Sony Ericsson makes Ice Cream Sandwich alpha ROM available for Xperia devices

But only for advanced developers

Sony Ericsson makes Ice Cream Sandwich alpha ROM available for Xperia devices
Sony Ericsson's Developer World is making available a downloadable alpha ROM of Android 4.0.1 (Ice Cream Sandwich) for Xperia arc S, Xperia neo V and Xperia ray devices.

The Japanese firm, soon to lose the Swedish company's moniker from its name, aims to gain feedback and also to provide support for developer communities.

The update is aimed squarely at 'advanced developers' and several everyday functions (such as making a phone call) will not work.

Watch your warranty

"Creating a full software upgrade is a complex process involving hardware bring up of the lower software layers, software and feature adaptations, certifications and approvals," read a Developer World statement.

"However, even though we are now in the Bring up phase, we wanted to release a snapshot of where we are today, for advanced developers in the open community who want to try it out."

There is some important information to consider before jumping on the alpha ROM ship however. Specifically that the ROM will not work with the original Xperia arc or Xperia neo and that your phone must be unlocked through using Sony Ericsson's Unlock boot loader service.

Those developers who opt for the boot loader will not be able to download the final Ice Cream Sandwich software upgrade and their phone's warranty may be voided by accessing the ROM so it's recommended to check through the details closely before committing.

King of features

Due to the fact that many features of the upcoming Ice Cream Sandwich update are not yet certified, they do not function in the alpha ROM.

These include Google apps (such as Google Maps and Gmail) as well as having the modem, Bluetooth, WiFi, ANT+ and FM-radio all turned off.

You'll be able to check out some of the new features, however, including the new Roboto font and Holo theme. There's also updated UIs for the settings menu, web browser, messaging action bar and multitasking features.

You can see some of these features in the video below or visit the Developer World website for more information on how to download the ROM.

When Matt was 7 years old he didn't write to Santa like the other little boys and girls. He wrote to Mario. When the rotund plumber replied, Matt's dedication to a life of gaming was established. Like an otaku David Carradine, he wandered the planet until becoming a writer at Pocket Gamer.