Sony Ericsson is well aware of the Android modding community and unlike other OEM’s who try and squash it, they’re doing their part to help support it. Whether it’s creating a custom ROM or modifying the kernel, the Sony Ericsson Developer program is aimed at helping these devs cook up nice and stable custom ROMs and they’re starting with a group of devs called “FreeXperia.” These are the guys responsible for creating custom ROMs based on CyanognenMod and porting/modifying them to various Xperia devices lke the Play and Arc.
Sony Ericsson was one of — if not the first Android OEM to announce they would provide the option to unlock the bootloaders in their 2011 Xperia lineup. Karl-Johan Dahlström, Head of Developer Relations for Sony Ericsson and all around nice guy (whom I had the pleasure of meeting at E3 this year), has been doing a great job at keeping Sony Ericsson devices open thanks to his close work with developers. According to Mr. Dahlström,
“We firmly believe in the openness of Android and we are really impressed by the huge activity shown in our products. By being supportive and open, we hope to both learn from the open community, and also share knowledge when that is possible.
When it came to Sony Ericsson’s involvement with the FreeXperia developers,
We were impressed by the passion shown and decided to help out with some bits and pieces. A few proprietary solutions needed to be explained and we helped them with that. We also supported the group with approximately 20 devices, to make their work easier.
Sony Ericsson would also like to remind you that unlocking the bootloader and loading a custom ROM on their devices will more than likely void your warranty. A risk we’ve been willing to take since rooting our G1’s back in the day. For your normal, average Joe Schmoe consumer, keeping your device is 100% stock is usually the wisest choice. Either way, it’s refreshing to see the steps Sony Ericsson has taken to support the Android modding community and something other Android OEM’s can definitely learn a thing or two from.