Earlier this week, we saw Huawei release the first manufacturer-authorized Ice Cream Sandwich update for an existing Android handset, with a demo build of ICS made available for its U8860 Honor. Now it looks like that incident was just the beginning of the arrival of such official early Ice Cream Sandwich ROMS, with Sony Ericsson announcing today the availability of an alpha release for several of its Xperia models.
Owners of unlocked Xperia Arc S, Neo V, and Ray models have the opportunity to check out this early progress towards a final Ice Cream Sandwich release. Sony Ericsson is very clear that this is not appropriate for daily use, with major features like the ability to get online or place calls totally absent. From the looks of things, all wireless communication, from WiFi to Bluetooth, is disabled. The normal assortment of Google apps is also not present in this release.
So what good is it, then? If you’ve yet to try out Ice Cream Sandwich, this will give you a good taste of the look-and-feel. You can also use the opportunity to send feedback on the ROM’s progress to Sony Ericsson, and maybe contribute in your own small way to the eventual final release of Android 4.0 updates for Xperia handsets. Just keep in mind that the final version of the update will not be installable on unlocked Xperias.
Full instructions on installation, along with all the files you need, are available at Sony Ericsson’s site through the source link.