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Xperia S to receive Android Open Source Project support from Google

First non-Nexus device invited to the party

Xperia S to receive Android Open Source Project support from Google
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In an intriguing move, Google has announced that Sony's Xperia S smartphone has been picked to receive support via the Android Open Source Project (AOSP).

The project was set up to deal with the maintenance and development of the Android OS, and has so far only focused on Google's own Nexus-branded devices. This makes the decision to support the Xperia S in this capacity a pretty big shift in policy on the part of The Big G.

Speaking on Google Groups, Jean-Baptiste Queru, a software engineer on the AOSP, explained the reasons behind the AOSP supporting Sony's smartphone.

"The Sony LT26, i.e. Xperia S... seems like a good target: it's a powerful current GSM device, with an unlockable bootloader, from a manufacturer that has always been very friendly to AOSP," Queru said.

"Contributions are strongly encouraged, and there should be more freedom than usual to submit experimental changes since that won't impact the devices that Google is most directly involved in."

The good news for Xperia S owners is that now their handset is supported by the AOSP, they'll likely get vanilla Android updates at the same time as Google's flagship Nexus devices. Given Sony's recent track record with Android OS updates, that's just about the best bit of news they've heard all year.

Xperia Blog