Sony device owners have been having the time of their lives for the past few days – between the opening of Sailfish X sales and the announcement of unofficial Android Oreo for the Xperia X via AOSP, they've been having their cake (or their Oreo's) and eating it. But the tray isn't empty just yet, as Sony have just officially released Oreo-based Android Open Source Project build configurations for the Sony Xperia XZ1 and the Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact.
This release was done through the Sony Open Devices Program, a scheme Sony has been running for the past few years as a gesture of goodwill towards developers and the Android root community. Through this programme, they have been releasing AOSP configurations for a number of their devices. This programme was the precursor to the development and release of the aforementioned Sailfish X, a non-Android operating system that is being released on the Sony Xperia X. All resources are available on the Sony Open Devices page.
While these builds have been released officially by Sony, and most likely will not threaten to brick your device, do not enter this process expecting a RTM-standard, bug-free experience at the other end. These builds are intended as a framework for developers and modders to build upon, and bugs, issues and stability hiccups are to be expected on an early build like this.
There are other benefits to consider, however. This initiative means that phones supported by Sony's Open Devices Program will have the resources and utilities needed to root and flash custom ROMs right out of the box , as well as comprehensive instruction from Sony themselves on how to build AOSP for these devices.
While Sony bootloaders are usually unlockable, doing so tends to wipe vital DRM keys in the TA, causing some device stability issues and poorer image processing on the cameras, among other issues. However, as Sony is supporting this AOSP software, this should not longer be the case – removing another deterrent that Sony device users may have faced when considering rooting.
All things considered, we're delighted to see Sony, a fading name in the Android world, showing so much support for enthusiast tweaking and device modifications. You can find all of Sony's Open Devices mobile development resources here
What do you guys think? Are you excited to see the potential for modification that these builds will bring to your device? Are you happy to see that Sony is supporting rooting and enthusiast modifications? Let us know what you think in the comments, or post over in our forums!