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Android Cellphones Handhelds Open Source Sony News Build

Sony Ericsson Helps Out FreeXperia Developers 50

Posted by Soulskill
from the helping-hand dept.
hypnosec writes "Smartphone maker Sony Ericsson has decided to work closely with developers creating custom Android ROMs for devices in order to learn from them. The company said in a blog post that it has decided to support an open source developer group called 'FreeXperia,' which creates custom Android ROMs based on the CyanogenMod for several Sony Ericsson phones like the Xperia ARC and Play. Sony Ericsson maintained that it does not approve of some of the work carried out by independent developers but was keen to work with people who were creating custom ROMs."
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Sony Ericsson Helps Out FreeXperia Developers

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  • This is what they realize, as custom roms can squeeze new life out older smartphones, with a slimmer OS, a little background processes trimming and some slight overclocking.

    And they are interested in making powerful phones.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by SpiralSpirit (874918)

      custom roms were the only reason windows mobile phones of the past were usable. this is not new.

      the question is:

      does installing a custom rom still void the warranty? if the answer is yes then this is bullshit.

      • by hedwards (940851)

        Hmm, that's a good point. When I think about it, ultimately this isn't really that much different than installing a different OS on a computer. Doing that doesn't typically require one to void ones warranty.

        • sadly it often is different. It requires installing boot loaders and things of that type, and if you don't follow instructions you could potentially brick your phone. I suppose if sony put an open boot loader in their phones so that it wouldn't require installing a custom one, then they'd go a long with the various rom communities.

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward

            We have put an open boot loader in our new models. Feel free to visit our unlock site: http://unlockbootloader.sonyericsson.com/ [sonyericsson.com]

            • by ryocoon (2466182)

              We have put an open boot loader in our new models. Feel free to visit our unlock site: http://unlockbootloader.sonyericsson.com/ [sonyericsson.com]

              Except this doesn't apply to CDMA models of the SonyEricsson phones. Largely because big, bad VZW doesn't want to let them be unlocked. People have figured out a few ways around it using commercial tools, or even temporary exploits. However, just because we are Americans and use Verizon and CDMA technology, we are locked out from the same features that our GSM-toting brethren enjoy. It is _JUST_ as easy to unlock the bootloader (I've done it), but they specifically do not allow for it.

      • by Funnnny (1409625)

        You install a custom ROM, overclock your CPU like hell, remove many protection like the charging heat protection, and then still expect waranty. Sorry things like this will never happen.

        • I've never overclocked a phone nor removed charging heat protections (those are all in circuit, btw, not in the OS).

          If manufacturers keep putting out shitty iterations of android on phones, and now expect the online community to pickup their slack, they have to man up and realize that its the smallest percentage of broken phones that are related to these issues. more people have their regular stock phones die, screw up, fallin a lake, or on the floor, or whatever, than the 7 people who brick their phones

          • by Funnnny (1409625)

            The charging protection is in the kernel, many people using Galaxy S with CM7 have a kernel that inscrease the temp that the phone will stop charging.

            You can do whatever you want with the phone, but stay as-is with what the manufacturer offer, they can't help if you overclock your phone from 1000Mhz to 2000Mhz, brick, and then go to a store, say "oh I was making a phone call and the phone broke". If you want to control your phone, control it and please don't blame any want.

            • that kernel isn't a part of cm7 - its someone's custom kernel that other people are installing.

              even still, sony could unlock the bootloader, but specify that while custom roms are allowed, overclocking isn't.

              supporting your customers putting in their own unpaid time to make your phone better while voiding their warranty sure is a win/win for them, but I don't see why sony should be involved.

              • by Funnnny (1409625)

                No one can know if you install CM7, or whatever thing you done, like overclock, install kernel, install radio, messing with bootloader, no one can know. How can they allow you install custom ROM but disallow overclock ?

        • What? Is it even possible to overclock an ARM processor? I've never even heard of "charging heat protection," and anyway the charging control is in the firmware, not the OS (otherwise you couldn't charge your phone when it was off). This has nothing to do with what you are talking about.
      • does installing a custom rom still void the warranty? if the answer is yes then this is bullshit.

        FTFA: Sony Ericsson, however, amidst its new-found developer love, added that unlocking the boot loader and installing custom ROMs will void the warranty of the devices.

        • It's no different to some motherboard manufacturers who provide overclocking features. "Yes, we will provide a warranty - but only when used within tolerances that we specify". Seems pretty fair to me.
      • If a phone manufacturer does it, it obviously won't void the warranty :P

  • Sony *HELPING* hackers?????

    Obvoiusly Sony-Ericsson didn't get the memo from SCEA.

    • People frequently forget that Sony-Ericsson works as a mostly separate entity from (big nasty evil) Sony. While SE hasn't exactly caught on quick how to play the smartphone game, this sort of behavior clearly distinguishes them from the company that brought us rootkitted CDs, etc.
      • by sconeu (64226)

        Yeah, I know. That's why the bit about S-E vs. SCEA.

      • by skapaft (2367782)
        This. People seem to forget the second part of the name, and somehow forgetting that it's a swedish company, much of it quite separated from the Sony-part.
      • by hitmark (640295)

        Depends on how one define smartphone.

        Their P series of phones started in 2002 with the P800.

    • by Hentes (2461350)

      Ericcson is a phonemaker company that just happened to be bought by Sony but is mostly independent from them.

    • SCEfoo was/is quite supportive of open source and hobbyist developers....as long as you follow their rules.

      Need I remind you of the:

      PSone Net Yaroze
      Linux (for Playstation 2)
      OtherOS on the PS3.

      SCEfoo really doesn't care what you do with your hardware, as long as you don't use their tools and access to enable piracy.

      For example there were all kinds of discussions on the PS2 Linux forums (hosted by SCEfoo itself) about all kinds of things, including discussions of emulators...but discussing ROM's/ISO's/"flip t

      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        There are still people using OtherOS, since if you wanted to keep it, all you have to do is not update your PS3's firmware. Sure you'll lose access to PSN, but PSN is their playground with their ball, so it's your choice.

        You lose all access to games made after April 2010, too, because PS3 games insist on updating the firmware. If you're running old firmware, no games for you. Ditto Blu-Ray playback if an update is needed.

        So it's OtherOS *OR* games and movies. Before it was "It does everything". Now I have t

  • Bet you a doughnut that this is so they can learn how to prevent or cripple the custom ROMs.
    • by FuzzyFox (772046)
      +1 This is just so that they can figure out how people go about hacking their phones, so that they can design phones that are more hack-resistant.
    • by EdIII (1114411)

      Bet you a doughnut that this is so they can learn how to prevent or cripple the custom ROMs.

      You're an idiot. I say that nicely as possible. Seriously, why risk losing a doughnut with those odds? I guess if it was a totally plain one.......

      -- Homer

    • by MrZilla (682337)

      Yeah... The only way to figure out how an open source project works is to infiltrate it. Makes sense.

  • Hell has frozen over. More at 11.

  • If they know exactly how these people think.
    They can lock them out the next round.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      No, they can't, not only because they are Sony and have already proven themselves to be incapable of doing what they know they should do, but because of economic limitations placed on all consumer-level devices. To really take the time, effort, and logic to harden the device would increase the cost to the point where they can't make any money on it. They give it a good go, but it's just one goal of many. Also, they're probably smart enough to know that if they make the devices too unhackable, then there is

  • When I first decided to switch from iPhone to Android I had, for various reasons, 2 options open to me. SE's X10 and an Acer Liquid E. Similar stats, same processor (underclocked on the Acer) etc etc. However the X10 was rocking Android 1.6, while the Acer just went from 2.1 to 2.2 at the time. SE was slow and painful with their upgrades.

    Fast forward to now, and I finally dropped the Acer and it's horrible build quality and went.. Sony Xperia (Play). I've gotten 2 firmware upgrades since getting it, an

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