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Sony Mobile's Xperia S hacking tools offer expanded support for custom Android ROMs

Gallery Photo: Sony Xperia S unboxing and hands-on

Sony had already built a good name for itself amongst the Android hacking community by contributing devices and technical support to the Cyanogenmod team, then the company followed up by releasing both Alpha and Beta builds of Android 4.0 for its devices well before the official release. Now we have another sign that the company is staying the course of supporting the Android community. As is typical for many manufacturers, Sony released the obligatory open source archive for its latest phone, the Xperia S. There are essentially two poles when it comes to releasing open source code: dumping it out on the community with no documentation or providing readable code with clear documentation.

Sony chose to do something much closer to the latter route, and did so in a way that specifically courts the community. In a blog post, Sony explicitly called out custom ROM developers and provided technical details for how to build ROMs for the Xperia S. Specifically, the company provided some necessary files from Qualcomm along with instructions and scripts for flashing the device. Although figuring out any and all of the above is well within the powers of skilled Android hackers, it's good to see Sony continuing to reach out.

It's not uncommon to see underdogs reach out to hackers as a way to gain some traction in the market — and in the Android space Sony certainly qualifies as an underdog. If the newly-minted Sony Mobile is lucky, it won't be the underdog forever, and hopefully the company won't allow these newly-formed roots (pun intended) in the community to wither.

The Verge
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