Great news for Sony Ericsson Xperia Phone owners, surprisingly the company who got a bad history on updating their devices with latest Android software, just released an official Ice Cream Sandwich Alpha Build for it’s unlocked Xperia™ phones spiced with TimeScape UX. In a blog post Sony Ericsson (and now Sony Mobile Communications) stated :
"To show our continuous support to the open developer community, and get your valuable feedback, we are today (December 17, 2011) making an alpha ROM of Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0.1) for Xperia™ arc S, Xperia™ neo V and Xperia™ ray available for download. This is something we have not done before, and we are obviously very excited about it."
The ROM will not work on original Xperia arc or Xperia neo, hopefully the developers will make it installable on other Sony Ericsson Phones as well. This Ice Cream Sandwich Alpha ROM is not yet ready for everyday use and only targeted to advance user. But, if you can’t wait to see Android 4.0 glory on your Xperia arc S, Xperia neo V and Xperia ray and you got some knowledge in flashing or modding your phone then follow the instructions below :
For more info head over to the official SE Blog.
How to install Guide
Important information :
Since this is far from the final software upgrade roll out, there are a few things to pay close attention to before you download and install the ROM :
You should be an advanced developer with extensive knowledge in how to install, and switch between different ROMs.If you are a consumer without these developer skills, then we strongly recommend you not do try this as you may damage your phone.
You must be using Xperia™ arc S, Xperia™ neo V or Xperia™ ray, running the latest Sony Ericsson software release (which is 4.0.2.A.0.42). Please note that you can’t use the original Xperia™ arc or Xperia™ neo, as they have different partition layouts.
You must unlock your phone using Sony Ericsson’s Unlock boot loader service, and agree to all the legal and warranty conditions that apply. Please note that you may void the warranty of your phone and/or any warranty from your operator if you unlock the boot loader of your phone. Sony Ericsson can then no longer guarantee the full functionality of your phone, and will not be responsible for any unusable functions or loss of personal data associated to the alpha ROM being flashed to the phone. Please pay special attention to the following legal statement before downloading (the full statement is available on the download link) :
“You must acknowledge that the software is provided “as is” without warranty of any kind, express, or implied, and to the maximum extent permitted by applicable law.”
Also, if you unlock the boot loader, you will not be able to download and install the final Ice Cream Sandwich software upgrade from Sony Ericsson. For additional information on limitations and warranty, please see the Sony Ericsson Unlock boot loader service.
You should have read through and acknowledged the limitations of the software described below.
You must read and accept the end user license agreement on the download link, before you can download the alpha ROM zip file.
Limitations and functionality
The number of features and functionalities working and turned on in this alpha ROM are very limited. This is because many features are not yet certified, and in a few cases because we have more work to do on certain features, as they are still in the Bring up phase. These are some of the features turned off or not yet working in this alpha ROM :
- 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 recognised (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.
In other words, this software is not intended for ordinary everyday usage - it is for demonstration purposes only. However, this alpha ROM includes a number of new features :
- 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.
Check out the video above to see a demo of some of these features!
Download and Install
Follow the instructions below to download and install the alpha ROM. Please note that it only works with Xperia™ arc S, Xperia™ neo V and Xperia™ ray.
Make sure your phone is running the latest software release, which is build number 4.0.2.A.0.42. If not, upgrade your phone through PC Companion. If you can’t upgrade to this build number, it is not possible to try the Ice Cream Sandwich alpha ROM for Xperia™ phones.
Go to unlockbootloader.sonyericsson.com and unlock the boot loader of your phone. To do this, you must read through and agree to all the legal and warranty conditions that apply.
Download the : Ice Cream Sandwich alpha ROM for Xperia™ arc S (133MB), the Ice Cream Sandwich alpha ROM for Xperia™ neo V (131MB) or the Ice Cream Sandwich alpha ROM for Xperia™ ray (136MB) depending on your phone model.
Extract the downloaded zip file to your Android Fastboot directory. For example: ..\android-sdk\fastboot\Xperia_arcS_ICS_alpha.
Open a command prompt and go to your Fastboot directory: ..\android-sdk\fastboot\
Flash the three alpha ROM files one at a time using Fastboot. Use these three commands (replace the folder name if you are using Xperia™ neo V or Xperia™ ray) :
fastboot flash boot ..\Fastboot\Xperia_arcS_ICS_alpha\boot.img
fastboot flash userdata ..\Fastboot\Xperia_arcS_ICS_alpha\userdata.img
fastboot flash system ..\Fastboot\Xperia_arcS_ICS_alpha\system.img
Once done, please reboot your phone. If you need some help feel free to contact us or check the official post here for more details and leave your feedback. If you liked our post then kindly share it with your friends.