Archive | May 2011


Sony Ericsson’s head honcho speaks and gives details, sort of, of what’s been fixed in 2.3.3:

This update brings lots of fixes and optimizations within many different areas but here are some important ones where I know our developers have included many improvements and fixes:

  • Battery performance
  • General software stability
  • Wi-Fi stability
  • HD Video recording performance (Xperia™ arc)
  • Touch responsiveness

Finally, some additional information of what’s present, correct and FIXED in 2.3.3 – including my favourite, the HD video recording performance on the Arc. The question has to be asked though, why the secrecy ALL.THE.TIME with firmware updates? Why so secret Rikard, you’ve got the answers to our questions – shut us up!

Anyhoo generic release should be out in the next few days, so that’s something to look forward to. And maybe a cheeky little update to GingerBreak? Wouldn’t that be cool?!


Yet more Bootloader shenanigans…this time it’s almost fucking personal

…You may remember this post from a couple weeks ago:

Yet again I was venting about the bootloader issue with the Arc, and the can we/can’t we officially update saga….well, the story continues as it seems the good folks over at XDA have been on the case for the last couple weeks and have hounded Sony Ericsson Developer, Karl-Johan Dahlström across their forums:

Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiin one:

I am aware that we don’t have a recovery ROM in place. There are some reasons why that is the case. One reason for not supporting FOTA updates after the phone has been unlocked is that FOTA is a delta between two know SW releases and as the phone has been unlocked we can’t be sure of the SW release currently on the phone. I will bring this question back to see if we could allow phones that has been unlocked to be updated via “SW update service” which would be a way to get a Sony Ericsson ROM back on the phone, but please note the warranty may still have been voided as the phone.

Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiin two:

Currently we don’t support SEUS for phones that have been unlocked. I have initiated discussions if we can support that going forward, but there are several things that needs to be investigated before I can give you an answer (e.g. will it affect customer call centers, repair centers, which SW should be used for unlocked phones, how to identify phone model if other things has been modified, are there security concerns for unlocked phones etc). Will get back to you as soon as I have more information. Sorry that I can’t give a better answer at this time.

So “…Currently we don’t support SEUS for phones that have been unlocked…” is final confirmation from the horses mouth that you CANNOT update your phone using the Sony Ericsson Update Service….UNBELIEVABLE! WHY RELEASE IT IF YOU DON’T HAVE A BACKUP PLAN!!!!

It’s an absolute disgrace and to be honest, as I’m sure you can tell, I’m absolutely fucking stumped as to how SE can do something like this – why build it if you can’t bloody fix it!


To make matters worse people are having to CHASE them for answers as to how/why the official bootloader hack leaves people unable to update officially:

  • Why isn’t the information detailed on these forums being released as an official statement from SE? 
  • Why is this information only available on a blog – and not an official blog, either – and only if you go hunting for it?

This should be on the developer blog and should’ve been announced when the issue was first discovered, weeks ago!

Couple that with the information in here about bootloader hacked phones not being able to use certain aspects of Facebook Inside Xperia and the possibility the HD video fiasco doesn’t appear to have been resolved; it’s shaping up to be an interesting couple weeks.

More bootloader…

Note, this post should be back with the entries for the 16th of May. Not sure how it’s ended up at this end of the month!  

The bulk of the problems listed below could probably be fixed with a firmware update in the future…although unlocking the bootloader has caused an issue with SEUS which means I can no longer update ‘officially’ – despite assurances from SE that this would not be the case. Very, very poor show indeed.

Luckily Mrs The Hurf also has an Arc so I believe if I update her phone first I will be able to locate the firmware that should’ve downloaded to my computer in order to update the phone by using FlashTool. This shouldn’t be the case and I’m actually very angry AND disappointed this was not mentioned in the whole furore with the bootloader and if this wasn’t enough of a glaring oversight, I and other experimenters were misinformed we would still be able to update. Really bad form, SE. Really bad. Boo hiss boo.

Perhaps with the 2.3.3 update imminent it would be pertinent for SE to release the firmware for people to download for themselves, independent of SEUS, to update through FlashTool (for example).

I have a lot on my mind today….

It may seem at times I’m putting the boot in a lot with Sony Ericsson and their parent company. I must admit it’s not really my intention to give them a good kicking but, well, these things just keep presenting themselves to me! Fairly spectacular catalogues of errors, mishaps and cruel twists of fate have befallen the beleaguered company recently, leaving its dwindling fan base wondering what’s coming next: 
Saw the introduction of the Sony Ericsson Arc and ON THE SAME DAY the announcement that the X10 series of phones, not 9 months old, wasn’t going to receive any support past Android 2.1. Cue a backlash so severe it completely dwarfed the news about their latest shiny-shiny and raged on for weeks and weeks. At their own admission, this was a stupid mistake to make. More to follow on this below.
In response to this, SE issued a software update that incorporated Dual-Touch as the X10 was unable to cope with Multi Touch. This limped out at the end of the month to most carriers, although I believe some people are still waiting for it, thanks to the lengthy time it takes carriers to approve these things. 
Saw the R.0.435 FW update bugger up the Blu-ray players it was designed to upgrade, presenting users with another reason to moan at Sony. I contacted the Sony Facebook page with my issue and was told to return the unit to the seller! No apology was forthcoming, and quite why I’d return the unit to get the same unit back and be subjected to the same update is beyond me. To compound matters, despite the worldwide furore over this, there’s still no FW update to fix the problems.
Saw Sony Ericsson do a complete U-turn on Android upgrades for the X10 handsets, but only the X10i/a models, nothing else. Cue more upset. To counter this, SE announced they would be opening the bootloader for the latest models, the Arc and the Play, for developers and phone hackers alike, but it came with a catch – it wouldn’t be available on the X10i/a handsets, which is what started the bootloader argument in the first place. Unlocking the bootloader came with an even bigger sting in its tail, which we’ll come to shortly.
This month also saw the terrible tsunami in Japan do unspeakable damage to its people, resources and infrastructure which have caused delays in supplies of components which have knocked on to delays in releasing phones like the Neo.
Saw the release of the Arc and Play to reasonable fanfare for the Play and almost universal approval for the Arc. However cracks soon appeared in the Arc’s sexy façade when it was discovered the HD video recording on the Arc (and the SD video recording on the Play, as it turned out) was practically useless: Thanks to a problem with the way the video and audio are buffered on the phone, the audio goes out of sync with the video after just a few seconds.
Rumours abound that 2.3.3 was coming to the handsets as well, bringing some performance updates and an in-depth Facebook interaction to the handset called Facebook Inside Xperia. More on 2.3.3 below…
The bootloader was unlocked during the middle of April too, once again to almost universal fanfare, this time from the developing community. However the powers that be neglected to mention (or simply didn’t know) once you ‘officially’ unlocked the bootloader you would lose the ability to receive official updates for your phone through SEUS – this despite assurances from SEUK that you WOULD be able to do. Thank goodness then for the wonderful work being done by the geniuses who populate the forums @ XDA and have provided tools such as FlashTool and Fastboot for Dummies guidance!
As if all this wasn’t enough, on April 20th the Playstation Network was hacked, which resulted in 25 days of the network being offline and a £110 million bill to Sony to put it all right. I as type this, the PSN is back online but the store itself is not. It’s rumoured to be open at the end of the month, but seeing as though it’s the 26th of May, I think that’s optimistic to say the least.
Quiet up until Monday 23rd, which saw the discreet release of the fabled 2.3.3 firmware…starting in Hong Kong.
I got hold of the Hong Kong FW – pre-rooted, no less – and flashed it to the phone on Tuesday afternoon – the 24th. All working fine. On the 25th, despite there being no over the air update from SE UK direct, O2 released the 2.3.3 update to their handsets – updating OTA or through SEUS! 
Quite the scandal, especially considering we were told when to expect the release from SEUK themselves – in top secret confidence – and it wasn’t 25th May, that’s for sure! How a carrier has beaten a service provider to provide an update for a phone the carrier pulled from the shelves a month ago, is mind-boggling to say the very least!
Anyway, with the release of the O2 FW I’ve updated my phone again to the have UK version (may have been released by O2, but it’s not branded) only to discover unlocking the bootloader restricts access to DRM content and I can’t use part of the new ‘Facebook Inside Xperia’ software. Curses

2.3.3 vs Bootloader-unlocked phones…

…It’s been a very exciting time the last 24 hours or so. On Tuesday evening, 24th, the 2.3.3 update for the Arc was released – in Hong Kong. However it didn’t take very long before the necessary files to build a .ftf package were available. The package was flashed to my phone and worked fine, Facebook Inside Xperia integration worked to an extent, except the Music app wasn’t letting me ‘like’ tracks as previously advertised here

Not the end of the world, but a minor niggle. However tonight, 25th May, for reasons unknown O2 have managed to get their 2.3.3 firmware out a good 10 days in advance of SEUK. Quite the scandal. Once again, the required files were soon made available and another .ftf package was built and flashed to the phone. Still problems with the Music app.

On a whim (and thanks to Alan Lewis for the prompt) I installed the O2 firmware on the wife’s phone, which hasn’t been rooted or booted. Put the SIM card in her phone, dumped a couple tracks onto the phone…surprise surprise, the ‘like’ works.

Casting my mind back to unlocking the bootloader, completing this process buggers up the DRM on the phone – which is most likely what this facility is tied into – it works in conjuction with TrackID.

So, once again something else doesn’t work once you’ve cracked the bootloader – users who’ve taken this step or are thinking about doing so, be aware of the following facts:


You have been warned

Just priceless….

…after over three weeks of hell, the PSN is finally back online. Not 100%, but back nonetheless. To celebrate, Sony have decided to do what’s best and, giving them their due, they have detailed the welcome back package. However, as soon as they’ve done that, they’re back to doing what they do best – try to pimp new stuff in light of some serious company damaging events (although they call it getting back to normal!)

Nothing changes!


It seems there are people out there using the Arc who are experiencing random reboots, from reading some of the comments, it seems the cause could be attributed to some third-party apps. I haven’t had anything like that myself, mainly because I didn’t log into the third party stuff and in fact wiped them from the phone as soon as root was available!

Something to watch out for though. Check the full story in the link provided