Sony has recently announced that you can now create a test image for Android M Developer Preview and put that on any Xperia smartphone or tablet, provided it is part of Sony’s “Open Device” program.
The company has released a list of supported devices, which includes the following:
- Xperia Z3
- Xperia Z3 Compact
- Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact
- Xperia Z2
- Xperia Z2 Tablet
- Xperia Z1 Compact
- Xperia Z1
- Xperia Z Ultra
- Xperia E3
- Xperia M2
- Xperia T2 Ultra
- Xperia T3.
With this move, Sony has significantly expanded the list of devices that can run Android M at the moment, a list which used to consist mainly of a few Nexus devices like the Nexus 5, 6, 9, and the Player.
The bad news is, it is not as easy to put Android M on an Xperia device right now, at least not as easy as it is to put it on a Nexus, however Sony has also released a list of instructions detailing the process.
Currently the instructions appear to be intended for ROM developers who want to see what they can do with a stock Android M ROM on their Xperia devices, and either develop it from there or send patches and inform Sony about bugs.
After all issues are sorted out and Android M is officially released, you can expect Sony will release a downloadable version of stock Android M for its “Open Devices”.
As the number of devices supporting the Android M Developer Preview has increased to such a degree, Android app developers who have access to a supported Xperia phone could finally test their apps for the new operating system before it is released. One thing they could check is how the newly announced permission control system works with the apps they have created.
It’s also worth noting that Sony’s move could give it a head start on its competitors in the race to adopt the new operating system.
While this is a good start, its success will still depend on how much is Sony willing to invest in upgrading its devices to Android M, and how many extra features it will actually add to stock Android M.