Now that Android 6.0 Marshmallow has officially launched, it’s no surprise that we’re seeing builds built from the AOSP (Android Open Source Project) surface for all sorts of devices. The Galaxy Nexus, Samsung’s last Nexus smartphone, got an unofficial build of Android 6.0 not too long ago, and now it’s the turn of the non-Nexus devices. This time around, it’s the turn of Sony, with some of their older devices getting rough, early builds of Android 6.0 Marshmallow available for download. It would appear that a build for the Xperia Z Ultra and the Xperia Z1 has appeared on XDA-Developers, but as usual this sort of thing isn’t for the faint of heart.
While Sony devices like these end up with a smaller developer-following than other devices, Sony have done more than other manufacturers tend to in terms of offering up bootloader unlocks and so on. As such, it’s no surprise that we’re seeing builds of Android 6.0 Marshmallow so soon. Put together by XDA-Developers user Ev3rtH it’s clear that this is a rough build. It does boot and the majority of the system works, but as is so often the case with earlier builds of new Android versions some of the sensors just don’t work yet. This means that NFC doesn’t work, there could be some wonkiness with the GPS and the camera doesn’t work. Still, Bluetooth and WiFi works which is a big deal along with ambient light as well as different brightness levels.
Builds like these will no doubt improve over time, but those looking to try this out will need to have an unlocked Sony Xperia Z1 or Xperia Z Ultra as well as be willing to flash a new ROM. It should also be noted that this doesn’t include any of the special software from Sony, as it’s built from the same code that ends up in the Nexus devices. Sony themselves have come forward and let users know which Xperia devices will be getting the update, but there’s no telling when just yet. A roll out around early 2016 is more than likely going on Sony’s track record when software updates are concerned.