Feb 23 AT 1:32 PM Edgar Cervantes 19 Comments

Sony releases Android 4.0 Beta ROM for select Xperia devices


We have to give props to Sony for releasing an alpha Android 4.0 ROM for testing last December, and the Japanese manufacturer has just given us a bit more ice cream sandwich goodness. Today, Sony has released the beta version of this ROM, meaning that the update is just a bit closer to reaching Sony’s Xperia devices.

This update comes with much more functionality than its predecessor, but it still lacks very important features. Added features include activated GSM modem, FM radio, updated UI, beefed up lock screen and a quick dialer. Being able to access GSM networks is probably the most important, as those that use this ROM will now be able to make calls which, you know, is what a phone is meant to do.

There are important features that are lacking, though, since Sony is still waiting for approval in order to activate them. Such include WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, as well as access to Google Apps including the Android market. Hopefully Google will give them the okay soon, and Android 4.0 will be in the wild before too long.

This ROM is aimed at developers, as Sony does not intend this incomplete ROM to be used as a daily driver. Regardless, it could be fun for the more adventurous Android user to check out what Ice Cream Sandwich will be like on Sony hardware. If you happen to be the proud owner of an Xperia Arc S, Neo V or Ray, this ROM is available for your flashing needs (not the regular Arc and Neo).

Needless to say that there is a risk of bricking your device, so be careful if you want to try this as no one takes responsibility if something bad happens, and you might be left on your own. With the disclaimer out of the way, you can go ahead try this one out if you need your Ice Cream Sandwich fix.

In order to test the ROM, users have to unlock the bootloader with Sony’s official tool, have the latest software version (4.0.2.A.0.42) and follow the instructions at Sony’s developer blog. Check out the demo video to see how this Android 4.0 beta ROM looks, and let’s hope the final version comes soon.

Are any of you trying this? Let us know how your experience goes in the comments.

Via: Android Police

Source: Sony

Hello, I am Edgar Cervantes. I am an avid Android fan, and keeping myself updated on the topic is part of my daily life. I will always work hard to give the best of me to our community of Android enthusiasts, and I am very honored to be part of this ship. Hopefully we can all enjoy sharing our knowledge and opinions!

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  • DasErdbeer

    I think that Sony (Ericsson) do have something good going on here. I really like the transparency in the developing process. I hope it will be to their benefit in the long run!

    • Jon

      Just picked up the Gnex in Dec, but if Sony keeps this up, and retains their amazing cameras I’m going to take a serious look at them in 2013!

      • redraider133

        I am the same way. Hopefully the next time around they bring some of these high end devices to verizon.

  • Armen

    change the lock scren, change the ui

  • spazby

    step in a right direction

  • Xpeira Fever

    Can anyone tell me if their is a way to disable apps from starting on my phone, it’s really pissing me off since switching from iOS to Android. I love the OS and the UI on my Xperia Ray but the fact Google Maps, Market place, Facebook and many more apps are constantly starting and running even without me using them is infuriating.

    The build i’m on is currently not rootable and tbh I don’t want to but I hate having apps running constantly when I have no intention of ever using them, Facebook is 1 prime example. i’ve never even started the app on the phone yet it’s always running and coming from iOS this annoys me immensly.

    • xsynth

      If you’re not going to use it, why not just uninstall it? If you’ve never opened the app then it shouldn’t be running at all.

      • Xpeira Fever

        It won’t let me uninstall it mate, there are loads I don’t use and never will but not only can I not uninstall them but I can’t even stop them from running.

        • redraider133

          You had to install fb maybe the market and that can’t be uninstalled but like others have said if you never opened them they won’t be running. You can force close the app and unless you open it it wont start running again.

        • Dikembe

          You’ll be able to do so with ics as it’s one of the new features. alternately, you can root and force remove it.

  • masterpfa

    A welcome change from a manufacturer with this UI. It’s not too imposing with many features and UI feel of stock ICS but still with the Sony UI overlay.

    IMO with the examples of Sense 4.0 that I have seen, I must say I prefer Sony’s efforts shown here, for me Sense 4.0 removes too much of the eye candy ICS brings.

    Good effort Sony, just fine tuning now required.

    • ion orov

      I agree, ICS really shines through here.

      Plus, I think that was shown on a Arc S… which is pure win. ICS running smoothly on a single-core? Wow.

      Slim sexy phone with a fast, low-light camera and half the price because its “old”. Lol

      Played around with it in stores and it was easily the best looking Android. I’m sick of all those boring black/grey slabs :P

  • Vamsi

    Its better buying sony from now than samsung, my vibrant never got an update till now. of-course i rooted and installed ginger bread. way to go sony

  • Fulaman

    Not bad, it doesn’t stray too far away from Stock ICS, and all the features available here in the video are already available in Stock ICS. Whether I like Sony’s Overlay UI more than Stock ICS, not really. Does Sony make better phone cameras than Samsung?

  • Hall Lo

    Seems like Sony is going to the right direction :D. And the rom seems pretty fast and nice, and I love how “SONY” is showing up during bootloader instead of “Sony Ericsson”. Everything is beautiful and good!

    • Fulaman

      Actually Sony and then Xperia I think shows up, but I agree with you 100% wholeheartedly

  • Nathan D.

    Well this is nice, so it looks like Sony will keep the developer friendly ecosystem that Ericsson made. This will be great for people who are planing or have their phone already.

  • Adam Curtis

    There was a comment on the youtube video about not removing silence from lockscreen. I am very much supportive of this! Especially on devices with physical camera buttons. Also, if we could not remove physical camera buttons from phones, that would be great…

  • steven

    Every thing was good except the look of the old Ui, hope that the ics update will change the Ui look like the latest sony xperia S