Sony Makes Android M Developer Preview Available for Select Xperia Devices

Sony Makes Android M Developer Preview Available for Select Xperia Devices
Sony on Monday announced the availability of Android M Developer Preview images for select Xperia devices in the company's Open Device programme, along with other tools. Users should note the builds are still in testing stages, and currently have key features missing.

The Japanese company has listed various Xperia models that will support the Android M Developer Preview including the Xperia Z3, Xperia Z3 Compact, Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact, Xperia Z2, Xperia Z2 Tablet, Xperia Z1, Xperia Z1 Compact, Xperia Z Ultra, Xperia E3, Xperia M2, Xperia T2 Ultra, and Xperia T3.

(Also see: Android M: Top New Features in the Next Major Android Release)

The availability of Android M Developer Preview images will enable developers to design apps for Google's recently announced Android M which will be officially available to consumers later this year. The move can be seen as an attempt to make Sony's Xperia models more tempting to developers considering no devices from other Android OEM (except the Nexus devices) official feature Android M Developer Preview suppot.

Announcing the news, Sony in a blog post said, "You can now create a test image of Android M Developer Preview and flash that onto any Xperia device in Sony's Open Device program."

The company stressed on few changes that have been introduced with Google's latest Android M such as new permission system. For developers, Sony notes, "To take into account these changes, you may want to test your apps prior to the M release to ensure compatibility."

To make things a bit easier forusers , Sony has provided a guide for instructions on building AOSP M Developer Preview images for the devices by providing the necessary software binaries.

"It's important to note that the AOSP software is not certified or intended for regular use. It's only available for devices with an unlocked bootloader and comes with some limitations, for example, the modem and the camera are not implemented," wrote Sony.

(Also see: Opinion: Why I Am Not Excited About Google's Android M Update)

To recall, some of the new features of Android M include revamped app permissions; Google Now on Tap feature; new Chrome feature that will change the Web experience for Android users; new ways to handle Web links; Android Pay mobile payment system is now official with Android M; new fingerprint APIs for developers to add into their apps, and battery saver features called Doze that will make Android devices smart about managing power. Some of the other additions include new RAM manager, adoptable storage devices, new app drawer, auto backup and restore for apps, and support for USB Type-C ports.


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