Android M developer preview available for select Xperia devices

Until now the test drive of Android M was limited to Nexus devices only, but seems like Sony Mobile doesn’t want it to remain that way anymore. That’s why it has broken the trend of silence adopted by other smartphone manufacturers and has found an innovative way of making Android M run on its Xperia devices. And while technically Android M is still the exclusive property limited to Nexus devices only (more on that in a while), Sony has found a workaround that’ll allow developers to test the changes coming ahead with Android M on Xperia devices as well.

Here’s how you do it: If you’ve one of the supported devices that’re part of Sony’s Open Device program, you can create a test image of Android M developer preview for your device using AOSP software. Given below is the list of devices that’re part of this program:

  • Xperia E3,
  • Xperia Z Ultra,
  • Xperia M2,
  • Xperia T2 Ultra,
  • Xperia T3
  • Xperia Z3
  • Xperia Z3 Compact
  • Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact
  • Xperia Z2
  • Xperia Z2 Tablet
  • Xperia Z1,
  • Xperia Z1 Compact,

Sony has also published a complete how-to guide on the process that you need to follow. However, company has also stressed on the fact that AOSP software used to develop these builds isn’t certified and is meant for testing purposes only. Therefore, you should not flash the builds developed this way on devices that you use regularly. Sony has also clarified that since these builds are meant for testing purposes only, some features may be unavailable in the builds that you flash (i.e. modem and camera).

Now let’s take a look at how all this works. As I said above, technically Android M is still the exclusive property of Nexus devices only. What this means is that the builds developed by using AOSP software merely provide a glimpse of the changes coming ahead – on a Lollipop based API. That’s right – the API of builds developed this way will be Lollipop MR1, because as of now only Nexus devices support Android M at API level. However, Sony made this thing clear only after some developers asked questions related to technicalities of the process.

What do you think about this workaround that Sony found to make its devices more tempting to developers? Should other manufacturers also do something similar with their devices? Do let us know your thoughts in comments.

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