Just a few days after announcing that the Sony Xperia Home launcher is going into maintenance mode, the company has now posted in their Google+ Beta Community site that there is a new Xperia Home launcher in the works.
The news came from Sony’s Erika Prymus who is a member of the launcher’s development team. In a comment replying to the original post announcing the discontinuation, Erika points out that a new launcher is in the works and that is why the old version has been discontinued.
So the question becomes, why discontinue in the first place?
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.
Today’s Deal is on one of my personal favorite phones from the past few years, the Sony Xperia X Compact. Right now you can pick up this 4.6″ phone for just $289, by far the lowest price ever for this 2016 phone. Why would you want to pick up a phone from 2016? Well, in this case, Sony has already updated the X Compact to Android Oreo which makes it a compelling phone, especially at this price point.
I reviewed the Xperia X Compact in November of 2016 for those that want to read my comments about the phone. It’s compact size is great but the overall performance and camera quality is excellent.
Sony has begun the process of rolling out a firmware update to four of their Xperia phones to address a photo distortion issue with them. The issue in question is caused when the wide angle lens is used and Sony has managed to address it through a firmware update.
The first phone to get this update has been the Xperia XZ Premium, also the Japanese company’s first phone to be upgraded to Android Oreo. The camera fix is part of that update. In that release, owners will find a new “Correct for image distortion” feature in the camera settings.
In addition to the XZ Premium, the XZs, the XZ1 and XZ1 Compact will all be getting the patch to address the same issue. That patch should roll out by the end of November according to Sony.
Through a blog post made this morning, Sony has announced that Android Oreo has begun rolling out to the Xperia XZ Premium. The update was released to unlocked devices today and it could take several days before everyone sees it. It also makes Sony one of the first manufactures to get an Oreo update out to a device.
As you would expect, the update is big at over 1GB in size so you will want to make sure you have your phone connected to WiFi to download and that you have at least 70% battery life available (if not connected to AC).
In addition to Oreo itself, Sony has added several new features to the Xperia XZ Premium with this update. There is a new 3D Creator app that lets you scan any object and render it as a 3D avatar or free form image. The app can do this in less than a minute and can share it with friends, on social networks or even send it to a 3D printer.
With every new version of Android, the question of which phones from which manufactures will get the update is omnipresent. Android Oreo is no exception. Sony, today, joined the ranks of manufactures who plan on releasing the latest version of Android for devices.
While the new Sony Xperia XZ1 and XZ1 Compact will come with Oreo out-of-the-box, it was unclear which ones they would update that are in their current lineup. Now thanks to a blog post, now we know. Here are the devices that Sony plans to update to Android Oreo.
Xperia X Performance
Xperia X Compact
Xperia XZ Premium
Xperia XA1 Ultra
Xperia XA1 Plus
While these lists are never as complete as everyone would like, the one from Sony is reasonably comprehensive in that it covers most of their 2016 and 2017 models.
Good news this morning for owners of three Sony Xperia devices this morning. The Xperia XZ, Xperia X Performance and Xperia XZs all have the June Android Security update rolling to them starting today. The updated build is version 41.2.A.7.8 for all three devices and the OTA update is starting to roll out now. It should hit devices over the course of the next several days.
The new firmware does not contain any new features and remains based on Android Nougat 7.1.1. It only updates the security patch level on the devices but, given that other manufactures are still months behind, it is great to see Sony get at least three of their phones to the latest patch level.
Today’s Deal is on a great phone that I reviewed a few months ago. The Sony Xperia X Compact has a lot of punch in a little package and right now, it is on sale for $379 at Amazon. Normally this 4.6″ phone is $499, so this is a healthy amount of savings. It is powered by the Snapdragon 650 hexa-core processor. It has four 1.4 GHz Cortex-A53 cores & two 1.8 GHz Cortex-A72 cores. The processor is coupled with the Adreno 510 GPU which provides good graphics performance. The X Compact has 3GB of RAM onboard and has 32GB of built-in storage. That storage can be expanded up to an additional 256GB thanks to the Micro SD slot that is built into the SIM tray of the phone.
Display wise, the Xperia X Compact has a 4.6″ IPS LCD display that renders at 720 x 1280. That gives you 319 ppi which is low compared to other devices out there. I caution readers to consider that this device has a much smaller display so 319 ppi is actually very comfortable on this screen size. Indeed for comparison, the iPhone 6 had 329 ppi so we aren’t talking about a massive difference from even larger devices. The display is protected by Gorilla Glass 3.