It has been reported that Sony is experimenting with what could become their new skin that runs on top of Android’s latest version 5.1.1. The concept UI was officially available for only 500 Swedish users of the Xperia Z3, so they could report back to the company with their thoughts about the new software. Yesterday, the rest of the world could see how it looks as some screenshots were leaked showing that the company is sticking to an almost untouched look of the way Android looks on Nexus devices, which use the version of how Google wants the OS to be.
Now we can see some more aspects of the new UI as a video of a Xperia Z3 running it has surfaced. It shows that the software is stable and the changes of some animations can be appreciated, looking more like stock Android than ever. Also, the whole firmware has leaked, so anyone with a Xperia Z3 could download it if they want to try it out. It can be installed with Androxyde’s Flashtool program as it works like any other FTF firmware, although those who risk to install it will lose all of their files. Still, they could get back Sony’s firmware by flashing a KitKat or Lollipop build. The installation files can be found at the source.
What makes it different from the stock Android experience are Sony’s exclusive apps for the Camera, Gallery, Music, What’s New, Xperia Lounge and Xperia Support, plus some visual changes like the transparent app drawer and the iconography in the Settings menu. Still, some features that could come in handy are missing from the new software including double tap to unlock, Stamina mode to save battery or the screen recording option by pressing the power button. Theme support is also gone as well as image or sound enhancements. It is likely that the final version will include all of these features, but it is unknown if the new software experience will be ready for when the new batch of devices from the company launch, the ones whose names will end with the number 5.