Open Source on Sony Devices (Big Android BBQ 2015)


[MUSIC] ALIN JERPELEA: Hi guys. My name is Alin Jerpelea and
I’m presenting the Open Devices Program How many of you have
heard before about the Open Devices Program from Sony? OK, nice. How many of you
are ROM developers or have built a ROM before? Nice, thank you. So, who am I? I’m a software and
hardware engineer that has started the
development with community in 2006 with the on XDA. I have played with HTC
windows and Android devices and then I have switched to Sony
windows and Android devices. I have created the
FreeXperiaProject in 2010, with the ambition of unlocking
the experience of phones and provide an open
source alternative. In 2014, I have joined Sony as
the manager of the Open Devices Program. The Open Devices Program goal
is to provide an innovation and development platform. We offer support for 21
devices, and more will come, all based on Qualcomm
platform, starting from 2014. This project uses one kernel
for all devices, one camera framework for all devices,
which is still work in progress, and needs zero patches
to compile and work. We provide basic connectivity
like GSM, Bluetooth, NFC, wireless– everything that
you get when you compile the Android from Google. Those are the supported devices. We support everything from
the old dual core MS8226, like M2, E2, T3, T2Ultra,
up to the newest devices that we have just launched. And that is the MSM8994. Including the Z3+ Z5Compact,
Z5, Z5Premium and tablet. Since all those
devices are supported in the same repository
and the same kernel, the features that work
on one, will work on all. And if you apply a patch to
fix something on one of them, you will actually
fix all devices. The same thing, if
you add a feature, it will be on all devices. What are the steps toward to
build and flash this software? You have to go to our website
and unlock your bootloader. You have to download
and build the AOSP code. You can, after that, start
experimenting with open source possibilities and
start innovation. And in the end you can think
about future IOT and, why not, repurposing. As I was saying before, it’s
enough to go to our website. The address is in the
down part of my slide. And you will simply
get the ability to run unsigned kernel
images after you unlock your bootloader. You can use our hardware
to flash custom ROMs and create new experience and
to innovate on our hardware. Please note that unlocking
bootloader will activate proprietary Sony functions. Our goal with this
program is to provide as good as possible
Vanilla AOSP experience for unlocked devices. We want to provide a
base for custom ROMs. We prioritize the latest models. We provide long term
support for all devices, including the old ones like
I said– the 2014 dual core devices. And you also get the
latest version of Android. We have published the guide,
“How to Build Android M”, seven days after Google has
released the open source code. Our ambition is to
drive innovation to work with external
community and developers. This is the kernel layout. We have based it
on several branches so that you can easily
follow the changes, and so that you can easily
rebase on maybe a new kernel version. So you have a Qualcomm base,
you have misc Qualcomm branch, which is patches
from Qualcomm that fix various platform support. Misc-up is patches that come
from different kernel projects. and misc-dev is patches from us
or other community developers. Then you have drivers,
which is the drivers used by our hardware. And you have platform
configuration, which is mostly DTS configuration. In the same time, you have the
hardware abstraction layer, and we are trying to
provide compatibility with existing Google one. Where it’s not possible, we
are open sourcing the HAL. And our goal is to
use as few binaries as possible because having binaries
can limit your innovation. So even if you get a HAL
with less functionality, you can still innovate
since you have the code. But if you get only
binaries, let’s say, you cannot do anything. And then, as I have
promised a long time ago, we have looked into
one of the most desired parts of the open source. And that is the open
source camera solution. We are still working on it,
but as you can see in my slide, it supports all the
platforms in one code. It also rewrites
everything clean so that you can reuse it
and innovate on it. And we will release
the camera binaries, which implement our sensors. I don’t have a specific
timeframe for it, but soon. It’s all I can say
in this moment. You will have a complete
hardware platform with a complete software
stack so that you can start innovating on it. Since we want it to be as
transparent as possible, this is the current status. And probably this is how it
will look on the initial launch. Please note that the
camera is developer grade. It is not matching the
Sony stock camera quality. And also it has
issues with stability. The whole reason for
releasing this camera early is so that community
can start innovating and so that you can adjust your custom
ROM trees to our new solution. I know that in the
past, a lot of you have hacked the camera
with worse results, or lots of fisheye bug and
a lot of other problems. With this camera solution you
have the code, or most of it. And that means that you
can start innovating, and there is no longer
the need to hack and lose a lot of weeks just trying
to figure out how it works. And then you have the Android. The Android part, it’s
the one that you always want to have the latest,
and with this program, since everything is open source,
you can always have the latest. As I was mentioning, we
have launched seven days after Google M released. We have launched the guide
so that you can build. The same happened
with the Lollipop MR1. Seven days after the
release, you had the guide, you had the new binaries, so
that you can start innovating. Our goal is to drive innovation. And here I have some ideas
of what you can actually do with the open devices program. You can build custom ROMs. And we have a good example and
good support from [INAUDIBLE] AOKP, and paranoid Android. But at the same
time maybe you don’t want to build just
another custom ROM. Maybe you want to experiment
with different operating systems. And then you can start
looking on Sailfish, you can start looking on
Ubuntu, and you can start looking on Mozilla Firefox OS. AUDIENCE: There’s a
bluetooth ROM or Sony’s? ALIN JERPELEA: No, there
is not a built ROM. It is the possibilities
for you to innovate. So you can basically
build any operating system since everything is open source. And in my next slide,
I have something that is already built. Mozilla
has published a nice article about how to build
Firefox OS on our devices. And the instructions are in
the down of my page, down part. You can go and build your own
Firefox OS for 21 Sony devices. For some of them you have to add
small differences because they don’t support all devices. But you have
everything on the top and also you can see somebody,
actually two developers, have [? ported ?]
Firefox OS on our devices based on the same program, open
devices, and it works nice. It is still as buggy
as hell, but it shows the potential of
investigating, or innovating, on this hardware. And now, because I have
talked a lot about innovation, let’s talk a little
about repurposing. Usually, when your phone is
old and you no longer use it, it just ends up in a drawer. Or if you smash the
screen, then you always count how much it will
cost for you to repair it. And if the cost for a
new screen is too high, you will simply
throw it in a drawer. What happens if we
think outside the box and we think that we
have very powerful, from two to eight core platform,
that has embodied connectivity, it has wireless and
Bluetooth, it has a GSM, and you have all the sensors,
cameras, maybe a battery. Or maybe you want to replace
the battery for repurposing, and a display. Or maybe the display
is also broken. But you have HDMI. Compare this one to
a regular development board, which is
usually weak, and you can think of a lot of projects. While I was in Moscow
for our Droid Con Moscow, a developer asked me
if he can build a web server on a board like this. With eight core system and
three gigabytes of RAM, I think that you can build
a really nice web server. You can do a lot more than that. Your mind sets the innovation
bounds for this one. You just have a powerful
hardware and everything is open source. What you can do with it,
it’s simply up to you. This project was started in
2014 by Sony for community, and we try to work as much
as possible with community. So we have published source
code repositories on GITHub. We are active on XTA
forum, so that you can post questions and get replies. We have our own forum
on the Sony website, but that one is
only for developers. And then we have created the
reward developer program. Reward developer program rewards
developers that work with us. So if a developer contributes
comments back to Sony, those comments are
counted every two months, and the person that
has the most accepted comments every two months
gets a new Sony device. Those are the people
that, til now, since the program
has started, have won one of our devices
and the respect from community, because they
have fixed and helped community get a better software. As many of you have already
been part of the XDA or Android barbecue, my slides
usually are short and then I’m happy to
hear more about what do you think, what do you
like, and what would you like from this program, and
what would you actually want from us to help you. So if you have any
ideas please speak. AUDIENCE: Spare parts. ALIN JERPELEA: The part with
spare parts, I would say, that it’s easy to
find them online sales from broken devices. We are selling phones. AUDIENCE: OK. ALIN JERPELEA: OK, so no ideas. OK, guys. Thank you, and see
you online then. [MUSIC]

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