Rumors flying around the Android community is that Sony will be introducing a new flagship device with a 6-inch display, 3GB RAM, and 3,500 mAh battery. We have already seen Sony will be releasing two new devices with 5-inch displays but according to some sources there will also be this 6-inch powerhouse in the mix. A few other of the features this rather large device will have is a 16 megapixel camera and 1080p viewing.
Even though the rumors are already hitting us this device is said to not even be officially announced until October of next year so don’t hold your breath. We aren’t sure if they intend to compete with the Galaxy Note devices or are trying to market this to those that just want an alternative with a huge screen. Either way by the time its actually released it will likely be a bust in our opinion. Let us know what you think (assuming this device is real and ever gets released).
Sony has finally announced its Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update plans and the Android devices that will see the upgrade. While Sony has announced its upgrade plans it seems their timeline is a bit drawn out and doesn’t even start until Q1 next year. The first devices that they mentioned will be getting the updates are the Sony Xperia T, Xperia TX, and Xperia V all slated for mid Q1 2013.
Sony Devices that will get Adnroid 4.1 Jelly Bean (no set date):
Xperia Tablet S
Xperia S and ACRO S
Xperia P and J
Sony has also stated that none of its 2011 Android devices will see the Jelly Bean update including the Xperia Arc, Arc S, Play, Neo, Neo V, Mini, Mini Pro, Pro, Active, Ray, Sony Ericsson Live or Walkman. With all of this said at least Sony has taken the time to let their users know what is going on with their devices after leaving everyone in the dark for so long.
Sony has released an update to their Android SmartWatch to improve the user interface and performance. One of the major updated features it being able to have the watch always display the time instead of having to tap power every time. In theory this is a great update although there have been many issues around the update making some users watches un-usable (mine included).
Currently those of us with Sony Android not so Smart Bracelets, we can only hope that Sony comes out with a fix soon. I have spoken to a few users who seem to have no issues with their watches and love the update but have ran into more than one with their watches no longer being able to sync.
When an update comes to the SmartWatch that fixes the watch we will be sure to let everyone know. Also if we figure out a way around the issues we will post that as well. Please feel free to let us know if your Sony SmartWatch is having issues or if you have a fix for the brick watch.
Sony promised that most of their 2011 Android devices would be getting the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update this year and it seems they are making good on this promise. The two devices that are now getting the update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich are the Sony Xperia Arc and Sony’s Xperia Neo. Both devices will still be on Kernel version 2.6.32. These will likely be the last devices to get the upgrade from Sony with any new device coming with it out of the box.
The update brings many UI improvements and all of the features that we have grown to love in Android 4.0. Sony will be updating these devices as needed from ICS to newer builds of the same OS for bug fixes and such.
Sony has posted a list of their devices that will be getting the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich updates and the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play is not on the list. Sony had previously planned on the device getting the update but have decided not to push it to the device after all.
“In regards to Xperia PLAY, after extensive in house testing with our developer teams and working with our partners, we have concluded that a consistent and stable experience, particularly with gaming, cannot be guaranteed for this smartphone on Ice Cream Sandwich – therefore, we will not make the Android 4.0 upgrade available for Xperia PLAY.
This decision was also verified when we received similar feedback from the developer community; both experienced developers and advanced users, along with game content providers following our ICS beta ROM for unlocked Xperia PLAY smartphones.”
I would have assumed with the lower end Sony Android phones getting the update to Android 4.0 that the Xperia Play would be a shoe in. Sorry to everyone with the Xperia Play it’s certainly not fair. While the official update wont hit the device you can still always root and ROM.
Sony has released an Android powered watch that will allow you to control and use some of your phones features from your wrist. This Sony Smartwatch doesn’t actually hold the apps on itself but runs via a bluetooth connection with your Android Phone. Some of the benefits of the Android Smartwatch is the fact that you can see whos calling from your wrist, read text messages, see weather and of course the time without pulling your phone out of your pocket. There are many more features to the watch but here we will focus on syncing the watch with your Android phone.
Whether you have lost the setup instructions or just don’t want to read through them this is here for you. The smartwatch is easily setup and will likely be one of your favorite Android accessories.
How to Setup the Sony Android Smartwatch:
Turn on your Sony Smartwatch, you will notice it trying to sync
On your phone go to your wireless settings and turn on your Bluetooth
On your Phone scan for devices, the smartwatch will show up on your phone
Select it to pair with the device
Verify the connection on both your phone and smartwatch
On your phone go to the Android Market and Download “LiveWare Manager”
Turn off your Smartwatch and Open Liveware on your phone
Turn your Smartwatch back on and you will get a notification on your phone
Say “OK” and it will take you to the Android Market, Download the Watch app
Once the app is downloaded it will start on its own
After a few seconds you will see the current time on your watch
Congrats you are now synced!
Once synced you will see that there are no apps on the watch and it is literaly just a watch at this point. You can download apps by tapping the watch Manager in your notification bar. The video above will explain the steps above in a little more detail along with downloading your first few smartwatch apps. If you have any issues please feel free to drop a line below.
Verizon has released an update to their version of the Xperia Play bringing it to software version 4.02.E.0.57. Before you get too excited this is an Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread update and not Android 4 Ice Cream Sandwich. The update will bring some updated bloatware and camera improvements. See below for full feature list from the 4.02.E.0.57 update.
Verizon Xperia Play Android 2.3.4 Update Features:
Verizon Wireless Video on Demand now comes preloaded.
Improved user experience and new delivery method of preloaded games.
When connected via Bluetooth®, the Music Player now supports
Fast Forward and Rewind.
VZ Navigator® has been updated with the latest 3D map improvements.
Upgraded to Gingerbread 2.3.4 operating system.
A long-press of the power button will successfully capture
a screen shot.
Charging issues forcing device to remain in landscape
mode have been resolved.
Recommended contacts now populate correctly when
using the dialpad.
Camera Improvements: Right trigger successfully captures a picture – Record video in 720p with continuous auto-focus.
Device is now enabled with the Wireless Emergency Alerting System.
Mobile Hotspot ID broadcast can be turned off to increase security.
It doesn’t look like Android 4 ICS is in the plans for Verizon to release to the device although you can hold your breath if you’d like. Let us know if you have received the update and what you think of it.
Most of us love our bluetooth headsets but what if you didn’t need one and you could just get in the car and it was all taken care of by a little device on your sun visor? Well Sony Ericsson has created a bluetooth car speakerphone that does just his and is compatible with any smartphone that has bluetooth connectivity (we will go ahead and say if you have a smartphone then your good).
Sony Ericsson HCB-120 Bluetooth Car Speakerphone
A stylish and convenient Bluetooth speakerphone for use in your car, home or office. The HCB-120 discreetly attaches to your sun visor or any other flat surface, enabling total hands-free functionality.
Sony’s flagship phone the Xperia S has been out for only a few weeks now and already has an unofficial port of CyanogenMod 9 and ClockworkMod Recovery available. We say unofficial because the CM9 (Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich) ROM was not released officially by CyanogenMod but a few devs over at XDA. As long as you know your way around Android and its bootloader you can now get CM9 on your Xperia S.
Both of the mods are available via modified versions of the originals using a process called “changing”. The recovery was created by “DoomLoRD” and has a completely custom and altered user interface. All of your daily needed functions are working on the DooMRecovery and CyanogenMod 9.
A few of the missing features in the CM9 port are the HDMI-out, FM radio and ANT+ for GPS tracking although everything else has been reported as working. If your Xperia S is not already rooted you will need to go through the command line process of flashing a new kernel. Currently the ROM and Recovery are available although you will need better than a novice understanding of Android and Flashing processes. If your interested in the ROM but are worried about your Xperia S bricking I would wait for the next iteration.
Sony has developed an Android smartwatch that connects to your Android powered device via bluetooth. This device has been availabel in the UK for about a month and is now available ion the US. This watch sells for $150 at Sony’s online store (which is currently sold out) although for now anyway you can get the watch for $117.99 at Expansys (link below).
The Sony Smartwatch allows you to read text messages, emails, status updates, control your music and many other tasks from your wrist. On top of this Google Play will have apps specifically for the smartwatch so that you can make it do a bit more. If you get one please let us know how you like it.
Many Sony Xperia smartphones are getting the Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich updates right now. The Xperia devices will be slowly receiving the updates until early summer and at that time should be done rolling out. The first countries that will see the updates that are currently pushing out are Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Finland and Norway.
Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich Updates are expected for:
Xperia mini pro
While it may take until summer to get the ICS update to your Sony device it is nice to see Sony making the effort to get Android 4.0.3 on all of their devices so quickly. Sony has even offered Beta builds for those that want it before the official rollout. Keep in mind that the Beta builds can void your warranty if installed though.