Sony has announced on their Google+ beta community page that the development of their Xperia Home launcher for their phones has entered maintenance mode. The news was a bit of a surprise for some, especially given that Sony has a reasonably robust beta community for the launcher.
Despite that community however, Sony clearly sees the writing on the wall. There are far superior launchers available in the Google Play Store such as Action Launcher, Nova Launcher and the new Lawnchair Launcher that offer more customization and personalization than the Xperia launcher.
By entering maintenance mode, the Xperia Home launcher simply won’t be updated any longer and the only updates will be those deemed necessary for security or other bugs found in the code. How long this will last was not clearly defined by Sony, stating it would last as long as “deemed necessary”.
One final update however has been offered up and is rolling out to devices now. That update includes a number of improvements and changes;
- Widgets not updated.
- Corrected calculations of blurred wallpaper offset in landscape.
- Improved visibility of search personalization card
- Open MMS matching text
- Fix a crash when search fails to fetch a photo
- Handle display size changes for shortcut icons
- Don’t animate away Google Feed when Home is stopped
If you are still using the Xperia Home launcher, there is no reason you have to stop. It will remain on your phone, just don’t expect any further updates.