When a successful experiment ends, there are usually “next steps.” In the case of the Sony Xperia S AOSP experiment, Google’s Jean-Baptiste Quéru (JBQ) called it a success. He was extremely happy with what Sony brought to the table and the work that was done.
Going forward from Jelly Bean onward, Sony will be taking over the project, and how they are going to be doing so is a great win for the community. The reasoning for moving the Xperia S out of AOSP makes a lot of sense. This is because Google can’t have non-Nexus devices in the AOSP for the long term. However, for an experiment like this, it was more plausible.
At the Big Android BBQ 2012, we had a session where we talked about XDA’s vision for interaction and collaboration with OEMs. The key points were:
Manufacturers open-source kernels on git-like service
Carriers out of the loop, opening up the update chain
Full GPLv2 compliance (working, buildable kernel source)
Open Communication and Relationships with Manufacturers
Sony is doing exactly this. They have put together a Sony Git on GitHub to allow external partners and developers to contribute. The Git will be maintained by Sony engineers Johan Redestig and Björn Andersson, both of whom have a long history of making contributions to the AOSP mainline. Here is the Technical Status of the project:
Technical status of the project As for the current status and progress of the AOSP on Xperia™ S project, we actually have a lot of things working now. With the code we’re now making available on GitHub, AOSP now boots up, and we have the SD-card, Wi-Fi® and sensors working. And as you can see in the video above, internally we also have audio and the modem running. However, these functions require proprietary binaries that we cannot publish at the time being.
Going forward, the next steps are to replace some of the previously published binaries with source code, and to get Android 4.2 working on Xperia™ S. This can be used as a development platform, and as a base for the work of opening up source code for more modules. For the latest technical status, check out the project on GitHub.
We hope to see many of you developers from the open Android community participate in the project, so if you are interested in making contributions, head over to the project on GitHub. Make yourself familiar with the code and feel free to have a look at the issue list to see where you might be able to help out.