AOSP or Android Open Source Project is an open source stack for smartphones which can be compiled to use with a particular device. And the latest phone to receive official AOSP support from Google itself is the Sony Xperia S.
Sony Xperia S is the flagship Sony Android smartphone for 2012 (till now). It is a part of the Sony Xperia U, P and S series in order of increasing price and feature set. Being a flagship, in 2012 that too, it comes with many features such as a big and high resolution display, a good camera, big battery and of course a minimum of a dual-core processor. Add the latest or so Android operating system and you got a flagship right there (albeit the phone design).
Sony Xperia S Full Specifications:
- Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8260
- Dual-Core 1.5 GHz CPU
- Adreno 220 GPU
- 1 GB RAM
- 4.3″ HD(1280×720) LED display
- Sony Mobile BRAVIA Engine
- upto 10 touches registered
- 32 GB internal storage
- 12 MP camera, LED flash
- 1080p video @30fps
- 1.3 MP front cam, 720p @30fps
- Micro-sim card slot
- 144g weight, 10.6 mm thick
- 1750 mAh Li-Ion battery
However, over the past week Google’s Jean-Baptiste Queru (for long the main source of AOSP developments from Google) started off an experiment, involving making the Sony Xperia S a Nexus-class phone. Call it the Nexus Xperia S if you will, but the Sony Xperia S has been chosen to be directly supported by the Google AOSP team (along with the community) to receive updates directly from Google. If this project indeed turns out to be successful, we would be seeing more non-Nexus devices getting updates directly from Google itself. This can be nothing but great news as more often than not buyers get stuck with an old Android OS version, or have to wait for ages just to get updated to the latest Android OS. And by the time the update arrives, the world has already moved on and a new update has been released.
But why the Sony Xperia S? With so many phones like the powerful HTC One S and others, Google went ahead with the Xperia S. According to Queru,
“it’s a powerful current GSM device, with an unlockable bootloader, from a manufacturer that has always been very friendly to AOSP.”
Unlockable bootloader is indeed nice, and a company friendly to AOSP always helps (which Sony is). Sony has been working together seeking community feedback on it’s ROMs by constantly releasing beta versions to the community to use. Guess that’s paid off now with this AOSP project, which would no doubt increase the value and demand of the Xperia S and lead to more sales over the long run.
According to Neowin, development is in the very early stages. It is believed that the work of the CyanogenMod team (based on AOSP) would help accelerate development further. Nonetheless, Xperia S owners would soon have an option to opt for official Google software updates on the phone, not having to rely on custom ROMs or Sony to get software updates, or the latest Android OS upgrades.