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Achievement unlocked: Root for Sony Xperia Z3, Z3 Compact

Posted by wicked January - 26 - 2015 - Monday Comments Off

In another pleasant display of showing the big corporations that, in the world of Android, nothing stays locked down for too long, clever minds have finally broken through the locks Sony has put on the bootloaders of the Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact, making it possible for you to finally gain root access to these devices. In their defense, Sony has been one of the more lenient manufacturers when it comes to tweaking their devices for AOSP (Android Open Source Project). Well, there are just some locks that are meant to be broken down.

XDA developer “serajr” revealed the secret formula behind the Sony locks, thanks to the tireless probing of fellow developer “zxz0O0″. The process, however, is not an easy one, and like any modification, this has the potential to turn your Z3 handset into a complete brick. For starters, current firmware is not compatible with the mod, so this means you will have to roll back your unit to version 23.0.1.A.5.77 before you can do anything. Once this has been achieved, it’s on to creating a pre-rooted version of your device’s hardware, flashing a recovery image, and applying the root exploit to your device.


It should be noted at this point that this mod applies mainly to US handsets locked down by their carriers. It is not worth trying on the international versions of the Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact, as these already have unlockable bootloaders and can be easily fiddled with to suit your custom requirements. The hack largely does not apply to Sony devices offered by Verizon either, as these may come with already-modified hardware.

With quite a number of restrictions, it may also help to ask yourself if rooting your Sony Xperia Z3 or Z3 Compact is worth the trouble; Sony is set to release updates to enable its devices to run on Android Lollipop soon, anyway. Still, if you’re intent on getting the most out of your (locked) device, check out the XDA forum thread to try and set free your Sony Xperia device on your own.

VIA: Android Authority

MultiROM now available for Sony Xperia devices

Posted by wicked January - 20 - 2015 - Tuesday Comments Off

We’ve talked about MultiROM a few times already here. Anyone who fancies running versions of Android KitKat, Ice Cream Sandwich, and Jelly Bean all from the same device can now see that dream come true. Sony Xperia devices are the latest ones to enjoy MultiROM multi-boot goodness with the new MultiROM v30x mod.

The MultiROM v30x appears to support a number of Sony Xperia devices including the Xperia Z1, Xperia Z1 Compact, Xperia Z2, and the Xperia ZL models. So if you’ve thought about running multiple ROMs on your Xperia device — heck even an Ubuntu Touch firmware or any other Linux-based system — now is your time to shine. A built-in boot manager appears upon startup and gives you the power to choose which systems to run for your device at a particular time. Installing and managing ROMs is done through the built-in MultiROM manager app.


Probably the only thing that would limit your device from enjoying the multiboot advantages of MultiROM is your device’s storage limit. You can have as many ROMs as you can possibly fit into your smartphone’s external memory card. Another limitation is that MultiROM, at present, will not work with data encryption, but that shouldn’t be a significant concern to you unless you’re absolutely serious about your device’s data security.

There is always a concern when tweaking your phone like this, understand that most smartphones were created without any notion of multi-booting, and tweaking them this way can easily turn into one big epic fail. Like any custom hack — and this is a major one — it is always a good idea to back up data in your device so that you don’t end up with a particularly expensive block of worthless electronics. Interested? Check out the official thread via the source link.


CM12 nightlies bring Lollipop to eight Xperia devices

Posted by wicked January - 19 - 2015 - Monday Comments Off

Early this month, CyanogenMod turned on the engines that will produce the nightly builds for CyangeonMod 12, which is based on the Android 5.0. As much as 31 devices and models were the first to receive the candy goodness, but now 8 more devices from Xperia‘s ranks are joining the fray. From the most recent Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact to the older Xperia T and V, Xperia fans can now try out the latest Android version on their devices, provided they’re willing to take the risk.

Of course installing any custom ROM requires flashing the device and wiping it clean For some more recent Xperia models, this might mean losing out on some features that are driven by proprietary DRM code or drivers. And you might also be missing out on the special features that Sony’s own ROM provides. In exchange, you will gain CyanogenMod’s own special features as well as an advanced taste of Android Lollipop.

If that proposition sounds acceptable, the next requirement would be that you own one, or more, of the supported devices:

Xperia T (Mint)
Xperia V (Tsubasa)
Xperia Z Ultra (Togari)
Xperia Z Ultra GPe (Togari_GPE)
Xperia Z1 (Honami)
Xperia Z1 Compact (Amami)
Xperia Z2 (Sirius)
Xperia Z2 Tablet (Castor)
Xperia Z2 Tablet Wi-Fi (Castor_Windy)
Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact Wi-Fi (Scorpion_Windy)

Do be aware that these are very early nightly builds, so more than any other nightly builds, these would have less than beta quality and stability than the previous nightly builds based on CyanogenMod 11.

VIA: Xperia Blog

Sony’s Xperia phones to join in effort to provide cure for diseases

Posted by wicked January - 13 - 2015 - Tuesday Comments Off

“Protein folding” is not a new concept – this refers to the way our bodies proteins fold into different forms that correspond to different body parts. A mistake in this folding process actually contributes to diseases and bodily malfunctions like Alzheimer’s, so it unlocking the secrets in this folding process is key to medical professionals and scientists providing cures and solutions for said diseases. But where does your Sony Xperia phone come in?

Folding@Home was an effort to distribute the computing load in simulating the folding process – the “slowest” proteins fold in a few milliseconds, so one can imagine the computing power needed to simulate this. Folding@Home has been around for a while, helping a team at Stanford University to look into the process and where it goes wrong. The effort has used the distributed computing powers of home computers, even idling desktop GPUs, PlayStation 3 units, and a whole lot more. As a result of the data gathered, the Folding@Home team has published papers leading to major advances in medicine.

sony-xperia-z3-17 (1)

Can your Sony Xperia phone help in this effort? Say for example, contribute to the folding process while you’re asleep and your phone is charging? It just might work. A typical Sony Xperia phone would be able to contribute an average 30 GFLOPs of computing power. The world record for distributed computing was “1 Petaflop” – achieved in 2012 when PlayStation 3’s contributed to Folding@Home.


A new Folding@Home app – still in its beta version – is available at the Google Play Store for all Xperia Z series smartphones, as well as the Xperia T3, T2 Ultra, M2 Aqua and C3 to contribute to this effort. It will take around 50,000 smartphones to equal that world record, but think about this – in order to achieve a data breakthrough, the Folding@Home team needs 150,000 days of computing from one phone. Split that load to 10,000 phones and the time drops to just around 2 weeks. What more if there were more than 10,000 Xperia phones contributing to this?


Do something cool for the world. If you own an Xperia model mentioned above, get the app and help out.

DOWNLOAD: Google Play Store

More rumored specs of the Sony Xperia Z4 leaked

Posted by wicked January - 12 - 2015 - Monday Comments Off

Late last year, we were talking about rumors of Sony crazily launching its next flagship phone, the Sony Xperia Z4, in January at CES 2015 in Las Vegas. Fortunately for us, CES has come and gone, and the world is still a bit sane as we know it – no launch from Sony in January. But more and more rumors point to an unveiling in March at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona – as more info about the specs of the Xperia Z4 continue to leak out.

This new leak seems to confirm that the Z4 will continue with its predecessor’s design language, keeping the metal frame but adding some colors therein. Sony has never been one to back away from flamboyant colors, so it will be interesting to see if we see more colorful designs – a blue fuselage version has been rumored – in the Xperia Z4.


The Sony Xperia Z4 is also rumored to have a specialized waterproof micro USB port. The problem Sony had – especially with the Xperia line pushing for water-resistant and waterproof standards – is that a metal micro USB element usually suffered if the waterproofing cover leaked and/or was damaged. It would be interesting to see how Sony remedied that issue.


Lastly, the Xperia Z4 is reportedly keeping its 5.2-inch Full HD TRILUMINOS display – but rumors say there will be a 2K resolution version to be released in the US. This has both good and bad sides. The good thing is that with Sony’s history of amazing display quality, the 2K TRILUMINOS display would probably be nothing short of stunning. The bad side is that the battery needs to keep up with the higher power consumption of lighting up more pixels. In this case, Full HD doesn’t seem so bad.

Are you guys excited for the new Xperia Z4? Or is it just too soon after the Xperia Z3 launch late last year?

VIA: Eprice

Hands-on with the New Sony Products at CES 2015 – XDA TV

Posted by wicked January - 11 - 2015 - Sunday Comments Off


At the 2015 International CES, Japanese manufacturer Sony released an Android powered Walkman, the ZX2. We were very excited to take a look at it, and also ran into the other two latest products from Sony while we were there: the Xperia Z3C tablet and Sony Smartwatch 3.

XDA TV Producer Jordan got a chance to get his hands on the Sony triplets and learn more about them. Jordan shares what he learned in our latest XDA TV video, and also shows off the devices in all their glory. Take a look!

Be sure to check out other great XDA TV Videos

Check out Jordan’s YouTube Channel and Jordan’s Gaming YouTube Channel

The post Hands-on with the New Sony Products at CES 2015 – XDA TV appeared first on xda-developers.

Restore Functionality on Unlocked Xperia Devices – Part Two

Posted by wicked January - 6 - 2015 - Tuesday Comments Off


As you might have noticed, not too long ago, we featured an article that detailed how to get back lost functionality on unlocked Sony Xperia devices. To recap, a simple system modification allows you to gain back most of the features you lost when unlocking the bootloader of a recent Xperia device. The reason for the reduced functionality is that, when unlocking the bootloader, you lose the device’s internal DRM keys which are required for things like streaming protected media but also for advanced technologies like the BIONZ image processor or the Bravia Engine.

After further discussing the matter with the author of the mod, it turns out that the modified files deceive the DRM system and pretends to have working DRM keys readily available. Luckily some of the lost features only check for the availability of the DRM keys and don’t actually require them to be valid. You can think of it as a car (the specific features) and a car key (the DRM keys). In this case here, the car doesn’t need its specific key, it just needs any key for it to work. It doesn’t even need to match the car’s manufacturer, so to speak.

While this initially sounds like entirely good news, it also brings up a few important questions. Questions that only Sony can answer, but everyone should be aware of them.


If a (mostly) simple software modification can bring back features that, according to Sony, need valid DRM keys to work, then why can these features even work without the DRM keys?

At this point it certainly looks like you don’t need valid DRM keys to make certain features work that initially won’t work after unlocking. Various members have posted comparison images (for example here, or also in the OP) which show the BIONZ image processor and Bravia Engine working after flashing the modified files. While not everything seems to be working again right now, the author is constantly trying to improve the results. And after all, even the results we have today do show us that these features can be reactivated without valid DRM keys. They show us that all of the issues are artificial at best.


The left image has the BIONZ image processor disabled while it’s enabled on the right


If these features don’t need valid DRM keys to work, then why does Sony remove them anyway?

Obviously this point is guesswork only, but it sure looks like Sony is trying to hamper bootloader unlocking by artificially killing important features as a tradeoff for the unlocked device. On the other hand, maybe it’s more of an accidental screw-up on Sony’s part because, after all, they do tend to work closely with the development community.

In either case, the future will reveal which is the right answer, Sony has a chance to improve and to remove these restrictions, or they could potentially tighten up the security making it even harder to get back the lost functionality. Let’s wait for the Lollipop OTAs and discover what Sony has prepared for us.

Make sure to check out Part One and the thread for more info, and let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

The post Restore Functionality on Unlocked Xperia Devices – Part Two appeared first on xda-developers.

Workaround allows DRM functions on unlocked Sony Xperia devices

Posted by wicked December - 31 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

There are a lot of good reasons for you to unlock the bootloader of your Sony Xperia device, as there are a lot of cool aftermarket software and stuff out there that will make your cool Xperia dievice even cooler. But the downside to an unlocked bootloader is when you lose the imaging features that require DRM authentication – including the X-Reality image enhancement engine, the audio noise cancelling feature, and the BIONZ image enhancement engine among others.

Well, XDA member “jimRnor” and his team have something to say about that. They have successfully brought back these DRM features to the Sony Xperia smartphone series via a flashable mod. Take note that this is only for Xperia devices which have unlocked bootloaders.

Another caveat is that the developers have made it clear that this mod does not return the DRM keys that were wiped during the unlocking of the bootloader. This mod just reactivates the functions that are inherent in stock Xperia devices.

If you’re curious about this mod, check out the official XDA thread at the source link. We would still warn you that since this involves flashing modified content into your devices, it would be very wise to have a working backup of your phone data and system handy.


Leak shows an insanely powerful Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet Ultra

Posted by wicked December - 19 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

Of course, we can say right off the bat that as with all leaks, it will be difficult to verify if this is indeed true – that is the nature of all leaks. But the purported specs of the Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet Ultra has just leaked and it’s showing us an insanely robust tablet, something that would blow away current competition. But is it in the “too good to be true” category?

Chinese site PadNews has the screen of the new Xperia Z4 Tablet Ultra at 12.9 inches. For comparison, that’s even larger than the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 and Samsung’s biggest Galaxy Pro model. The leak says that it will be a 3840×2400 Triluminos screen, that’s already 4K resolution, but not just. It will have a pixel count higher than the Retina screen of the newest MacBook Pro, and promptly beats most of the 4K laptop screens out there.


But if you think that the size of the rumored tablet is all there is, you’re in for a ride. It will be powered by an octa-core, 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, along with a whopping 6GB of RAM. It’s purportedly sporting 64GB of internal storage, an HDMI-out port, support for PS4 Remote Play (one would hope that with specs like this, it would be) and Sony’s Hi-Res Audio file format.

With specs like that, you’d hope it will have a kickass battery – and at least the list proves it could have it, a 12,100mAh battery never before seen on devices of this class. So is it true? Again, your guess is as good as ours. Remember that Sony has an event planned in January at the CES 2015 in Las Vegas, where the Xperia Z4 line is rumored to be launched. Our advice, don’t get your hopes up too much, ok?

VIA: PadNews

Sony adds AOSP support to all 2014 Qualcomm-based Xperia units

Posted by wicked December - 17 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

Sony is one of those manufacturers who seem to have found a groove in balancing their support for after-market software for their devices and continuing to encourage those who are part of the community who tweak the AOSP (Android Open Source Project) for their Sony devices. Because of this commitment, Sony has even now made AOSP support official for all Qualcomm-based Xperia devices released in 2014. Pretty nifty.

This means that AOSP support is now available for the Sony Xperia E3 and the Xperia T3, adding to the devices earlier supported – the Xperia M2 and the Xperia T2 Ultra. Sony also announced that they have updated the source code for the latter two units to give them stability improvements.

What does this mean? Well, if you’re not familiar with the AOSP community, then here it is – it means that the source code Sony is providing (as downloadable binaries) can now be used by developers and enthusiasts as a base for developing their own ROMs – that is, their version of Android.

Check out the AOSP announcement here at this link. Also, you can go directly to the download of the binaries here. If you want more information on Sony’s AOSP support, click here.

VIA: Xperia Blog

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