Sony has built a reputation as developer-friendly device manufacturer, and in aiming to show their continued support for the extensive Android developer community, the company has decided to create an Android Open Source Project (AOSP) for its 2013 flagship device, the Sony Xperia Z. The Sony Xperia S was the first device from the company to be a part of the AOSP “experiment,” and even though that support was pulled a short while later, the project continued. Now, Sony is hoping to get developers excited about using and contributing to a similar project for the Xperia Z.
Like with the Xperia S, developers can go to Sony’s GitHub page to access the source code related to the Xperia Z. Granted, it’s not entirely open, since some of the binaries are proprietary files provided by Qualcomm to use with the Snapdragon S4 Pro processor powering the device. You can download these software binaries here, after agreeing to an EULA that state how the files can be used, and what limitations exist.
The software can’t be used as your daily driver just yet, but there is a lot that is working already, including boot up, SD card, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, LED Light, and some sensors. Currently not working are the camera and modem, although Sony has both running internally, but is unwilling to publish the proprietary binaries required. This, of course, means that when the AOSP release is installed, the device will not function as a smartphone and as stated before, is not yet ready for everyday use.
Check out the video below of the Android Open Source Project for the Sony Xperia Z -
Next up for the project is replace some of the binaries with source code, and also make available binaries to get NFC to work. If you’re interested in contributing, you can head on over to the project page here.
Are you excited about AOSP being available for the Sony Xperia Z? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.