XDA shows that the Sony released AOSP code for the Xperia S was used to make a successful ROM. There’s little reason to believe the Xperia Z won’t follow suit. All the files needed for getting AOSP up and running on your Xperia Z are located on Sony’s github, ready for contribution from developers committed to making this project daily-driver worthy.
The decision to give developers and consumers the tools needed to customize the firmware on their Xperia S was, as you would imagine, very well received. Sony was celebrated for being open minded and receptive to consumer demands. Doing the same thing with the Xperia Z seals that reputation. What do you think of Sony’s decision to release vanilla Android for their flagship devices?