Interesting, it really looks like there's a trend to Alpha Ice Cream Sandwich ROMs from manufacturers. And even if these Alpha ROMs a buggy and far away from anything stable, it shows that the manufacturers in question are really working on Android 4.0 upgrades. Following Huawei, which released the first Ice Cream Sandwich ROMs earlier this week, today follows Sony Ericsson which proves with its Alpha ROMs, that it's indeed working on the promised Android 4.0 upgrades for its range of 2011 Xperias. Therefore, Sony Ericsson today released an alpha ROM of Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0.1) for Xperia arc S, Xperia neo V and Xperia ray available for download.
As this is something Sony Ericsson has not done before these ROMs are strictly targeting advanced developers, and it will not work for ordinary everyday usage, as it only has a limited set of features working (Google Mobile Services (GMS) apps are not included, modem is turned off and SIM card will therefore not be recognized, Bluetooth, WiFi, ANT+ and the FM-radio are all turned off as well).
Since the Beta ROMs are 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 Sony Ericsson strongly recommends 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); the original Xperia arc or Xperia neo are not supported at this point 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.
Again, the number of features and functionalities working and turned on in this Alpha ROMs are very limited. This is because many features are not yet certified and in a few cases because Sony Ericsson has more work to do on certain features, as they are still in the "bring up phase".
However, this Alpha ROM includes a number of new features like the new "Roboto" font, the new "Holo" theme, music player control from lock screen, updated UI in the Settings menu, UI in the web browser, UI and interaction with the new messaging action bar and updated UI for improved multitasking; as shown in the video above.
If you feel you are the right target group, head over to Sony Ericsson's Developer Blog to get more information how to get your Sony Ericsson Xperia upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich.
Cheers ~ Arne