Friday, January 6, 2012

Sony Ericsson Releases Alpha ICS ROM For Certain Unlocked Xperia Devices


Sony Ericsson has a clear stance on the Android dev community: one love. In what is, apparently, a first for the company, an alpha ROM of its in-development Ice Cream Sandwich port is available for install across a trio of unlocked Xperia devices -- the Arc S, Neo V and Ray. 


Since it's an alpha ROM, it's not made for day-to-day use, as it is limited to just a few functions at the moment. As far as things that aren't working are concerned, here is the list, as provided by SE in the official blog post:
  • Google Mobile Services (GMS) apps are not included (for example, Gmail, Google Maps, etc.).
  • Modem is turned off and SIM card will therefore not be recognized (this also means you can’t make any phone calls).
  • Bluetooth™ is turned off.
  • Wi-Fi® is turned off.
  • ANT+ is turned off.
  • FM-radio is turned off.

As you can see, the main uses of the phone are disabled at this point. Still, you can get a feel for what SE's version of ICS will be all about. Here is a look of what you'll get to check out in this build:
  • New "Roboto" font.
  • New "Holo" theme is supported (you are able to test apps written to make use of the Holo theme).
  • Music player control from lock screen.
  • Updated UI in the Settings menu.
  • Updated UI in the web browser.
  • Updated UI and interaction with the new messaging action bar.
  • Updated UI for improved multitasking.
  • Swipe to dismiss notifications, tasks and browser tabs in the Notification menu.

In order to flash this build, you must have an unlocked device from the aforementioned list; for full instruction, head over to the SE Developer's Blog.

Have fun!