karl-johan_dahlstrom_custom_rom

Sony Ericsson supports independent developers

In developer forums worldwide, there is a huge activity and engagement in the open Android™ ecosystem. And we also know there are a lot of independent developers out there who are creating their own custom ROMs or modifying the kernel. The Sony Ericsson Developer program is following this community with great interest, and even though Sony Ericsson is not supporting all the activities by independent developers, we recognize that custom ROMs are a part of the Android ecosystem.

We therefore decided to assist a group of developers called “FreeXperia”. The overall open developer community is important to Sony Ericsson, and we hope to learn from it, and share knowledge ourselves. The FreeXperia group was supported with devices and technical know-how, and they are now in the process of creating custom ROMs based on the CyanogenMod for several of our latest Xperia™ phones, including Xperia™ PLAY and Xperia™ arc.

Karl-Johan Dahlström, Head of Developer Relations, explains more after the jump.

Important note: By unlocking your phone and running a custom ROM you may void the warranty. See your phone’s warranty statement for details.

Back in the spring of earlier this year, Sony Ericsson announced and released the option to unlock the boot loader for 2011 Xperia™ phones. We then moved on to explain how to build your own Linux kernel. As a third step, we have now supported the FreeXperia group. The reason for this is that we firmly believe in the openness of Android™, and we are really impressed by the huge activity shown in our products. By being supportive and open, we hope to both learn from the open community, and also share knowledge when that is possible.

During some time now, the FreeXperia group of independent developers have been working on the CyanogenMod custom ROM for our latest Xperia™ phones. From a Sony Ericsson Developer program perspective, we were impressed by the passion shown and decided to help out with some bits and pieces, since we are aware that Sony Ericsson phones have been somewhat difficult to work with from an open developer point of view. A few proprietary solutions needed to be explained and we helped them with that. This included the camera, where we provided debugged and rebuilt camera library binaries, which we will soon make available on Developer World under a special EULA license. We also supported the group with approximately 20 devices, to make their work easier.

However, please pay attention to this important and legal fine-printed text that you should not skip. We once again must make it clear that if you unlock the boot loader, and put a custom ROM on your phone, you may void your warranty. Sony Ericsson does not guarantee any functionality of your phone while going down this road. This is for advanced developers only, who are aware of the risks involved and have the knowledge to minimise the risks. For normal consumers, we strongly recommend NOT to unlock the boot loader and use custom ROMs, as it is not needed. We are proud to deliver great phone experiences through our rigorously tested and official software releases.

Overall, we do think the initiative to support these independent developers is a way for Sony Ericsson to show our support to the open developer community. We truly hope to make a difference in the world of Android™.

Karl-Johan Dahlström
Head of Developer Relations
Sony Ericsson

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