Sony Ericsson just dropped a note in our inbox to advise that they’ve released an alpha version of an Ice Cream Sandwich ROM for unlocked Xperia devices. If you call yourself a proud owner of an Xperia arc S, Xperia neo V, or Xperia ray, then you can be on the front side of an Android 4.0.1 experience. This is the first time Sony Ericsson has done something along these lines and they are very happy to be able to provide such a service.
A word of caution… or two, or three
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Obviously this is not for everyone, as it’s intended for advanced developer types who know more than a thing or two about tinkering. You’ll have to unlock the bootloader in order for this to work and you’ll find that many features are not ready for prime time. Heck, even the phone feature doesn’t even work yet! Also, be advised that if you happen to load this ROM you will not be able to download and install the final Ice Cream Sandwich software upgrade from Sony Ericsson. Finally, you will need to ensure that you are running the latest software release for your phone (4.0.2.A.0.42) before getting started.
These are some of the features turned off or not yet working in this alpha ROM:
- Google Mobile Services (GMS) apps are not included (for example, Gmail, Google Maps, etc.).
- Modem is turned off and SIM card will therefore not be recognised (this also means you can’t make any phone calls).
- Bluetooth™ is turned off.
- Wi-Fi® is turned off.
- ANT+ is turned off.
- FM-radio is turned off.
This alpha ROM includes a number of new features:
- New “Roboto” font.
- New “Holo” theme is supported (you are able to test apps written to make use of the Holo theme).
- Music player control from lock screen.
- Updated UI in the Settings menu.
- Updated UI in the web browser.
- Updated UI and interaction with the new messaging action bar.
- Updated UI for improved multitasking.
- Swipe to dismiss notifications, tasks and browser tabs in the Notification menu.
If you understand the conditions and want to give things a go, then you’re advised to head to Sony Ericsson’s developer blog to learn more about the ROM.