Sony UI Sony UI

KitKat's changes meet Sony's Xperia UI to deliver a new mix that should go over well with smartphone fans

Sony's "No More Leakage" campaign doesn't seem to be doing a very good job stopping device leaks, and we're glad of it. Earlier today we saw enough to pretty much confirm the hardware specs of the upcoming Xperia Z2 "Sirius", and now we have a look at the software that will be running on its new Snapdragon 800 and all 3GB of its RAM.

If you're familiar with Sony's Xperia Home UI, you'll notice that things stay very close to their roots. You've got new themes and settings for them, new colors and wallpapers, but the same basic premise is there, with just a few KitKat features thrown in. The transparent status bar — a crowd favorite — is now in place, new tweakable quick settings are in the notification shade, and KitKat features like device-initiated printing and user-selectable SMS defaults are included. If this seems overwhelming or you just want something simple, Sony has included a "Simple Home" UI as well.

The big changes are under the home screens. Dive into the settings and you see support for existing Sony features like Glove Mode and the X Reality engine settings, but there's plenty new here to get excited about. Sony's introducing a new camera software, filled with features like TimeShift — high-speed recording for slow-motion effects — and the same Background defocus we see on the Xperia Z1s. This is all at 4K video resolution, mind you.

Other features include custom white balance settings for the screen — good bye blue or purple whites — and Smart Back lighting Control that tracks your eyes to keep the screen on while looking at it. Smart Call handling even lets you use the Z2 as an answering machine if you want, cutting voicemail completely out of the picture.

I've been saying that 2014 will be the year of the software, and it looks like Sony is ready. I imagine we'll see and hear more next month at Mobile World Congress. In the meantime, head over to XperiaBlog and check out everything they have found.

Source: XperiaBlog

 

Reader comments

Sony Xperia Z2 'Sirius' UI leaked and detailed

42 Comments

Although it's great to see a kitkat Xperia this is going to make new Xperia z1s users mad. They just got their phones with no kitkat. I hope Sony is thinking of updating their phones.
Overall it looks like a great phone. Hopefully it's released with T-Mobile and hopefully other companies to make accessories better available.

Posted via Android Central App

The set of people who just bought a Z1 and care about updates is pretty small.
I know, I know, someone is going to say, "I care.". I remind you that one is a small number.

I think the point really is that kk has been out for almost the 3months so any flagships coming out now should be coming with kk on board.

Posted via Android Central App

Let's try and break that 3 mos down.

3 mos is about 13 weeks.
Kit Kat comes out, how long you think the chip manufacture takes to get Kit Kat certified? But anyway, let's say that happens in 0 weeks.

So, out of 13 weeks, the first 3 weeks will be consumed by meetings. The engineers will look at Kit Kat and determine if it's feasable to get the phone working with Kit Kat by the promised drop dead ship date (you know, the one that was promised to the wholesalers and carriers months ago?). So, part of that discussion will be this: they have 10 weeks left. that's 3 3 week sprints and a 1 week buffer. That's 2 development sprints (6 weeks) and 1 sprint of regression. That's not too bad. It would be tight, for sure, but maybe that's doable. Of course, that means the chip maker can't have any bugs in their code, but hey, they're smart.

So, pretty much all of the 3 mos is consumed with development and testings. They've already promised a drop dead date and it's expensive to miss those. All of the advertisement has been ordered (featuring the specs prior to Kit Kat because it didn't exist yet), so that would have to be re-ordered. That takes time to print up. Oh and it's not cheap.

Yeah, I don't really think they could have done it. But I would LOVE to hear your take. Surely I'm wrong about a lot of this.

Kk has been announced as early February for the z1 so I'm sure the z1s will be close behind.

Posted via Android Central App

I think this is really backward... Instead of going light like Motorola and adding value via apps thru Google play they are making their skin filled with bloat and features like Samsung. This is only going to delay future updates to the device. Why not go the Motorola route instead of the crappy Samsung route? Well I know the answer Samsung is successfully and they are following their path but I wish they had taken the Motorola route.

Posted via Android Central App

I think Sony actually has the nicest UI. It looks nice and doesn't have a bunch of intrusive, useless features. Yeah, they have their bloat apps but every manufacturer does.

Posted via Android Central App

Well that's what I'm saying, they are adding all these useless features like smartstay in the new version and making the skin more heavy. I'm not saying that I don't like features but unbundle it from the ui and make them available thru play store. In this way updates can be pushed faster and someone doesn't like it they don't have to use it.

Posted via Android Central App

That's a really good point. Hopefully they will redeem themselves by announcing kitkat on many of their capable Xperia phones.

Posted via Android Central App

Because Motorola is not relevant enough in Sony's eyes to make them change their method of updating their phone UI. Sony probably wants to see Motorola become much bigger and branded in the industry as a result of their new changes to force Sony to do the same.

Posted via Android Central App

The differentiation is nice. Don't want everyone to have the same exact UI. Otherwise Android will stagnate. And who cares about updates as long as the phone is great out of the box.

@Just_Some_Nobody

What you just said gets a +1 million.

Posted from my "KNOX-FREE" 4.3 Sprint GS3...!!!

Because no one wants a repeat of Windows phone 7 and up. Not everyone likes vanilla Android. Like one commentor mentioned already, the vast majority of buyers (i.e. - people who don't visit sites like this) do not care much about updates unless it's security related. Otherwise, they're perfectly happy with the included *value software* out of the box.

Posted via Android Central App

Exactly I would hate to have every single Android ui look the same.. I don't get the complain, there bare bone Android if you want so why complain about things like sense and tw which many normal consumers like. Android got this popular because not every single one looks the same where as if you get an iPhone or Windows phone they all essentially look the same. The tech crowd will never be happy till every single Android looks the same.

Posted via Android Central App

Seems odd to release a new flagship with almost the same specs. Hopefully they don't withhold this new software from the Z1 line to differentiate the Z2 line. Hopefully they improve their camera output quality as well. The Z1 takes some pretty noisy and disappointing pictures a lot of times considering its top level camera hardware.

I hope that the z2 comes to at least one more us carrier, hopefully AT&T, or there is an unlocked LTE model with support for most LTE bands.

Posted via Android Central App

What happened to the Z1 remaining the flagship for 2014? Didn't Sony just say that?

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They said it will continue as their flagship INTO 2014 and not FOR 2014. They probably meant to say they won't release any new device at CES 2014.

Posted via Android Central App

I think Tone84 was referring to the "what's new" widget. But Tone84 is not looking at the big picture. Tone84 is gonna say whatever s/he wants.

Well basically anything that is rectangle and squares will be windows to these lot lol.. Just like how all apple famboys use to say anything that was rounded or in a grid was copying ios.

Posted via Android Central App

So Sony have been (or will be) releasing the Z1, Z1s and Z2 in short succession?

The Z1 just came out in Oct/Nov, the Z1s is just released and now in a couple of months the Z2 is due?

Wouldn't they be better off having one halo flagship phone per year? Or maybe this production model works better for them.

Think about what you just said, now think about HTC....

Posted from my "KNOX-FREE" 4.3 Sprint GS3...!!!

The Ui looks pretty good to me, I think Sony will have a winner if they can bring this to all carriers in North America. I havnt used a Sony phone since the xperia play lol was disappointed that it never received jelly bean at the time but now the differences in updates are minimal and I could see myself using a Sony phone in the future they have excellent hardware and good camera software.

Posted via Android Central App

I guess I am the only one in the world that doesnt like a transparent bar, either nav or status.

I do like the look of these and the UI just wish Sony would get it together and offer it to a wider audience.

I'm not buying this.

I'm saving up for the Xperia Z Tablet.

Posted from my "KNOX-FREE" 4.3 Sprint GS3...!!!

Sorry to burst your bubble but no one or Sony cares old sport.

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Sony should make a "Walkman" phone. Cut the "xeperia" line altogether if they want to stay in the game. Nobody cares about an xperia z1 or whatever other idiotic naming convention they come up with.

Two phones. A high-end and a mid level.. The Walkman Pro and the Walkman, respectively.

Nexus 4 - CM10.1.3

Despite the horrible background color it looks like a step up. I wonder if they will get sued for copying all the new functions from Samsung? Still nice to see more great alternatives and it will be interesting to compare the new gui to Samsungs new magazine ux.