April Showers

As I still don’t have a decent interent connection at home I’ve not been able to post during the month so here’s a collection of news items from the month.

It’s no Joke!

At the start of the month there was a post over on the CyanogenMod Blog announcing a new mascot, Cid.  I didn’t post about it as I was convinced it was an April Fools prank and am still waiting for the ‘fooled you!’ follow up post; Yes, you can tell I’m not a fan of the new mascot but to be honest I’m not a fan of Andy the bugdroid either.  Perhaps I’ll come to like it…

2011 Xperia official ICS updates

It’s taken taking longer than was originally announced but Sony are pushing out the official ICS update to the 2011 Xperia range of devices.  It all started near the middle of the month with releases in Nordic countries.  The Mini/Mini/Pro/Active updates are expected from late May and into June.  Over on Xperia Blog you can read some first impressions of the ICS update on an Arc S and already there are guides out there to get root access on the ICS firmware.  The last word on the Sony Mobile Blog doesn’t really tell us anything new..

Xperia Active’s successor

If you’re a fan of the Active (I certainly am and would love to get one if it were available on contract in the UK) then you’ll be interested in the rumoured ST27.  Predictably the screen size had grown but only to 3.5″ so hopefully bucking the huge screen trend!  Again, more details over on Xperia Blog.

Sony ST21i ‘Tapioca’

It seems that Sony have throw all their sleek designs out of the window and gone for a budget phone with a budget look as the pictures of the chunky ST21i/Tapioca have recently leaked.  With a 3.2″ display it’s a pretty small device although there’s quite a bit of bulk added to the phone with a large bezel.  It will be launching with ICS and the specs, while modest, aren’t too shabby!

Other news

Retro gaming fans might be looking forward to a slew of Prince of Persia (PoP) variants as the source code for the original PoP on the AppleII has been recovered and released.

For those with no shame or sense you can now pick up an Android Hoodie over on the Google store, I’d be more than happy to post pictures of anyone brave enough to buy one and wear it in public!

It’s the last day of April, in the UK it’s been really wet with heavy rain to get us to the end of the month, I hope the weather’s been better wherever you are!

Sony Mobile releases Ice Cream Sandwich beta for 2011 Xperia devices – unlocked bootloader required.


So I’ve a 2010 device, anyone with one of these 2011 devices tried it yet?

So long liveview. Hello SmartWatch!

So along with the announcement of the Sony Xperia Ion some other ‘smart’ accessories have been announced.  Regular readers will know I was expecting a successor to the liveview so here we have the smartwatch, it’s less chunky but most importantly it’s splashproof so fears of getting it wet can be allayed.
Here’s the story over on Xperia Blog;

Liveview price drop continues… is there a new version in the works??

Recently the price for Sony Ericsson’s LiveView Phone Remote has just been plummeting.  First of all there were reports of Play selling them for £19.99; they sold out pretty fast and the price creeped back up a bit but I found Amazon UK also selling them for the same price so I thought I’d snap one up.  Now it seems that after bundling them with the Xperia Active (which seems daft as unlike the Active the LiveView isn’t hardy to rough conditions) Sony Ericsson themselves have started selling the diminutive devices at, what to me, seems like a clearance price of £25.

It looks like they’re clearing stock and I think it could indicate a new version is imminent.  As I reported before the recently released  MotoACTV is a much more accomplished device; perhaps Sony Ericsson are refining the device and version two will soon be with us!

So as I’ve got one now lets recap on some positives about the device:

  • It’s a cool little device which provides quick access to phone data.
  • You can wear it as a watch or with the clip.
  • It’s expandable by downloading apps and plugins from the Android Market.
  • Battery life is good and lasts a couple of days without charging.

The main reason I decided to get one is because I use My Tracks to record runs along with my Polar heart rate monitor.  I found that with the microtracks plugin I could see my Heart Rate, Distance and Pace at a glance and it’s really super.  Also my regular wrist watch(es) are in need of repair so I needed a temporary watch and it didn’t seem too much to spend.

Now I’ve used it for a day here are the problems I’ve come across:

  • When in the wrist strap you can’t access the USB socket to charge it, you have to take it out of the strap (which is quite difficult and actually seems like you’re going to break it to pop it out).
  • It isn’t waterproof!!!   This I just don’t understand; I’m not expecting to be able to go underwater with it but from what I’ve read it’s barely splash proof.  I run in any weather and in the UK you get wet (a lot) so I expect that it will probably break when I’m out in the rain soon….
  • There simply aren’t many apps or plugins; for a device that’s been out for quite a while now there are only a handful of apps, I’ve already downloaded all that I’m interested in.  With the latest software update it has support for up to 30 plugins but I’ve got six installed and am at a loss to satisfy my need to download stuff for my new toy, for example there’s only one game I can find which looks rubbish……
  • It seems to have trouble disconnecting and reconnecting; Now this was supposed to be addressed in the software update but I’m experiencing multiple disconnects, it’s causing me major headaches..

It’s worth mentioning that I’m using this with my X10 Mini Pro and running MiniCM Pro V21.  My main problem is that when it disconnects and tries to reconnect I get a pairing request on the phone so have to accept it for it to work, I believe this is a problem with MiniCM Pro as have read other peoples issues with bluetooth in XDA thread and there doesn’t seem to be the option to allow connections automatically….  I’m going to have to try different firmware to see if this problem is specific to MiniCM Pro V21.

Speculation on a LiveView v2

You can’t help but be impressed with the MotoACTV, unlike the LiveView it functions as a stand alone device and actually runs android.  It looks like they’ve looked at the GPS watches out there like the Garmin and have basically produced something competitive at a lower price.  I’m impressed with the clever HRM headphones and music integration but don’t run to music as I set my pace from my footwork and heart rate which I can’t do to music, it isn’t clear if other HRMs will be able to connect but it does support both Bluetooth and ANT+.

I’m hoping that new versions of LiveView will continue to be remote displays; this can keep the cost right down and you’re not duplicating hardware.  If SE can make the device more rugged and at least reposition the wrist strap pins to allow for charging without pulling it apart they’d be onto a winner.  It could really do with more software so more apps that support it would be great.  I guess all that’s left is reliable software, the flaky connection is a real spoiler; perhaps it could connect via ANT+ too; maybe there’s a way of integrating a HRM into the wrist strap.

Hopefully SE will look at the Xperia Active and compare it with MotoACTV and realise that they don’t need to change much; a refined device would nail it rather than a total rethink…

No Carrier IQ on Xperia handsets, especially if you run CyanogenMod ;-)

With all the recent buzz about carrier iq Xperia Blog has just reported that Sony Ericsson have released a statement that no Xperia device (outside the US) comes with carrier iq.  Great news and this is another great move from SE to appease past trangressions.

Of couse those of you who keep up with the news will know that this follows the reassuring news from CyanogenMod that the CM code will never include ciq from a few days back.