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Sony working on new Android software concept to revive Xperia smartphones

Sony is working on a new Android software concept build. It's believed the company is looking to revamp the Xperia UI and is currently running a beta test in Sweden. Should you reside in the region you'll be eligible to join the upcoming beta and see what the company may launch on new hardware.

The beta period will take place between July 27 and September 13 of this year. It's open to Xperia Z3 owners only, and not the "compact" version of the handset. Once the beta test has come to an end, those who participate will be able to restore their phones to current Xperia software.

Interested in learning more and signing up? Hit this link to join Sony's concept for Android.

Source: Swedroid, via: Xperia Blog

58 Comments
  • vhy sveeden
  • Because Ericsson -> Sony Ericsson -> Sony Mobile.
  • Because Sony doesn't care if Swedish phones break.
  • Because Swedish people are smart people that understand that if they enter a BETA program, they are testing a non-final version of the software that is likely to have issues. Due to this better understanding, they're more likely to give valuable feedback and less likely to be complaining about beta software as part of a testing program that they willingly agreed to participate.
  • Bingo. That is exactly it.
  • Damn...
  • Because Swedish girls are hot ? ; )
  • The Z3 Compact is the best,why not test on it too. Posted via the AC App on Note 4 N910F
  • Here is an idea, try stock Android and see if people respond.
  • Or at least do a minimalist approach like moto. The problem is Samsung being so successful with their overloaded ui has made the rest think that's what people want. When the truth is most people don't know that it could be way better and simplified. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Sony did overlays before Samsung even got very popular. The current skin they have is not they first. So I don't think it's because of what Samsung did. This does not mean I am a fan of Touchwiz, I used to be but have gotten tired of how it allows powerful devices down. Posted via the AC App on Note 4 N910F
  • It's pretty much stock with a few tweaks the way it is. LP on the Z3.. Posted via the Android Central App
  • No. One of the reasons I bought an Xperia was precisely because it was NOT stock Android. It's also the reason I refused the Lollipop update (as Sony moved the UI closer to stock). And given by the lack of success of the Nexus line and Motorola with the majority of consumers, I'd say no, people don't care for stock Android. Remember that Android fans AREN'T representative of the average Android user.
  • Sony actually integrated the better features of stock while maintaining the better features of their own UI in the lollipop update. I suggest you do a Nandroid backup and upgrade to lollipop to test and see if you like it, if you don't, you can revert back to KitKat and regain all your data and apps. The lollipop update has a significantly smoother UI while providing better battery life.
  • +1 s52m3: exactamundo my fran. Regardless of the fact that for years most people have not been able to experience real Android, most people I've come across that leave Android in the first place is because they don't really like Samsung's UI or other versions long term. They always leave them a little dissatisfied. Most of them if given the opportunity to see nova launcher that I show them or just real Android AI (After Ice Cream Sandwich) usually end up liking Android way better. So to say the average person doesn't care is not really true it's just that they haven't really had the opportunity over the years to know that there is a much simpler, nicer cleaner version. And so they assume that Android is whatever non iphone they buy not realizing that there is a mostly useless overlay destroying their experience. Maybe some enhancements, but usually way more dissatisfaction involved. No one likes overdone menus, no one likes apps that they cannot remove , no one likes a phone that ultimately stops getting supported quickly for the price. The average person does like simple devices. They also want an excellent camera. To put it simply, the average customer would most likely prefer Google's version of Android, with a fantastic camera, inside a beautifully designed high quality material phone, without a logo on the front. People are attracted to 5 main things. Updates, clean, simple, beautiful, and camera.
  • So true. Posted via the AC App on Note 4 N910F
  • Add battery to that list... Posted via the Android Central App
  • That was what I was thinking Posted via the Android Central App
  • LOL, sony and good software in the same sentence, let me laugh some more. They are basically 3 companies who are good at software on a large scale. Microsoft and Apple are at the top of the class, they have been doing it for over 30 years, then you have Google, that's where the buck stop.
  • Lol Apple. They do some well and most poorly. Hell they just released a product that is incompatible with their own software. That's some mighty fine software there lou Sent from a phone, an awesome phone, my phone.
  • So, you chose to pick on Apple out of that group when you can say the same for all of them with some of their past released, I wonder why?
  • Because I have not heard of another company releasing a product that is incompatible with their own software? Generally you make sure the software works on the hardware you are going to release before it is released. Sent from a phone, an awesome phone, my phone.
  • I can understand if you put out some new software that is incompatible with existing hardware, not the other way around Sent from a phone, an awesome phone, my phone.
  • Wait seriously? Lol that's lame even for Apple. Posted via Android Central App
  • Yeah seriously. They just put out iPod things the other day, (2 days ago I believe) that cannot be used with either the music service or iTunes, I forget which Sent from a phone, an awesome phone, my phone.
  • My rMBP is pretty solid. I don't have any major complaints about the software on it. I hate MS with the fire from a thousand suns. They have always and will always make mediocre software. Now, some of you will choose to assume I'm an Apple fanboy. i'm not. Really. I'm actually a Linux fanboy. Everything except my rMBP is running some form of Linux.
  • Actually I see nothing wrong with UI. Z3 on KK is one of the smoothest, snappiest and phones I played with. The software design is fine and has some awesome features, especially for battery management. If they were to make another compact this year and sell on VZW that would be my next upgrade phone or first alternative to new Moto X 2015 (if released at
  • Update to the Z3 OTA lollipop man. Why are you still running KK? For worse performance and decreased battery life?
  • @toukale
    I totally agree with you
    sadly this site seems to be filled with blind hate for Microsoft and Apple and some kind of weird protective infatuation for Google
    I have products from all 3(4 actually if you count Blackberry)
    Google and android are a mess
    Apple may be limited but its deadly stable compared to google and android in their products and both software and hardware
    Microsoft has made mistakes in the past but is underestimated by Google fanboys who fail to realize that Microsoft and Apple have learned from mistakes and have kept their promises so far
    My 720 is running the latest update 2.5 years after initial release and runs deadly smooth
    so does my ipad
    whereas my Nexus 5 and 7 lag like crazy on Lollipop and have random bugs nearly every second despite reflashes etc
  • Not sure if serious? Sony's UI is actually one of the best OEM Android forks on the market, and only ones closer to stock are Motorola. It's also one of the best optimized. Maybe you should actually own an Xperia so you speak from first hand knowledge. And it response to your likely reply that you do, I'm going to call it a lie.
  • Well actually, they're doing a better job than Samsung with their Xperias. Now Sony's software is really improving as its leaning more towards stock android while maintining the extra functionality without become bogus and performance hampering like touchwiz. I was hesitant to buy the older Sony Ericsson Xperia phones. They were really ugly and the UI was really ugly too but this time I decided to buy the Xperia Z3. Guess why? Because Sony has gotten rid of the ugliness in the software and hardware design. They've made the software more beautiful, smooth, streamlined, physically aesthetic, and feature packed. They've also thinned down their phones significantly. The Xperia Z3 feels really elegant and premium in my hand while an Xperia Ion made 2 years ago would've been a fat ugly piece of trash that I would make me barf. Waterproofing, that's what is beginning to set Xperia phones apart now too.
  • Hug fan of the XPERIA UI, it's actually my favorite after Stock Android. Let's hope they keep the amazing Stamina battery feature and improve upon to make more material design based with less bloatware! Oh, and be kind enough like ASUS to release the launcher ;)
  • I don't think the software is the problem Sony. Try releasing a new phone that's actually new. Crazy concept, I know... Sony Z3 via the Android Central App
  • And available worldwide Sent from a phone, an awesome phone, my phone.
  • Lol I love Sony and that's actually the best idea I've heard of. Posted via the Android Central App
  • That does not seem to help all the rest of the android vendors that follows that idea.
  • Well they're doing far better than Sony is (except for HTC) so it seems that it does help. Posted via Android Central App
  • I don't really see why they feel the need to change their UI - it's snappy and easy to use. Posted via the Android Central App
  • It's also clean and, in my opinion, the best of all the redskins of Android. I'd even be so bold as to say I prefer it to stock. Moved from a Nexus 4 to a Z2 and I much prefer Sony's UI design Sony Xperia Z2
    Nvidia Sheild
    Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact
  • Redskin? That's racist.
  • because if they don't, people will complain about it being tired and old.
  • If anything they should counter that point to how fast and optimized it is compared to UI of Sammy, HTC and LG
  • Sony should just follow the Motorola approach and leave Android largely untouched. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Yes! Google and Android should absolutely be apple and have them all look and act the same. Not to mention be boring and feature-less Sent from a phone, an awesome phone, my phone.
  • I don't find stock Android "boring and featureless". However, this is strictly an opinion based argument and not fact.
  • Yes "NoNexus" lollipop absolutely has no features. Gimme a frikn break. That baseless statement is so over the top-it's just hilarious. Real Android hasn't been boring since Ice Cream Sandwich. Overlays only offer a few enhancements here and there but mostly it's just a bunch of useless software clutter. The advancement that Google makes each year with each release since Ice Cream Sandwich have been great. And that's not an opinion- that's a fact. If most phones looked like Google's version of Android now, had an amazing camera, an amazing body to go with the software, received updates like the Nexus, and maybe some front facing speakers like the Nexus 6 or even the Alcatel idol 3 for a little bit of polish, (since HTC can't do it without placing an ugly black bar on the front) there would be a massive satisfaction wave across Android users like never before. People like you who keep saying Android is boring crack me up. If it wasn't for ICS -Lollipop, most of these phone makers interface would still look like pre gingerbread.
  • I love stock but Yes it's very plain and featureless.
    And Motorola without Active Display and Moto Assist would be bare bones, which I wouldn't ever consider buying or keeping it.
    If you watch what Google does every year with it's updates, is nothing but "borrowing" and adding stuff from different OEMs.
    I love what Sony did with power management settings, Samsung's Multi-Windows, Camera from just about any OEM...
    Now, the problem is that not every OEM knows how to keep things stable while building a house on top of another house. :) there has to be some balance and we are seeing more and more finally getting there. TW was the heaviest and that took toll on performance side, but Samsung is fixing it better with every knew update.
    Whereas HTC actually showed superb performance w M7 and M8 was considered one of the fastest Android phones (if not the fastest) - I'm not talking benchmarks (because nothing beats Samsung :)) but real life use. Sony was also great last year. None of these was lagging behind Nexus line - on the contrary they were better ,offering more features without any compromise. via AC App on
    VZW Moto X 2014/ DE 2013/ N7
  • Thank you for saving me the trouble of typing all that. You hit the nail on the head Sent from a phone, an awesome phone, my phone.
  • You welcome :) via AC App on
    VZW Moto X 2014/ DE 2013/ N7
  • They already do as it is. It's more untouched than the UI used by Samsung, LG, and HTC as someone above already pointed out. If anything I'd be more afraid that this new UI will be a mistake if they decide to move further away from stock with it. And because decisions like these are usually made by marketing people rather than the engineering department, that's a valid concern.
  • Well, it can't be worse than Lollipop anyway so...sure, go for it. As long as the new UI gives me total and complete control over the customization of the entire OS (like Cyanogen) I won't have a problem with it.
  • I'm running CM12.1 right now. It gave my Note 4 a new life after Samsung abandoned it, very strange for a device that is still current. Here in South Africa, the Note 4 is still on Kitkat 4.4.2. This is a reason I'm feeling decided between the freedom and right to differentiate and l letting everything look stock. Stock can get boring but sitting with old versions of OS is downright crappy especially on a new phone. Posted via the AC App on Note 4 N910F
  • Did they do any market research before going with the name Xperia? Posted via the Android Central App
  • What Sony needs to do is come out with one flagship phone per year instead of a new model every few months.
  • This is an overused and still invalid argument. Given that the 2 versions they've been releasing are fairly iterative, what's the difference if you just skip the 6 month version, pretend it doesn't exist and wait 12 months? Other than just your own feelings of "oh darn I wish I had bought the September phone instead of the March one because it's newer!"
    You could easily have bought the Z1, skipped the Z2 and bought the Z3 without feeling you missed much. I can guarantee you that my 2013 flagship is running Lollipop as well, launching apps and running them as well, and lasting as long as anything that's come out this year. That's because I am not a piece of benchmark software and can't detect the difference the spec bump makes with my human eyes.
  • Xperia + CM integration= god Posted via the Android Central App
  • They'd be better off with any other ROM than they would be with CM. Posted via Android Central App
  • lol @ stock android lovers who say everything that's not pure android sucks.