October saw the international Android community gather together for two days at Islington’s Business Design Centre for #Droidcon2015. As a sponsor of the event for the last six years, Sony Mobile was there in the midst of it all. As well as showing off our SmartEyeGlass Developer Edition SED-E1 and the Xperia Z5 series in the exhibition hall, Alin Jerpelea, Community Manager for the Developer Program gave a keynote on Sony’s Open Device Program.
Sony Mobile has a rich heritage of engaging with Android developers, and the Open Device Program is central to that. The program is aimed at enabling more collaboration and innovation within the Open Source community. In his keynote, Jerpelea described some of the motivation behind the program “We always try to be one step ahead to drive innovation”.
The program is unique in the freedom it offers to developers to work with Sony smartphones. Whether someone is a novice or an advanced developer, they can build and customise the latest Xperia devices (2014+) with open-source software using minimal pre-compiled binaries, while using as much open-source code as possible.
This kind of approach enables developers to implement new customisations, security enhancements and power or speed optimisations, since everything is built from open-source code. To support this parts of Sony Mobile’s code as well as selected tools developed by our internal developers are regularly made available to developers. These can all be found on the Open Device area on Developer World.
One of the most exciting elements of the program is the way it recognises open-source developers who are actively contributing. A Hero Open Source Developer is selected every two months and given a Sony device as a reward for their involvement.
The whole program reflects our passion to partner with Android developers. As part of this we’ve recently added Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) to all supported devices on the Open Device Program, as well as adding Xperia Z5. We can’t wait to see what the open-source community do with it!