The Sony Xperia S was the first non-Nexus device (Besides the Motorola Xoom WiFi) to be included by Google in the AOSP (Android Open Source Project) target devices group, albeit as an experiment that could have hopefully seen it get official Google support like the Nexus lineup. The Motorola Xoom WiFi (MZ604) continues to be on the list, by virtue of it being the first GED (Google Experience Device) Tablet, or the first Android tablet that came with Stock Android Honeycomb 3.0. (Not to mention the fact that Moto is now owned by Google). The Xperia S, however, has been taken off the list of target devices, effective today.
Though AOSP Technical lead Jean-Baptiste Queru has deemed the Xperia S project a success, official support could not be effectively continued due to the unavailability of proprietary software binaries from Sony’s chip makers, that could not be merged with the AOSP code.
It’s not curtains for the Xperia S though, as Sony still hasn’t given up on it, moving the project to a new GitHub repository. In its current state, the Xperia S boots up using AOSP code, and has WiFi, SD Card slots and sensors all working fine. Audio and network functionality is not functional, and that is mainly because of the lack of proprietary binaries. Sony plans to get the binaries opened, and maybe replace some of them with open source code. The other thing Sony is hoping for is to get community developers involved with the project, with the objective of getting Android 4.2 Jelly Bean to run on the device. Check out the brief video below to see the Xperia S booting Android during its time on the project.[youtube video_id=”2UnydjgfonA” width=”620″ height=”400″ /]
That’s going to be a lot of coding, but hey, we’ve seen much older devices like the original Samsung Galaxy S run Android 4.0 ICS as well as Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. And the Xperia S is a much newer device than that. Plus with developer community involvement, the sky is the limit.