Sony released today a follow-up to the previously released ICS alpha ROM, a beta version of their Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich ROM available for unlocked 2011 XPERIA phones.
This is pure gold for all custom ROM developers out there, so if you want to test it or download it to hammer your own custom ROM the source is available for download. Check the change log below and follow each step on how to install it on an unlocked XPERIA device.
Updated UI – We hope you will be happy to see that we have added a number of UI elements from ICS, as well as some new UI features already introduced in the Xperia™ S we announced in January.
Lockscreen and Face Unlock – We have added a shortcut to the camera directly from the lockscreen. Also, when you’re listening to music you can control the music player without unlocking the phone by using the music control icons on the lockscreen. In the coming final ICS upgrade, we will also include the face unlock app from Google for all phones that has a front-facing camera. The Face Unlock feature uses the front-facing camera in combination with advanced object recognition algorithms to provide a new way to unlock the phone. However, since Face Unlock is a Google Mobile Services (GMS) app, it is not included in this ICS beta ROM.
Connectivity turned on – Since we published the ICS alpha ROM, the GSM modem and FM radio have passed the certification and type approval, and they are therefore turned on in this ICS beta release.
Updated email client – The UI has been updated, and simplified email management has been added.
Quick dial – We have added a quick and easy way for you to make phone calls. See how it works in the ISC beta ROM demo video.
Download and install Follow the instructions below to download and install the alpha ROM. Please note that it only works with Xperia™ arc S, Xperia™ neo V and Xperia™ ray.
Make sure your phone is running the latest software release, which is build number 4.0.2.A.0.42. If you can’t upgrade to this build number, it is not possible to try the Ice Cream Sandwich beta ROM for Xperia™ phones.
Go to unlockbootloader.sonymobile.com and unlock the boot loader of your phone. To do this, you must read through and agree to all the legal and warranty conditions that apply.
Extract the downloaded zip file to your Android Fastboot directory. For example: ..android-sdkfastbootXperia_arcS_ICS_beta.
Open a command prompt and go to your Fastboot directory: ..android-sdkfastboot
Flash the three beta ROM files one at a time using Fastboot. Use these three commands (replace the folder name if you are using Xperia™ neo V or Xperia™ ray):
• fastboot flash boot ..FastbootXperia_arcS_ICS_betaboot.img
• fastboot flash userdata ..FastbootXperia_arcS_ICS_betauserdata.img
• fastboot flash system ..FastbootXperia_arcS_ICS_betasystem.img
Once done, please reboot your phone.
Here’s an official sneak peek at the Ice Cream Sandwich Xperia Beta ROM.