Mar 26, 2011

Sony Ericsson X10 to get Android 2.3 after all

On the same day that O2 decided to hold back the release of its exclusive white Xperia PLAY, Sony Ericsson was busy announcing good news to Xperia X10 owners. Later this year, X10 owners can expect to receive an update to Android 2.3. Surprised? So were we!

Sony Ericsson claims that the work it has carried out getting Android 2.3.3 on to the new Xperia models (that’s the arc, neo, pro and PLAY) has enabled them to port the code over to the X10. Sadly, that won’t include the X8, X10 mini or X10 mini pro that all stay stuck on Android 2.1.

After recently giving X10 owners multi-touch (despite Sony Ericsson insisting for over a year that the hardware wasn’t capable), it seems like this handset is getting more attention than most smartphones on the market. It’s a considerable switch from a company that was being criticised for not supporting or updating devices quickly enough. At the start of 2011, Sony Ericsson stated its intention to ensure that future models will be updated regularly, and quickly.

So what next? Sony Ericsson tells everyone that the X10 actually had a dual-core processor with one core disabled, or the screen is actually stereoscopic 3D-ready?

The free update should arrive in Q2 or Q3, and we’ll excuse the company from being more specific, given the fact that this was not supposed to be happening at all.

There will be some compromises though. The key reason for not being able to easily upgrade the X10 was down to the deep integration of the Timescape and Mediascape apps, which Sony Ericsson has wisely separated from the OS to become more like standalone apps and widgets.

This will mean that come the update, users will lose Mediascape completely – and Timescape will become a separate app. The backup utility will also stop working, so another third-party solution will have to be used because the update WILL erase all personal data and installed apps from the device. The camera app will also be replaced for the vanilla Android camera app, which means losing things like face recognition and smile shutter, but hopefully this will also mean that the camera will now have a proper flash control – rather than the totally stupid advanced menu option to turn the light on, constantly, like a torch mode.

The update will also be available via the PC update software only, so no OTA (Over-The-Air) update. It can’t be reversed either, so should anyone really want to keep 2.1 and the old software, don’t do the upgrade!

So where’s the catch? Well, it seems that the update will be issued to generic, SIM-free, handsets and that could mean no updates for users of handsets issued by certain networks.

You can find out more on the Sony Ericsson Blog.


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