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Sony Xperia T2 Ultra update returns Apps to SD support

Posted by wicked July - 18 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

Unless you actually owned an Xperia T2 Ultra or its Dual variant, Sony’s latest Android 4.4 update for the devices might not have piqued your interest. However, it seems that the manufacturer sneaked in a little feature, or rather returned it, that changes the game entirely for these owners. Sony has apparently given them back the ability to transfer some apps from internal memory to an SD card.

This feature, called Apps to SD (or apps2sd), was a rather contentious issue way back. Google has practically removed all traces of it from stock Android and users might have become resigned to that fact, unless they switch to custom ROMs or their OEM allows it. Google’s argument is the same one it uses to discourage the use of external storage entirely, that of data and operation integrity. Considering that users can easily yank out SD cards and that it runs on a different filesystem than the rest of Android, Google can do little to enforce security or make sure that the app is where it is supposed to be when you run it.

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The counter argument to this is that some devices don’t have enough internal storage space to comfortably accommodate the dozens of apps users usually install on their phones these days, plus the actual media files they might want to keep in their pockets at all times. Some games, for example, take up more than 1 GB of storage. As mentioned, some OEMs, and definitely custom ROMs, go contrary to Google’s ideal vision and include Apps to SD functionality. Sony used to but then pulled it out, perhaps to maintain compatibility with vanilla Android. Now, however, Sony is bringing it back, at least in this update, which is great news for the Xperia T2 Ultra as it only has 8 GB of internal memory.

Now the next question is “what’s next?”. Considering Sony was rather silent about this feature in its announcement, perhaps it won’t be including that feature in other, more capable handsets. Scheduled for the next update are the Xperia E1 and Xperia M2, both with low specs and perfect candidates for this feature. One can only hope that Sony will also be pushing out the feature to the rest of its lineup in the near future.

VIA: Xperia Blog

Sony Xperia T2 Ultra and Dual variant get Android 4.4 boost

Posted by wicked July - 17 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

Sony is continuing the induction of its smartphones into the roster of Android 4.4 devices, which will surely give KitKat’s numbers a boost in next month’s distribution chart. This time, it’s the turn of the Xperia T2 Ultra and its dual SIM wielding twin to get the KitKat treatment, and Sony is revealing what it added on top of that chocolatey goodness.

The Xperia T2 Ultra isn’t exactly an old device. Unveiled in early January, the smartphone is unmistakably a mid-tier phablet designed to cater to those who like big screens with low specs, and presumably low prices. The 720p screen measures a full 6 inches, while the quad-core CPU clocks at 1.4 GHz, teamed up with 1 GB of RAM and 8 GB of internal storage. For a mid-range device, it does sport a slightly impressive 13 megapixel rear camera, though paired with a 1.1 megapixel front shooter, both bearing Sony’s Exmor mark.

In addition to the usual laundry list of Android 4.4 improvements, which includes cloud printing, “Project Svelte”, and immersive mode, Sony also took the opportunity to update the Xperia T2 Ultras with its most recent software package and UI tweaks. Of course, Sony’s native apps such as messaging, Smart Connect, and Social Camera have been updated to their latest versions. Its media apps like WALKMAN, Albums, and Movies have been improved with better integration into the company’s entertainment hub. It has also pulled in Xperia Themes, definitely an enviable feature that no other custom OEM ROM has by default.

Although Sony has already announced the update for the Xperia T2 Ultra, its actual arrival will of course vary by market and carrier. And the manufacturer isn’t even done yet. It will soon be rolling out Android 4.4, with those same Sony exclusive features, for the Xperia E1 and Xperia M2, both mid-tier devices also announced early this year.

SOURCE: Sony

Sony Xperia Z3 vs Samsung Galaxy Note: just as tall but narrower

Posted by wicked July - 14 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

If you aren’t yet tired of seeing leaked photos of the upcoming Xperia Z3, here’s yet another one. This time, however, the supposed Sony flagship is shown beside the first Samsung Galaxy Note, just to give you an idea of how big, or actually how not-big, the smartphone really is. Of course, presuming this is the real deal.

The original Galaxy Note was short by today’s Note standards and measured 146.9 x 83 x 9.7 mm. For some comparison, the current Galaxy Note 3 is taller but slimmer at 151.2 x 79.2 x 8.3 mm, while the Galaxy S5 is both shorter and narrower with dimensions of 142 x 72.5 x 8.1 mm. In the picture above, the Xperia Z3 is noticeably a lot narrower than the Galaxy Note, giving hope that it will come in a somewhat more hand-friendly size than Samsung’s S Pen phablet. That said, the current Sony flagship, the Xperia Z2, isn’t exactly far behind at 146.8 x 73.3 x 8.2 mm. Chances are, the Xperia Z3 will be within the same ballpark.

Of course, that isn’t the only area where the two might be similar. Aside from a slightly higher 2.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, the Xperia Z3 is believed to be quite similar to the Xperia Z2. Sony seems to have hit the peak of its smartphone camera technology, with the same 20.7 megapixel Exmor RS sensor it has been using since the Xperia Z1. One area where the Xperia Z3 could one up its predecessors would be with a 2K resolution display, though going with the more multimedia-friendly Snapdragon 805 would have been a better choice then.

While we have had numerous leaked photos that try to prove the existence of the Xperia Z3, the biggest mystery of all is perhaps the reason or nature of its existence. Sony has promised to refresh its flagship every 6 months, in line with other major manufacturers. But the Sony Xperia Z2, while not bad in itself, feels more like a simple incremental upgrade to the Xperia Z1 and these recent leaks give little hope that the Xperia Z3 will be any different. We do have barely 2 months to go before an expected IFA 2014 unveiling, and hopefully we’ll see more promising signs before then.

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VIA: Xperia Blog

X-Reality Engine Now Available for Other Sony Xperia Devices

Posted by egzthunder1 July - 13 - 2014 - Sunday Comments Off

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Each device manufacturer normally adds their own “sauce” to flagship devices. However, these extra special features might or might not trickle down to lesser devices. Is this fair for people who may not be able to afford the extra premium for that added bit of functionality? Probably not, but that is how the world turns. This is where knowing a place by the name of XDA-Developers comes in handy. Some of our devs are committed to ensuring that any feature that would potentially work on a device is able to work.

With this in mind, we turn our heads towards the mods offered to the Sony Xperia line up. Sony tends to add tweaks to improve image and sound performance via various tweaked settings on the display and audio. This time around, we focus on a specific feature that comes from the Xperia Z1 known as X-Reality. Because it is one of those aforementioned premium settings present on flagship devices such as the Z1, Z1S, Z Ultra, and so on, this is not commonly available for lower end devices. XDA Forum Member taichiswag decided to change that.

This recovery-flashable mod will work, according to the dev, with both locked and unlocked bootloaders on most Sony devices running Android 4.3 and up. The installation does take some work, and it will require the device to be rooted due to the credentialmanagerservice.apk needing to be erased from /system/app. On top of that, you will need to make a few slight modifications to your build.prop.

According to the dev, the mod works flawlessly but since “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” the one who will determine if the mod works on your device will be you, the user. Take it for a spin and report back if it works by letting everyone know which device you tried. You can find more information in the X-reality mod thread.

The post X-Reality Engine Now Available for Other Sony Xperia Devices appeared first on xda-developers.

Sony Xperia Z2 tablet coming July 17, exclusive to Verizon

Posted by wicked July - 9 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

The Sony Xperia Z2 tablet is officially here, and will be arriving on the Verizon network. On July 17, Verizon customers will have exclusive access to the tablet. If you’re anxious, you can also pre-order the new 10-inch tblet starting tomorrow, July 10, directly from Verizon.


Sony says their new tablet will be right around 0.25-inches thin, and weigh under a pound. As they tend to do, the Xperia Z2 tablet will be waterproof (which means water resistant), and pack a massive 6000mAh battery. Sony says that will give you up to 10 hous of continuous media playback, which seems to be the aim of this one. customers will get access to a media bundle including six recent big-screen movies, as well as 90 days of free music streaming through Sony’s service.

A Snapdragon 801 SoC and Adreno 330 GPU are also on board, which will take full advantage of Verizon’s LTE network. That 10-inch display we mentioned is actually a 10.1-inch TRULUMINOUS display — the same gorgeous screen we find on all modern Sony products. A rear-facing 8.1MP camera (which you shouldn’t use in public, because you’re better than that — taking tablet pics) compliments a 2.2 front-facing shooter.

The tablet will ship with Android 4.4.2, with Sony not offering an update timeframe for Android “L”. If you activate it with a new two-year agreement, the Xperia Z2 tablet will set you back $499. If you snap it up outright, there’s a $100 premium.

Monitor Sony Xperia System Information with System Monitor Small App

Posted by wicked July - 8 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

System Monitor Small App

Being able to monitor the system information of your Android device is important when you’re looking find out just how well our devices run under different situations–when playing a game, multitasking, or testing a new app or ROM. Of course, there are a plethora of options available on the Google Play Store that easily allow you to do this. However, they generally come in the form of stand-alone apps with widgets and persistent notifications. But if you’re wielding an Xperia device with Small Apps functionality, a much more convenient way is available thanks to XDA Senior Member hansip87.

System Monitor is a Sony Xperia Small App that provides live updates for a range of system information parameters. And being a small app, you won’t have to exit whatever you’re doing on your device in order to view this data. Information being monitored includes:

  • CPU and CPU speed
  • Temperature
  • RAM usage
  • Network speed

In addition, System Monitor comes with some great customization options for each of the above, allowing you to toggle different types of information on and off, change the visual elements of the small app interface, adjust the update intervals, and more.

So if you own an Xperia device (or any device which has the Small Apps feature), and you’ve been looking for a way to monitor your device’s system info, be sure to check out the System Monitor Small App thread for more information.

The post Monitor Sony Xperia System Information with System Monitor Small App appeared first on xda-developers.

Sony announces Xperia C3, a “selfie smartphone”

Posted by wicked July - 8 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

Sony confirmed the rumours that they were contributing to the rise of the selfie generation (or the fall of civilisation, as some would call it) when they announced their upcoming Xperia C3, or what they call as “the best selfie smartphone”. Sony is marketing their newest gadget as a mid-priced smartphone that can be considered as a second phone or even the main phone for those looking for one with selfie-friendly features.

Since Oxford has already added the word “selfie” to its dictionary, we must accept that people taking pictures of this kind are here to stay. Sony is aiming to enhance this experience with features that are meant to make it easier and more fun to take selfies. The “PROselfie cam” boasts of a 5MP front facing camera (which is way higher than most front cameras) which also has a wide angle and a soft LED flash so your photos will look more flattering whatever time of day you take it.

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If you get bored with just taking simple selfies, it also has an Augmented Reality mode and several Deco frames to choose from. It also gives you the ability to retouch at most two persons in your photos in real time, with a choice of up to 10 beauty styles (goodluck trying to explain to your friend why you chose to retouch him/her. The smartphone also comes pre-loaded with other selfie camera apps, where you can play around with graphics and animations with different themes. Other apps like Timeshift-burst, Movie Creator and Sweep Paronama will make the selfie-taking experience apparently even more complicated but supposedly fun.

And if you think that the phone is just all about the PROselfie cam, Sony has also added a bit of pizzaz when it comes to the rest of the features. It has a 5.5-inch HD display, a Snapdragon Quad core 1.2GHz processor, 4G/LTE connection and has dual SIM technology. And of course, since you need a lightweight phone to take selfies easily, at 7.6 mm and 150g, the Xperia C3 definitely is one.

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Photos of Xperia C3 “Selfie” phone from Sony, leaked

Posted by wicked July - 7 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

While some studies have already said that taking a lot of “self portraits” may be connected to a psychological disorder like body dimorphic disorder or narcissism, we have to accept the fact that the selfie is still alive and kicking. If rumours are to be believed, Japanese OEM Sony is said to be announcing Xperia C3 that will be “selfie oriented” and several leaked photos are purportedly supporting this news.

Sony will be launching the Xperia Z2a in Taiwan on Tuesday, July 8, and it is rumoured that they will also be making the big announcement about this new gadget. Some leaked photos are reportedly the very first pictures shown of the “selfie” special phone. There’s a sticker with the name Gina on the front, so it’s either the name of the person who owns the phone (who may be a selfie addict) or it’s the code name for the device. (which is a bit far from the previous codenames Aries, Leo and Pegasus)

The photo shows what may be a LED flash for its front camera, which is an essential for any phone that will be marketing itself to the selfie crowd. But other than that, there is not much information leaked about the selfie-centric device. Sony is not the first brand to try to appeal to consumers who love to take photos of themselves or with their friends, wherever they may be. The N1 smartphone from OPPO has a 13MP main camera which can be rotated to face the other side, the perfect angle for the selfie takers. Another Chinese brand, Meitu, had 13MP lenses for both their main and front facing cameras in their Meitu 2 smartphone.

While people would probably not buy a smartphone for the sake of its selfie capability (at least we hope not), if the rumored phone is reasonably priced, then maybe it can be under consideration as a second phone for this selfie crowd. We only have one more day to find out whether this is a sign that camera phones are about to be revolutionised or rather, selfie-fied.

SOURCE: Esato, ePrice
VIA: G for Games

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Galaxy S5 mini vs One mini 2 vs Xperia Z1 Compact

Posted by wicked July - 3 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

Now that the Samsung Galaxy S5 mini has been revealed, it’s time we took stock of the market. Most of the major manufacturers now have a “mini flagship” for this half of year and now we have to ask ourselves, which one between the Galaxy S5 mini, the HTC One mini 2, and the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact truly deserves the title of being small but adequately terrible.

We won’t flood you with hardware specs, because keeping tabs on three devices is definitely a chore. But since a picture paints a thousand words, this pretty image below more or less summarizes the common specs between these three mini smartphones.

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We can already see at a glance one that is emerging victorious, but for the sake of argument, let’s dig deeper into each one’s special features to see if there is more to them than just spec sheets.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 mini shares with its older brother many of the prime features that one would want in the flagship. That means IP67 dust and water proofing, heart rate monitor, and fingerprint sensor. The fact that the device also uses a Super AMOLED display means you can avail of the new Ultra Power Saving Mode, a.k.a. black and white mode. The smartphone surprisingly also has support for Cat4 LTE networks, so you get faster theoretical download speeds. Of course, you get to wrestle with TouchWiz on this one

The HTC One mini 2 looks pretty much alike the HTC One M8, but that is almost all that the two have in similar. Of course, there is also Sense 6.0 inside and BoomSound audio, but that’s pretty much it. No UltraPixel Duo camera at the back and even the build has less metal and more plastic to it. Admittedly, it still looks pretty classy, which might be the one thing going for it, unless you also root for the software running on top and HTC’s way of doing things.

The Sony Xperia Z1 Compact is the oldest of these three and yet apparently it is also the most gifted. Sure it has a smaller 4.3-inch screen, but that only means it has a better pixel density at the same 720p resolution and a more manageable size. It doesn’t have that high IP67 rating, but IP55/IP58 might be enough for most cases. And while it doesn’t have an UltraPixel camera, the 20.7 megapixel sensor from a trusted camera maker might make up for it. An almost vanilla Android, plus a supported bootloader unlocking procedure, might also appeal to some people.

Smaller, beefier, and even cheaper, at least from Amazon. That’s how the Xperia Z1 Compact wins the day. True, we still don’t have the Galaxy S5 mini’s SRP, but Samsung would most likely make it competitive with the rest, meaning around $400 as well. The wealth of sensors and Cat4 LTE support, however, might appeal to some. LG has yet to show it cards as well, so we don’t exactly have a complete picture yet.. There is also talk of an Xperia Z3 Compact even while an Xperia Z2 Compact is nowhere to be found. For now, however, the small Xperia Z1 Compact stands tall as the king of the mini hill.

Android 4.4.4 now rolling out to Xperia Z1, Z1 Compact, and Z Ultra

Posted by wicked June - 28 - 2014 - Saturday Comments Off

Sony Xperia Z1 Compact, Z1, and Z Ultra users can now update their smartphone units to the latest and greatest version of Android Kitkat, as Sony has begun rolling out the 4.4.4 updates to these models. It was actually the Z1 Compact who got the update a day before the Z1 – last year’s flagship model – and the Z Ultra also were included in the list.

As you may remember, we were only just cleaning away the dust after the arrival of 4.4.3 when Google suddenly and unexpectedly came out with update 4.4.4. At first most thought that this was Google’s reaction to the Towelroot app – an application that has made it so much easier to give root access to a lot of smartphone units. It turns out that the update is mainly a security fix, and the Towelroot app is still usable at this point.

According to Sony’s update page, they’ve packed in some of their own updates with the 4.4.4 rollout for these handsets, officially tagged as Firmware 14.4.A.0.108. Apart from Google’s security fixes, Sony’s changelog lists an “updated and improved camera experience” and the “latest versions of our Sony apps” included in the update package.

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Lastly, Sony also has their own bug fixes in the bundle. As of writing, the new Z1 firmware is already available in over 10 countries, with ostensibly more to follow. The Z Ultra firmware, as of now, is available in 8 countries. To check if there is an update available for your unit, click here to go to Sony’s Xperia Care page.

VIA: Xperia Blog

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