Xperia S Open Source Archives Now Available – Sony Provides Support For Developers Building Custom ROMs


Where most Android OEM’s tend to shy away from Android developers looking to tinker around with their code, Sony has long been known to welcome devs with open arms, allowing those — with the proper know how — to tinker around with their devices at their leisure.

Keeping with their current track record, Sony has given developers the green light to access their open source archives for the Sony Xperia S with complete instructions on building custom ROMs and kernels for use on that device.

I’m curious to know if any of you guys find Sony’s stance on Android development refreshing? Could it influence a future smartphone purchase form any of you? I know, we don’t typically hear from OEM’s going this far to support the Android modding community but Sony seems to be going that extra mile. You can find all the info and full instructions via the source link below.

Thanks, Joe!



Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. Refreshing ? Yes.

    Influence decisions ? No.

    Sony is struggling to stay relevant and that’s the only reason they are doing that.

    I was intrigued to see they released much (but not all !) of the code for their FM app. But the permissions requirements/system signature needed means I can’t get my FM app to work on stock, unrooted devices. So I don’t care about Sony.

    HTC, Samsung. Motorola and occasionally LG are the OEMs my app targets, all the while despising Googarola’s lies and locked bootloaders.

    1. Yeah, it’s kinda sad to see/hear everyone complaining about locked bootloaders and whatnot but when an OEM makes an effort to help out the developer community, no one really cares. 

      Hopefully we see Sony make a bigger splash here in the states with higher-end hardware on more carriers.. 

  2. I’d definitely look at a Sony Krait powered phone now… I like Motorola’s build quality, but they only care about the carriers, and don’t seem to care about the customers that actually OWN their phones. 

  3. Thats awesome news, but it probably wont be long til someone makes a backup manager(for the psn store on the phone in this case) like they did on ps3 and ruins it for everyone who faithfully pays for games like me. -.-

    1. or until sony pushes an update that takes it away, as they did for the ps3 / otherOS

  4. much respect to sony and their involvements in being more friendly to the dev community

  5. This is a good move but i don’t know if it will win me back to sony.  I have boycotted them since the rootkit fiasco a few years back.  I was looking at the sony lineup and wondering if i should give in when the whitney houston price gouging thing reminded me that i really don’t like sony.  

    i also question whether they have ‘ long been known to welcome devs with open arms’.  PS3 removed linux support and was in a constant battle against the homebrew crowd.

    1. All excellent points, however my only concern is that Sony’s policy change may be a barometer for how other companies handle their open-source policy. If you continue to boycott Sony phones, even if they offer comparable hardware, above average developer support, etc then why would HTC, Motorola, Samsung, etc offer greater developer support?

      It seems like most companies that offer a variety of products and services likely will have one division/arm adopt policies that you may not support. Why not simply refuse to support those arms of the company (Sony BMG, etc) instead of banning other unrelated divions (Sony Ericsson).

      This development is no reason to exclusively purchase Sony phones, but IF they offer comparable hardware, I fail to see why their software policies shouldn’t be considered a plus.

      1. Like I said, I do like the overall move, but it isn’t bringing me back to sony.  i am willing to be vocal about that I think it is a good idea and I would be willing to throw purchasing dollars towards say, htc, if they made an announcement like this.  Or, more to the point, not buy motorola b/c they lock their bootloader.

        Being different parts of the same company may give some an excuse but the profits all kick up to the same spot.   

  6. if only they were this open about the ps3

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