25 maart 2011 - Ron Smeets

Toch een officiele Gingerbread update voor de SE Xperia X10

Begin dit jaar maakte Sony Ericsson officieel bekend dat de Eclair (Android 2.1) update voor de Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 (familie) de laatste versie zou zijn voor dit toestel.

Vandaag komt de Zweeds-Japanse fabrikant op haar officiële blog echter met goed nieuws. De Xperia X10 gaat namelijk toch een upgrade naar Gingerbread krijgen. Froyo wordt overgeslagen, maar daar zal niemand echt rouwig om zijn. De Gingerbread (Android 2.3.3 om precies te zijn) update wordt verwacht in Q2 of G3. Vooralsnog wordt alleen de X10 zelf geupdate. De X10 Mini's en de X8 staan niet op het lijstje.

De volledige, zeer uitgebreide verklaring van Sony Ericsson:

I have been working with this blog for almost 1 ½ years. After lots of interaction and discussion, by far the most intense discussions lately were around Xperia X10 Android upgrades. We earlier stated that we did not have plans for further upgrade of the Xperia X10 beyond Android 2.1 Éclair, which was correct at the time.

However, I am happy to inform you that this has changed. We plan to bring an upgrade to Android Gingerbread for the Xperia X10 to generic trade kits end Q2 / early Q3 this year. We have heard your requests all along but until today have not been able to confirm this. The great work on our 2011 products Xperia PLAY, Xperia arc and Xperia neo actually has enabled us to start the work in a special project bringing Gingerbread to the Xperia X10.

I believe this is good news to many of you out there and I am sure you have many questions around this. I’ve tried to list answers to the ones that came to my mind below. More details will come closer to launch but let me know in the comments section if I missed any questions. I’ll do my very best to find out and follow-up!

Why are you doing this upgrade?
We have listened to our consumers. In addition, the development of the software for our new 2011 range of Xperia phones gave us a solution that made it possible to deliver Gingerbread on Xperia X10.

When will the upgrade be available for me?

The roll-out is planned to start end Q2/early Q3 this year. Today, Xperia X10 is available in the market both in generic trade version and in versions customized for operators. Due to the resources available in this special project, we will focus on delivering trade versions of the software.  Regarding possible customized operators kit we will have to get back with more information on this at a later stage. But we want to be very clear already at this stage on the fact that some of you may not get this upgrade.

What are the components of this upgrade and what are the major differences from the 2.1 version of Xperia X10?
In short, we plan to bring similar software and functionality to Xperia X10 as we have in our new 2011 Xperia smartphones. Our ambition is to provide the majority of functionality of the Gingerbread platform, as well as the Sony Ericsson specific User Experience and features. The final scope of the software is still a work in progress. We will get back with more details closer to launch in end Q2 / early Q3 this year.

Will any functionality from the previous software version disappear by doing this upgrade?
Yes – the work is still ongoing so details will be communicated closer to launch but these are the current expected limitations:

  • The current plan is that the Xperia X10 will get the Android standard Camera user interface and therefore features like e.g. face recognition, smile shutter etc will be lost.
  • Moxier is replaced by the gingerbread native EAS functionality.
  • Mediascape is being replaced by the media experience widgets and music player included in our new 2011 products.
  • DRM keys for protected content on your phone will be lost in the upgrade process.
  • The Sony Ericsson Backup and Restore client is not supported in the Gingerbread version and will therefore be lost.
  • Support for bi-directional languages will be reduced compared to the latest version of the 2.1 version of the Xperia X10.

 What are the major differences between 2.3 on Xperia X10 and 2.3 on your 2011 range, for example Xperia arc?
In short, the intention is that the Xperia X10 will receive similar software and functionality that we have in our new 2011 Xperia smartphones. The current ambition is to provide the majority of functionality of the Gingerbread platform, as well as the Sony Ericsson specific UI and features that are not  restricted by hardware limitations (for example no HDMI out). The final scope of the software is still work in progress but we are working to minimize the differences. We will get back with more details closer to launch.

How do I get this upgrade?
The upgrade will only be available through our PC-based upgrade clients. I.e. it cannot be done over the air.

Can I go back to the 2.1 version if I am not happy with the upgrade?
No – our upgrade solutions do not support downgrading.

Will I lose any content or settings by doing the upgrade?
Yes – All your personal content and settings stored in the phone will be lost in the process. You will have to make sure that you have stored your information somewhere else. Note that the Sony Ericsson Backup and Restore client will not be included in the Gingerbread version, therefore we recommend using a 3rd party backup application if you don’t have your data stored in other places than your phone. Content stored on your memory card is not affected by the upgrade, except DRM protected content since keys will be lost.

Why have you stated before that the 2.1 version would be the final upgrade to the Xperia X10?
We didn’t plan to upgrade Xperia X10 beyond Android version 2.1 and our communication reflected this. However, that plan changed but we didn’t want to communicate this until we were sure that we would be able to deliver a good user experience with Gingerbread on Xperia X10.

Why didn’t you inform about this upgrade until now?
As a company we strive to be as open as possible in channels such as this product blog. We have been focusing on delivering our 2011 Xperia products on the latest Android platform for smartphones. In parallel we have investigated what of those efforts could be re-used for an upgrade of the Xperia X10. Our ambition all along has been to inform about this as soon as we concluded that we could deliver a good user experience with Gingerbread on Xperia X10, which we now feel confident we can do.

Why did you bypass the 2.2 upgrade?
Our focus has been on Gingerbread. The work we have been doing on Gingerbread for our products launching in 2011 has given us a solution that made it possible to deliver Gingerbread on Xperia X10.

Will you upgrade the Xperia X10 mini, mini pro and Xperia X8 to 2.3?
No, we have no such plans. We have had to prioritize our resources and have therefore focused on delivering the upgrade to Xperia X10.

Will you continue to upgrade Xperia X10 beyond Gingerbread 2.3?

Is the upgrade based on Android version 2.3.2 or 2.3.3?
The Xperia X10 Gingerbread release will be released on Android 2.3.3

Over de auteur: Ron Smeets
Ron is mede oprichter en hoofdredacteur van Mobile Cowboys. Zijn passie voor mobiele gadgets is ontstaan aan het begin van de jaren 90 en groeit nog dagelijks. Ooit begonnen met een KPN Autotelefoon die je per dag kon huren en via een Mitsubishi portable NMT telefoon en vrijwel elke Nokia die in de hoogtijdagen van de Finse fabrikant voorbij kwam inmiddels een fervent gebruiker (en tester) van tientallen smartphones en andere mobiele gadgets van alle mogelijke fabrikanten. Ron is in tien jaar tijd uitgegroeid tot een van de meest toonaangevende autoriteiten in de Telecom markt.