Jelly Bean available for custom ROM developers [alpha ROM]

A while ago, the Sony Xperia™ News room shared an update on our plans to upgrade certain Xperia™ devices to Jelly Bean. Since then we have received quite a few requests from the Android™ developer community to release an earlier version of the Jelly Bean (JB) software for the developers. This way, advanced developers could try it out and evaluate it, in a similar way to how we did it last year with the ICS alpha release. Please note that there are several limitations to this alpha software, for instance the UI look and feel is not updated to final Sony Jelly Bean software. Read more after the jump!

We’re now making an early alpha ROM of Jelly Bean (Android 4.1) available for Xperia™ T, along with the open source archive, as a way for us to get valuable feedback from the custom ROM community (although we are not far away from the official release of JB for Xperia™ T).  Thanks to the great dialogue we have with open community developers, we see this as a great way for us to get input, and for the open developer community to get to try this alpha out hands-on.

As mentioned above, this JB alpha ROM is strictly targeting advanced developers, and it will not work for ordinary everyday usage, as it only has a limited set of features working (for example, you cannot make any phone calls). Several more legal and usage conditions apply – please see the Important information section below for more details.

Important information
Since this is not the final software upgrade roll out, there are a few requirements to pay close attention to before you flash the ROM:

  • You should be an advanced developer with extensive knowledge in how to flash and switch between different ROMs. If you are a consumer without these developer skills, then we strongly recommend you not do try this as you may damage your phone.
  • You must be using an unlocked Xperia™ T. It will not work on a locked Xperia™ T.
  • You must unlock your phone using Sony’s Unlock boot loader service, and agree to all the legal and warranty conditions that apply. Please note that you may void the warranty of your phone and/or any warranty from your operator if you unlock the boot loader of your phone. Sony can then no longer guarantee the full functionality of your phone, and will not be responsible for any unusable functions or loss of personal data associated to the alpha ROM being flashed to the phone.
  • Also, if you unlock the boot loader, you will not be able to get the final Jelly Bean upgrade from Sony. For additional information about limitations and warranty restrictions, please see Sony’s Unlock boot loader service.
  • You should have read through and acknowledged the limitations of the software described below.

Limitations and functionality
Only a limited number of features and functionalities are working and turned on in this alpha ROM. The reason for some features being disabled is because we have not yet passed all approvals yet. To get more information on how this work is carried out, check out our previous article about the bring up phase.

These are some of the features that are turned off or not yet working in this alpha ROM:

  • Google Mobile Services (GMS) apps are not included (for example, Gmail and Google Maps).
  • Modem is turned off and therefore the SIM card will not be recognised (this also means you can’t make any phone calls).
  • Bluetooth™ is turned off.
  • Wi-Fi® is turned off.
  • FM-radio is turned off.
  • NFC is turned off.
  • UI look and feel is not updated to final Sony Jelly Bean software.

In other words, this software is not intended for ordinary everyday usage – it’s for advanced developer use only. This alpha ROM includes a number of Jelly Bean features that we know will be appreciated by developers and we are thankful for the potential feedback we may get on this.

How to flash the Jelly Bean alpha ROM
To flash the alpha ROM on your unlocked Xperia™ T, use our flash tool for unlocked Xperia devices.  Check out the flash tool page for more information on how to download, install and use this tool.

The Jelly Bean alpha ROM will be a clean flash, so make sure you do a proper back up of everything on your phone before you flash it. Please note that there is another software version available for Xperia™ T smartphones in the Sony flash tool for unlocked devices, as it is possible to flash Xperia™ T with an official Ice Cream Sandwich software versions well.

Developers, please let us know what you think!
One of our ambitions with this release is to get feedback from the talented developers in the open community. So if you flash this Jelly Bean alpha ROM and download the open source archive, please go to this XDA-thread and provide us with feedback once you have tried the software. It’s very much appreciated – we will use the feedback for future product and software strategies, both short term and long term. Your voice counts!

More information:

Comments 36

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  1. By Mario Yazmani Tejeda


    diaculpa actualize mi t2 ultra a la version de lollipop y se puso muy lento y en momento no me responde se congela el sistema como lo regreso a su version original Jelly Bean 4.3

  2. By Kjetil B. Thomassen


    This may be a bit out of topic, but I do think it is at least partly relevant.

    I have a Sony Xperia S, and I am actively connecting devices to it using a USB Micro A to USB A-adapter (DeLock 65037), combined with a USB A female to female adapter (Microconnect USBAFAF from EET Europarts), and a USB hub. During my testing of which types of devices work with my Xperia S I have come across several that do not work, but that I would very much like you to support in the JB OS. I miss the following drivers, that I can recall right now:
    – USB CD Drive
    – USB Network Adapter (100Base-T)
    – USB DisplayLink for connecting multiple monitors (this is available in open source OS’s)
    – USB Smart Card Reader.
    – ISO9660, NTFS and UDF filesystems, and I guess some would like to have the BSD and Linux ones as well.

    Another problem I have seen is that when I connect multiple disk devices (USB flash memory and/or spindle disks) I only see one of them, not all.

    There could also be other drivers that are needed as I haven’t tested all types of devices.

    I see no reason why you should leave out these drivers, as they should not be a problem for the normal user.

    Another thing that is much needed is a cable that supports the USB OTG-standard that lets me charge the Xperia S at the same time as I have devices connected. This has been done by others by modifying available cables. One example of this can be found here:

    The USB OTG Standard is outlined here:

    I often use a USB keyboard that I can roll up and take with me (Deltaco TB-197), and I also have a battery (Sony CP-ELSAB) which can charge the phone, so having an adapter that will let me charge the Xperia S while using the keyboard would be very much appreciated.

    Would you please at least consider doing both of these?

    You should also state in your white papers that these phones actually do have a micro-AB receptacle, as your competitors only provide a USB micro B or a custom one. That is actually a feature you should market, since it enables the use of devices without external power. The USB keyboard that I use, can be used with power supplied from the Xperia S over the USB port. This is not possible with a USB micro B connector, as the Xperia S would then not be classified as the initial host. At least that is my understanding of it.

    Kjetil B.

    • By Tobias Nilsson


      Hi again,

      somewhat late, but I thought you might be interested in some feedback from our Connectivity team:

      – Regarding USB CD Drive and USB Network Adapter (100Base-T): Currently these are not supported. If anyone in the community sees a huge need for these, feel free to let us know.
      – Regarding USB DisplayLink: Since most of our devices nowadays includes HDMI-output, this covers most of these usecases.
      – It could also be good to know that most of our phones support USB host support, and the Android USB Host API.

      I hope this clarifies it to some extent!

      Tobias from Developer World

      • By Kjetil B. Thomassen


        I only saw your comments now, so I am sorry for not having commented on them earlier.

        USB Network adapter is useful in those cases where the mobile broadband coverage is bad, and there is no wireless network, but a wired network.

        USB CD/DVD-ROM driver is useful for watching film from CD, which some of us still have.

        USB SmartCard reader is good for accessing health services here in Norway with a SmartCard based authentication, like the BuyPass card.

        DisplayLink driver has an additional benefit, in that it would be possible to use more than one screen. Besides, it seems like newer smartphones from you and others do not have a separate HDMI/MHL output, which would make this more interesting. I found a driver for this online, but it requires a recompilation of the kernel.

        The reason this came up again now is that I saw a picture of the Xperia Z1, where it looked like a USB micro-B receptacle instead of the micro-AB that has been the norm on Sony phones.

        I know that you phones support USB Host mode, but the clue here is to get support for Initial host mode. That enables the phone to supply power to a device. This is only possible in the USB standard if a USB micro-A connector is used, which requires a micro-AB receptacle.

        I use this a lot in meetings, where I connect my Xperia S to a portable keyboard with a usb micro-A to A adapter. This way the phone supplies power to the keyboard, and I don’t need any other power source to the keyboard. Then, aftewards, I charge my phone with a Sony battery.

        I would hesitate to purchase a phone which did not have a USB micro-AB receptacle.

        Kjetil B.

    • By Tobias Nilsson


      Hi Kjetil,

      thanks for contributing. I will forward your input to our Connectivity team.

      Tobias from Developer World

  3. By Gene Guarin


    Hey Sony Devs, I know this is going to be off topic but it’s something that annoyed me in the upgrade from GB to ICS. in the old GB build, there was a tick box that asked if you wanted to have the same volume for ringtones and notification tones. I always had this unticked so that I could set a lower volume for notifications tones. but since ICS, it was just the same volume for both. I don’t know how many other users are annoyed by this change but it was a very handy feature. I’m hoping that you’ll be able to implement this small settings feature again in future upgrades.

  4. By Asif Siddiqui


    Yes, kindly release the same for the Xperia P, so that it might kickstart development not only for Xperia P, but all the NovaThor devices.

    Please do not disappoint us, Sony. 🙂

  5. By Venkatesh Surve


    This Is acervenky From XDA.
    We Are Waiting For Sony To Release A Alpha Rom For Xperia P As Well,It will definitely help all the active developers on XDA And Also Sources Will Help Us To Port JB To Xperia U and Sola.
    Sony,You Rock While Giving Out Such Goodies.(No Other Company Has Ever Provided A Alpha/Beta Rom)
    This Is A Request From Xperia P/U/Sola Community.
    We Are Expecting Something Good.

  6. By Malav Shah


    please release pre JB update for Xperia P also…

  7. By Malav Shah


    great news,
    please release the pre JB update for sony xperia p also

  8. By Alin Jerpelea


    we badly needed new blobs and new kernel source to work with

    Sony did it again !

    thanks for this kickstart


    • By Саша Кириченко


      Big thanks to Sony!!!
      They specioly make laggy ICS firmware for semc_msm7x30 phones (yes I 100% shurewrite about that)!
      They add and add bugs with new update (in last kernel source we find FAIL with govenor – msm7x30 phone starts work ALWAYS at 1hgz!!!).
      And THANK you FreeXperia!!! You not optimize code for semc_msm7x30 phone so you custom is bad!
      I know what I say! I too developer and I build Android 4.2.1 CM10.1 for Samsung Galaxy Mini (Armv6:600mhz, 280mb ram, 320×240 screen) but youres cant do it for Xperias 2011!
      People, I dont shure does they not do it with you too (coz look at luggy Xperia S firmware).

      Big thanks youres againe!

      • By nick holtus


        that’s not tru, it is not sony’s fault.
        1 the devices have outdated cpu and gpu
        2 sony added a scin to android, which slows down the phone a bit
        3 I don’t believe you are developing or helping, if you where doing that you should know a lot more

        • By Саша Кириченко


          My nick is AntiBillOS and I make CM10.1 for Galaxy Mini and as alpha for Xperia Neo V.
          Even Huawei Honor (with cloce specs) have mutch usabylyty! And Linux 3.0 kernel + normal stock (at 80% like AOSaP).
          Sony kernel is crap, many changed code (of vanila kernel of cource) so that we cant be shure about we dont stuck at at MSM7x30 (qcom 8255 cpu, armv7 -neon) – its fail!

          P.S. Not kid people, Xperia 2011 have normal hardware, but SONY – bad vendor.

          • By nick holtus


            You knew it before buying anything from them
            xperia s firmware isn’t buggy, yeah only if you add a lot of themes and such
            port 3.4 kernel youself then…..

  9. By nick holtus


    Again no xperia p or go.
    that are devices with almost no development because of jellybean.
    No one got it booting right now (only aosp, which is a combination of ics and jb)
    I hope that my request by mail is internally accepted and that we can have jellybean alpha release soon on our xperia novathor devices

  10. By jonathan moerman


    Sony can you please supply gralloc sources for xperia P/Go JellyBean?
    The lack of these sources is the biggest problem in porting jellybean to the NXT novathor devices.

    Thanks in Advance!

  11. By Nabendu Mondal


    Please Get Alpha or Beta Sources up and kicking for the Novathor Devices ie For our beloved Xperia P !! We would also like to have a first hand experience of the Xperia P jelly bean and contribute to making ROMS based on It and also to fix a few of the Present bugs !! I hope Sony would be kind and generous enough to grant us a beta build before the official Release

    • By Karl-Johan Dahlström


      Thanks for your feedback, I will bring this request to the project teams.

      • By Nabendu Mondal


        Firstly I would like to Thank You and the entire Sony Team out there who try to make our devices better !! Atleast what Sony is doing right is that it is reaching out to its users and also making an effort to get our feedback to its project team !! Also another fact which makes sony stand out is that it is the most developer friendly OEM and ur supporting an entire community of Developers !! I dont see an instance atleast in the recent times where a manufacturer has released a Alpha ROM alongwith the kernel source !! Also the official sony flashtool is a commendable intiative taken by Sony for the rooted users !! Are you guys looking to extend the same to other devices as well?? !! Kalle ,the devices based on Novathor are just a handful and most of them are from the Sony except , 2 from Samsung !! So, the developers need a Beta/Alpha version so that they can use the source to Develop the Custom ROM and probably also help the team in debugging !! Being a Sony purist ,it hurts to see the developers trying to port the Samsung 4.1. Kernel for S3Mini to our Xperia P and at the same time it hurts to put a whole lot of efforts and time for just getting the device to boot !! A fair bit of Support from your end can make a whole lot of Difference to us !! Kindly acknowledge the efforts of xda-developers of Xperia P and Sola !! We would love to see some rocking news from your Dev-Team in the weeks ahead !!

        Thanks & Regards,
        Nabendu Mondal
        (Xperia P Owner & Sony fanboy 😀 )

  12. By Daniel Vafidis


    Yea give us an Xperia P alpha or beta AMD well deliver bug reports for better and faster fixes and stuff, let us be part of the development so Xperia will be the best smartphone experience ever

  13. By LP PV


    The Playstation team should get some time with this ROM. Is it possible that they could include native bluetooth pairing for the SIXAXIS, please ? PSM is picking up steam but the way forward is controller connectivity!
    A lot of users are requesting this over at XDA Developers.

    Sent from my Sony Xperia T smartphone

  14. By Kicko Kim


    Please help us get jelly bean on the Xperia U!