Since Android 4.4 was first announced by Google, handset manufacturers have been racing to update ROMs for their devices which would bring in the resource sipping next-gen mobile OS from Google. Today it seems like Sony has finally accomplished the task of bringing KitKat to several of its most popular devices. Android 4.4 updates have begun to roll out to the Xperia Z, Xperia ZL, Xperia ZR, and the Xperia Tablet Z.
We've been building new Sony experiences on Google's KitKat release to create some neat / sweet features (if we say so ourselves) - in addition to a few performance tweaks here & there, some of the functionality you can look forward to includes:
- Google's Android 4.4; KitKat as standard - bringing improved performance & user interface (UI) optimisation...
- If you've got a Sony PlayStation 4, you might recognize our new user interface - we've added the same sleek launch animation and live wallpaper across the lock and home screens. You'll also spot a revamped Status Bar and Quick Settings... now more intuitive and customisable (also with a fresh new look)... cleaned up to ensure you only get the notifications you really need
- As you might expect, we're also uplifting Sony's entire native app portfolio to the latest versions bringing tweaked / improved / current experiences for one and all... some of our favourites look like:
- Messaging - a few UI adjustments here & there, including a slicker "send" animation, and deeper Emoji support for some expressive fun... also worth noting, you'll find smileys wherever there's an app with a keyboard :) :)
- Email - you'll be able to both load and see more mails... but don't fret, navigation of said load is easier with a more responsive viewing pane - split screen modes divide info for easy digest... especially useful / works a treat on Xperia Tablet Z
- Smart Social Camera - our social imaging experience makes its debut on our first Z Series devices; a selection of Xperia Camera apps directly accessible from your viewfinder... including personal favourite "Creative Effect", and more for download to boot!
- Battery STAMINA Mode - level-upping our unique power management feature, bringing smarter data management & more for prolonging your juice
- Sony's Media apps: WALKMAN, Album and Movies, with Sony Entertainment Network cloud service integration* - a more converged and full Sony entertainment experience - Sony Entertainment Network & PlayMemories integration with a more intuitive UI, better download speeds, and more...
- And proving pretty popular, now totaling over 2 million downloads (!) - our unique custom interface experience: "Xperia Themes", with downloadable UI packs from Sony Select - skin up to 280 assets across your Xperia smartphone with a variety of styles...
- Compatibility with our SmartWear Experience; SmartBand SWR10 and Lifelog app - enabling you to record social, physical and entertainment activities and have them all visualised in a beautiful interface... reminisce at that past, make the best of the present and plan for the future
Next up, we'll start rolling Android 4.4 KitKat for Xperia T2 Ultra, Xperia E1 and Xperia M2 (and dual variants) from July - we'll be back with more details; bespoke feature sets and timings as things progress.