Sony Ericsson has announced to provide support to the independent developer community — FreeXperia and provided necessary handsets as well as software with that. This means that Sony Ericsson handset users may expect more apps in future.
Back in June, Samsung had extended support to independent developer groups who work on alternative custom ROMs (Read Only Memory) for Android based smart phones. However, Sony Ericsson makes a mention that unlocking Bootloader on the phone and installing Custom ROMs voids the handset warranty.
In an official blog, Sony Ericsson’s head of developer relations, Karl-Johan Dahlstroem mentioned, “We (Sony Ericsson) provided debugged and rebuilt camera library binaries, which we will soon make available on Developer World under a special EULA license. We also supported the group with approximately 20 devices, to make their work easier.
Several Independent Custom ROMs developers like the most famous one Cyanogenmod lures the power users of the Android smartphones to make the best out of their device hardware. FreeXperia group of independent developers are working on the Cyanogenmod Custom ROM for the Xperia 2011 devices. These developers customise the Android code and the experience for best performance of the smartphone.
So Sony Ericsson has extended hand of support from the Sony Ericsson Developer program perspective. The company already offers bootloader unlocking support for the 2011 Xperia devices. Sony Ericsson strongly states that the unlocking the bootloader on the Xperia devices and installing custom ROMs devices voids the warranty. The company points out that the unlocking and custom ROMs installation business is only for the advanced Android developers.
Sony Ericsson’s step to support the independent developers is quite interesting especially after Samsung extended support and eventually hired the Cyanogenmod ROM developer — Steve Kondik.
Samsung, HTC and Sony Ericsson are three major Android OS handset makers who have stepped forward to support the independent developers by offering device unlocking. In special cases like that of Samsung and Sony Ericsson, the independent developers were given ample software based support and also smartphones for development.
However, a noteworthy point over here is that these companies wish to keep a tab on the different custom ROMs which are flashed on the device. For instance the Samsung Galaxy S II has a special counter in its recovery (similar to the BIOS on PCs) where the device keeps the count of times a custom ROM has been flashed on the device. That counter means the company will know that you have messed around with the smartphone in case you seek full warranty.
Warranty is a serious matter and the companies are trying their best to counter it especially when it is about open operating system such as Android.