Sony’s version of Android was never very “heavy” on user interface customizations. Even still it appears they’re now taking a page out of Motorola’s handbook with plans to dial things back even further. In what the manufacturer is calling their “Concept for Android,” Sony is building a new version of Android from the ground up that more closely resembles that of the stock Android interface, only with a few key Sony apps and services bundled inside.
Based on Android 5.1, Sony is allowing a handful of Sony Xperia Z3 owners in Sweden to test out early versions of this new software. Keep in mind stability will be up in the air during this testing phase, so it’s probably better suited for those that have a spare device laying around. New builds will be pushed out every week between July 27th through September 13th and will rely heavily on user feedback with Sony telling The Verge, “The idea is that we evaluate and iteratively adapt the experience based on user input.” The end goal is to eventually bring the latest Android versions to users quicker than ever before, with “shorter release cycles.” Sounds like a win for everyone involved.
It’s not the most popular opinion, especially not in Android circles, but we still can’t help but wonder if this is the way to go. As we mentioned before, Sony’s UI was never very heavy in the first place and gong this route — while it does offer some clear benefits — makes us wonder if Sony wont be losing their identity in the process. That being said, we love Sony’s devices and hope for big things from them in the future.