Google leaving the Xperia S AOSP project to Sony

Google leaving the Xperia S AOSP project to Sony
One of the most interesting developments for fans of the Android Open Source Project over the past year has been Google's adoption of the Sony Xperia S as a device that would get AOSP support, but now it looks like Google is changing the nature of the relationship and is leaving Sony in charge of the Xperia S AOSP code.

Some are claiming that the move has to do with proprietary binaries that were needed to make stock Android run on the Xperia S, and this is certainly possible. Sony mentions these binaries in the blog post about the change, and given Google's history to drop AOSP support for its own Galaxy Nexus because of proprietary keys needed on the CDMA model, it seems plausible that was a factor here. However, Sony and Google are painting the picture that the plan was never really for Google to be the primary force behind the Xperia S AOSP branch in the long run, and that eventually a move like this was expected. 

Google wants to focus its efforts on its own Nexus line, which has grown bigger this year, so, the Xperia S will still be supported in being a developer device, but now instead of Google doing the work in the AOSP main branch, Sony will be doing the work on GitHub. With the code available now for the Xperia S, AOSP will boot on the device and most things will work including the SD card and WiFi, although audio and modems don't work because of the need for those proprietary binaries. 

Sony is working on getting Android 4.2 up and running now as well. 

Related phones

Xperia S
  • Display 4.3" 720 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 12.1 MP / 1.3 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon S3, Dual-core, 1500 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB
  • Battery 1750 mAh(8.50h 3G talk time)



1. XPERIA-KNIGHT unregistered

Good news Michael.... Sony our time is coming

2. Nadr1212

Posts: 741; Member since: Sep 22, 2012

Google's just Giving up like that? where is the company that made the most pixeled tablet? where is the company that made Android? And finally, where is the company that made Apple a rotten Apple?

3. Tsepz_GP

Posts: 1175; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

Lol, why did Google even bother using such an outdated and mediocre phone for AOSP in the 1st place??? Sounds like it was quite a headache for them, they announced AOSP for XS just a month or two ago and already they are giving it off to Sony, says a lot. They should've picked GS3 and One X. :)

4. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

1) The Xperia S spec sheet is comparable, if not better than the Galaxy Nexus, so "outdated and mediocre" is quite a stretch. 2) A major point of this was to give it to a Sony device, because Sony has been one of the best in AOSP, but hasn't yet had an actual Nexus device.

5. XPERIA-KNIGHT unregistered

I hope they understand

7. Tsepz_GP

Posts: 1175; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

The Galaxy Nexus is a year old though, the fact that you are comparing the Xperia S to that proves my point, Xperia S is a 2011 device announced and released in 2012, Google should've used a more current and more popular Android e.g. GS3, if not a Samsung then a Htc One X or something else more curremdt, the Xperia T even. I found it weird from the get go that they chose the S.

6. wendygarett unregistered

The spec is reasonable enough to make aosp... Why do you think it's outdated??

8. pyradark

Posts: 895; Member since: Jun 10, 2012

brainwash by sammy quad core gimmick :)

9. Tsepz_GP

Posts: 1175; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

Quad core gimmick? :'D well the gimmick has made mince meat of your precious Xperia in multiple ways including UI fluidity, updates, hardware etc.. Anyway my point is that they couldve chosen something more current like the Xperia T with S4 Krait.

10. adjou

Posts: 106; Member since: Jul 06, 2010

The point of choosing a "low end" phone is so that other "low end" phones can also benefit from this. I don't see how choosing a future proof phone to do this is going to achieve what google is trying to do here. To reduce the fragmentation of the OS, which affects mostly mid low end phones Just so you know, S3 running Xperia S's UI is perfectly smooth except when running some graphically demanding games.

11. phil2n

Posts: 519; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

Surely!! you will cry for sammy

12. Tsepz_GP

Posts: 1175; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

Seems i hurt a lot of Sony fanboys hearts, shame :) but Xperia S is quite outdated though, and despite all this its taking forever to get 4.1, what a shame.

13. parkwaydr

Posts: 572; Member since: Sep 07, 2011

This is what i hate about sprint. They will offer any crappy kyocera/sanyo phone all day, but yet they wont offer anything from sony, dont know why. I personally love sony designs, and i can garentee that one sony phone would out sell anyone of those crappy phones sprint choses to offer.

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