Sony has long been a supporter of the Android community and while it perhaps doesn't go as far as we would like, companies like Sony are held back a little by proprietary drivers and the like. Sony started the Xperia for AOSP project some time ago and experimented with the Xperia S back in the day, since then it's become a permenant feature of Sony's for the Xperia Z and ZL. Now, Sony is giving the project a tasty shot in the arm, bringing KitKat to their repositories and adding support for the budget Xperia L. Android 4.4 KitKat is now up and running on the Xperia Z, ZL and the L. It's far from perfect but, it's more than we can say for Samsung, HTC et al at this stage.
Sony's blog post details the progress of Android 4.4 on the Xperia L and while it's not 100% finished, it's a pretty good effort from Sony. So far, everything works apart from the Bluetooth and GPS chips which, we're assuming either has something to do with proprietary drivers or an issue to do with the new code in KitKat. Either way, we're hoping support for those comes in a future update. So far, so good. It's a start from Sony and it's also the first time that Sony – or any OEM – has released an Open Source build of Android for the 1 Ghz MSM8230 dual-core chip from Qualcomm, potentially helping out communities of devices with the same processor. Google has said that one of their main focuses with Android 4.4 was optimization for lower-end hardware and the Xperia L certainly fits that description and it's great to see someone experimenting like Sony are.
If you're type of person that doesn't mind getting their hands dirty with source code, then you can head on over to the GitHub and take a look at the code. Sony is very open about the code for these devices, and developers interested in getting their hands on Kernel sources etc can simply head here there's even a Wiki for those looking for a little direction. This could be great news for developers trying to get KitKat ROMs running on these devices and it could mean a new lease of life for the Xperia L.