Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 gets Gingerbread

Sony Ericsson. They make some gorogeous devices, that are let down by the user experience, and the dated OS versions left behind in the dust. Well, SE is looking to catch up with the rest of the Android manufacturers, and they said back in June that the Xperia X10 would get Gingerbread by August.

Well, it looks like somebody actually keeps to their timelines, because the update seems to be out. Phandroid reports that the update was first live in Italy, and is now available globally to all unbranded devices. All you need to do is get the SEUS software from here, and run the update.

It brings a few new things, apart from Android 2.3. It gets much deeper Facebook Integration, similar to what SE has done with the Arc, and a new app drawer.

Here’s a preview of what was supposed to come. Let us know if that’s what you get.

Source: Phandroid

Xperia X10 to get Gingerbread by August

Sony Ericsson has had quite a few flip flops with the Xperia X10: they updated the X10 to Eclair (2.1) really late, then it turned out that update was buggy to say the least! They seem to be reforming now, with developer support to build custom kernels, unlocking bootloaders, etc.

Well, it looks like the promised Gingerbread (2.3) update for the X10 is coming soon. Posted on the Sony Ericsson Products Blog was a full write up about why it took so long, what else is expected from it AND a video of the update.

Here’s the video:

Here’s the full post:
Update on Gingerbread for Xperia™ X10
Back in March we announced that we are working on a Gingerbread update for Xperia X10. Our developers have been working hard on this and the work has progressed well. Development and testing is still ongoing and the current plan is start the roll-out in the beginning of August.

For more information on what to expect from this update please re-visit the original post from back in March, most of it is still valid:

A few things have changed since then.

First of all – we’ve seen your feedback about losing some of the camera features of the original XperiaTM X10. Our developers have been working on it and I can now confirm that also the Gingerbread version of the X10 software will keep the original camera UI as in the Éclair version. I can also confirm that the new Facebook inside XperiaTM functionality introduced in the 2011 XperiaTM products will also be in the XperiaTM X10. More info on what it is and what it does at: http://www.sonyericsson.com/cws/products/services/facebook-inside/overview?cc=gb&lc=en.

As said in March most of the 2011 Xperia software functionality from e.g. Xperia arc will be included. The UI with the desktop layout and pinch-to-overview gesture will be similar and Gingerbread features like Wi-Fi & USB tethering, App storage on SD-card etc are included. Also the customizable horizontal app tray and the media experience widgets from the 2011 Xperia Products are in, including an integrated equalizer in the music player. Of course also apps that require Android versions 2.2 or 2.3 will now be possible to download from Android Market, e.g. Adobe flash.

One difference compared to the 2011 products is that DLNA will not be included. Extra type approvals were needed for that and we were unable to prioritize that without jeopardizing the time schedule. There are both server and client alternatives downloadable from Android market though.

For XperiaTM X10 mini, mini pro and X8 there are as communicated earlier no plans to update beyond the current Éclair version. There are two mains reasons for this: The XperiaTM X10 mini, X10 mini pro and X8 all have less RAM memory than XperiaTM X10. By this we can’t guarantee a good user experience by upgrading beyond Android 2.1. The upgrade of XperiaTM X10 also was made possible due to that we had a code base that mostly could be reused. For the mini’s, who have a different user interface, this possibility did not exist.

With regards to the roll-out plan, as said back in March, this will first and foremost be made available to generic trade kits. Even if there will be some operator kits getting this upgrade, as said before – some of you will not be able to upgrade your customized version of XperiaTM X10.

I’ve recorded the hands-on video below to give you a view of what it looks like. Let me know in the comments section if there are follow-up questions or certain use cases you want me to go through!

Source: Sony Ericsson Product Blog

HTC to Unlock Bootloaders, Sony Ericsson says no FOTA if you unlock yours

There’s been a huge outcry recently about HTC’s decision to lock the bootloaders of all the new HTC Android devices, including it’s superphones such as the Sensation and the EVO 3D (much like Motorola has been doing for a while). Sony Ericsson came out a while ago saying that you could unlock your bootloaders AND they provided a tutorial to build custom Kernels too, so why couldn’t HTC do that. Locking the bootloader means more than just not being able to root your device, it also means to ClockworkMod Recovery and therefore, no Custom ROMs (in my opinion, most stock ROMs suck). This defeats the purpose of Android’s “Openess”.

 

Well, HTC’s CEO Mr. Peter Chou, just posted this message on Facebook:

“There has been overwhelmingly customer feedback that people want access to open bootloaders on HTC phones. I want you to know that we’ve listened. Today, I’m confirming we will no longer be locking the bootloaders on our devices. Thanks for your passion, support and patience,” Peter Chou, CEO of HTC”

Well played Mr. Chou. There are no details yet as to how this will be done (future update, unlock online like SE does, or something else).

 

And then, Sony Ericsson had to come out and say this:

I am aware that we don’t have a recovery ROM in place. There are some reasons why that is the case. One reason for not supporting FOTA updates after the phone has been unlocked is that FOTA is a delta between two know SW releases and as the phone has been unlocked we can’t be sure of the SW release currently on the phone. I will bring this question back to see if we could allow phones that has been unlocked to be updated via “SW update service” which would be a way to get a Sony Ericsson ROM back on the phone, but please note the warranty may still have been voided as the phone.

Currently we don’t support SEUS for phones that has been unlocked. I have initiated discussions if we can support that going forward, but there are several things that needs to be investigated before I can give you an answer (e.g. will it affect customer call centers, repair centers, which SW should be used for unlocked phones, how to identify phone model if other things has been modified, are there security concerns for unlocked phones etc). Will get back to you as soon as I have more information. Sorry that I can’t give a better answer at this time.

While it does make sense, I do hope that SE is aware of their update track record (their Xperia X10 update fried quite a few phones, inspite of being months late), and the fact is, I don’t believe SE can keep up with the pace at which android is moving forward.

Eitherways, there’s always good news in the Droid World!

 

Source: Facebook, Xperia Blog

Sony Ericsson provides Tutorial to Build/Flash Android Kernels

After the whole issue with not providing timely updates to the Xperia series of phones, and locking down the bootloaders, Sony Ericsson seems to be set to get back to the main stage. Apart from releasing a bunch of awesome new phones, SE recently announced that all their new phones will have the ability to have their bootloaders unlocked, thus providing the ability to flash a custom ROM on it. And THAT is what Android is all about. Choice.

Well, SE has stepped up. Again. They now have a tutorial on their Developer Blog on how to build and flash a custom kernel.

You can read more over here, where they do state that “Since the launch of the unlock boot loader site, we have received a lot of really great feedback. The Sony Ericsson Developer Program wants to continue to build on this open dialogue with external developers.

Developers and advanced users can now unlock the boot loader, which is the first step to be able to flash your own image. Now we have seen quite a few comments in different forums like the XDA forum, where developers run into problems when building their own image, and and trying to flash the image using Fastboot. With the help of our Master Software Architect, James Jacobsson, we put together a short article on how to do this.

Before moving on, we’d like to remind you again that there is no turning back when unlocking the boot loader. You may void the warranty of the phone, and you will not be able to revert the phone to a locked or original state if you unlock it.”
It gets better though, they actually say that while they won’t offically support this, they do say “We will monitor the Building the Linux kernel for Xperia phones thread on the XDA Developers forum. However, we cannot guarantee an answer for every question asked in this forum.”

They’re going to support XDA! That’s close to officially acknowledging XDA! Now if only Samsung and HTC would get over the bootloader issues (Samsung doesn’t lock it, FYI, but they are slow in supporting it!). The Galaxy S has a Massive number of Custom ROMs available, which we will try and cover. Hopefully, soon, there’ll be more for SE phones too!


All not so peachy in Xperia X10 Land

The Xperia X10 recently got updated to Eclair (Android 2.1). The update didn’t bring out much, apart from different home screens, HD video recording and the benefits of eclair. There’s still no multitouch support on the beautiful 4″ screen!

It gets worse though. Users have been reporting problems since the update. I personally have had the phone reboot 10 times in a day! That’s a proper #fail moment(s).

Check this thread out on the XDA developers forum. Turns out the update might just be faulty. I noticed that the battery was getting searingly hot after the update. THAT is the issue. The update fries the system because of higher power usage, which kills the battery, which kills the phone. The only thing that can be done is to take the battery out and let it cool a bit.

Have you guys noticed any issues? Have you gotten in touch with the Sony Ericsson care centres? Any issues at all? Do let us know by commenting below, or catch us on twitter, we’re @myportableworld.

Personally, I think Sony needs to up their game, as this is absolute crock. A massively delayed update that’s still faulty? That’s BS! I’m sorry SE, but you guys deserved this.