Posts Tagged ‘Eclair’

Sony Reader for Android Now Available

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

A while back I posted about a Sony Reader app for iPhone and Android coming in December. I checked back in December and saw a new image indicating it would be available in January instead. January being nearly over, the app is now available, at least on Android.

Some of the highlights:

  • Create and edit bookmarks and highlights in books
  • Includes 3 Classic titles and 3 excerpts from Bestsellers
  • Adjustable Font sizes
  • Sync reading position, bookmarks, and highlights to Reader Daily Edition (PRS-950SC with firmware 2.0)

Is the Sony Reader app ready to compete with the Kindle and Nook apps already available? We’ll have to see. I tried to install the app, searching everywhere for it. I started from my phone in the Android Market, then tried using my browser to download directly from Sony. Finally I got on my computer to search. That’s when I found the problem. This app is available for Froyo and beyond. That’s right. Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 users need not apply. You can’t use a Sony app. Eventually I’ll install a Froyo Rom on my phone and test this app out, but until it is stable I’ll have to watch from the sidelines. While this minimum OS requirement will not be a problem for the forthcoming Xperia Arc, it seems like an ill-timed slight for X10 fans who recently learned there will be no official Froyo upgrade. Hopefully this will be addressed, though it is unlikely.

If you’ve been looking forward to viewing your Sony Reader content on your phone, and you have Froyo, go ahead and enjoy the app. iPhone users will get their app soon. You can follow the download link here. For the rest of us, there is always the Kindle, Nook, or Google Book app for our reading pleasure.

Eclair the End of the Road for Xperia X10

Friday, January 7th, 2011

In a couple of official communications from Sony Ericsson through the Product Launch Blog and Twitter, the Xperia X10 is not going to see Froyo or any other Android version. Here is the reasoning behind the decision, according to the Product Launch blog:

“First – As a clarification regarding the current Xperia products – We are planning another upgrade to bring new features (such as for example multi-touch for Xperia X10) to the current family of Xperia™ smartphones in Q1 2011. However, at this stage those plans do not include updating the underlying Android version.

This decision is based on that we believe that with the current hardware platform an overhaul of the underlying core OS wouldn’t drastically improve the user experience.
We believe that the current Xperia range on Android 2.1 coupled with our proprietary upgrades and unique hardware delivers a user experience that is on par with, and in many cases better than, a vanilla installation of Android 2.2.

Our priority right now is to keep enhancing the user experience of the existing products through coming updates and to deliver a fantastic range of smartphones in 2011 that are all on the latest possible version of Android – that is a target we are determined to hit!”
Rikard Skogberg, Sony Ericsson

I believe the multi-touch he is referring to is the pinch-zoom feature, and not actual multi-touch. It would probably help Sony Ericsson if he really did mean multi-touch though, as there are many vocal fans of multi-touch among the Xperia X10’s owners. That update is supposed to be released some time this quarter.

The argument for not upgrading Android is that it would not “drastically improve the user experience.” This sentiment is also expressed by the SonyEricssonUK team on Twitter. See the image below for their quote.

As a long time fan and user of Ericsson and subsequently Sony Ericsson phones, I have to respectfully disagree with the party line on this one. Yes, Timescape is pretty cool. Yes, Mediascape has potential to be at least semi-useful. Yes, my de-branded and rooted 2.1 upgrade makes my phone run a lot faster than the bloated AT&T version with 1.6. No, these do not make a better phone than stock Froyo or Gingerbread.

With Froyo comes things like saving apps to the SD card, Google Earth, Flash 10.1, and Google Voice Actions, to name a few. Froyo comes with improved processing speeds as well. While I am confident that Timescape will work much better on Gingerbread on the Xperia Arc, it is a bit laggy on 2.1 on the Xperia X10. It’s pretty, and it is better than the 1.6 version, but it takes a long time to load updates.

Having just bought my Xperia X10 in August, I am not going to be eligible for an upgrade for a long while. Having held onto my Sony Ericsson Walkman phone long after its prime, I was really looking forward to being able to keep renewing my X10 as the OS improved. This is a little disappointing. I do like the Arc, but I waited so long for the X10 I wanted to hang on to it for a while.

Will I stop buying Sony Ericsson phones like many of the irate X10 owners? No. There’s a reason I buy Sony Ericsson. That reason hasn’t changed. I really hope 2011 is the year mistakes are learned from though. It would be nice to see Sony Ericsson succeed this year. Upgrading the X10 would have helped.

Fun with AT&T Tech Support

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

Somehow I managed to pocket-dial an order for the AT&T Navigator app for my Xperia. I became aware of this through two text messages sent to me from AT&T. I called in last night to cancel it during the free trial phase. I took the opportunity to mention how useless it was for AT&T to put a paid app on the phone when Google offers a superior product for free right alongside it. She seemed to agree.

While I was on the phone it I figured I would ask about the Eclair upgrade, fully expecting another “stay tuned for news” line that I’ve been getting through Facebook and Twitter. To my surprise she said, “Let me look that up for you.” After a brief moment on hold, she came back with “The X10 is already out, so if you are eligible for an upgrade you can get it. Would you like me to look up your eligibility?” I explained that I currently own the phone and was looking for the Android OS upgrade, not a phone upgrade. She sounded mildly embarrassed and took another shot. Back on hold I went. She came back and apologized, as there was no information available.

While I was at it I went ahead and asked about Froyo for the HTC Aria. She looked that up, and found the update from September, but no news on Froyo. I made a comment on how it would be nice for AT&T to join the modern era and she laughed. It was nice to get someone who realizes how backward AT&T is. Throughout the conversation she took all the comments on AT&T’s backwater ways in stride, and kept in good humor for the duration of the call. This stood out to me because of all the lousy customer service they’ve offered me over the last several years.

So, the bottom line is, we very well may not see Eclair for another year through AT&T. The status quo is a long delay for anything, including getting Android at all, so most of AT&T’s customers have learned not to hold their breath for any good news. In the mean time, calls like last night’s serve to ease the pain a bit. Friendly customer service reps make a huge difference, and AT&T finally found a good person to fill the need.

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