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What version of Android is supported currently on SFOS and Xperia X?

asked 2019-06-23 23:15:37 +0300

depscribe gravatar image

I'm trying to get some notifications to work on my Xperia X single-sim device running SFOS 3.03. One application important to me throws an error saying it will not work without "a newer version of Play Services." So I'm playing with the fDroid gapps app, which wants to know what version of Android I have. And I have no idea. So, what version of Android does the Alien Dalvik for SFOS 3.03 on Xperia X support?

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Install Aida64 app. It lists a lot of technical details about the device, including Android versions.

There is some information about the Android versions of various Xperia families also at the end of this page: https://jolla.com/sailfishx/.

jovirkku ( 2019-06-24 16:48:42 +0300 )edit

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answered 2019-06-23 23:35:48 +0300

mrtrm gravatar image

It is android 4.4 KitKat

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Thanks. Not surprised, but disappointed. I hope the other things we were kinda promised (road map, better browser framework so native webapps with notification support) don't go the way of the unimproved Alien Dalvik on Xperia X.

depscribe ( 2019-06-23 23:49:42 +0300 )edit

Not surprised, but disappointed.

The Xa2 supports 8.1 Oreo. But there are currently two roadblocks preventing it being used on the X:

Kernel version

The version used by Sailfish on Xperia X is the 3.10 kernel. Whereas LXC (the linux containers used by the Alien-Dalvik compatibility for android apps) requires bits found on more recent kernels (4.4 should be fine).

Firmware and drivers versions

Sailfish uses an adaptation layer to take advantage of the official Android firmware and kernel by the manufacturer, instead of Jolla needing to write their own drivers for GNU/Linux from scratch for every single device they support. It's done by libhybris, Jolla calls this a "Baseport" in their blogs.

The current version of Sailfish on Xperia X uses a "Baseport 6", an adaptation layer that is designed to use 6.0.1 Mashmallow drivers and firmware. (The part that you need to download separately from Sony during the flashing procedure). The application compatibility layer for Android 8 obviously cannot run on an 6.0.1 base.

To be able to run Android 8 apps, the Xperia X would need an upgrade of its libhybris adaptation layer, what Jolla calls a "Baseport 8" in their blogs. Such one exists as it was done for the Xperia XA2, but would still require some work. Basically, the same amount of work that was done by Jolla to port the Baseport 6 to Xperia X would need to be redone from start to port the Baseport 8.


Luckily, at least Sony provides a blob with firmware/drivers and a kernel for Android 8 Oreo and 9 Pie. Also luckily, these use kernel versions 4.4 and 4.9 respectively. So at least the necessary material is available (as opposed to the Jolla 1 smartphone, were Qualcom has stoped providing upgrades).

But currently Jolla is cash-limited and they don't have the resource to develop both the X and the XA2 at the same time. Eventually, once the XA2 stabilise they might try a backport. Or maybe somebody from the community will try a port.

DrYak ( 2019-06-24 22:20:36 +0300 )edit

I hope the other things we were kinda promised (road map, better browser framework so native webapps with notification support) don't go the way of the unimproved Alien Dalvik on Xperia X.

Well, at least the browser is a Sailfish app, something that they can write once and immediately provide on all Sailfish devices. Browser improvement have already been starting to appear in 3.0.3 and these are available on all devices (including X and even Jolla 1). Jolla is at least keeping their promise to continue releasing Sailfish upgrades on older devices.

DrYak ( 2019-06-24 22:23:20 +0300 )edit

"The current version of Sailfish on Xperia X uses a "Baseport 6", an adaptation layer that is designed to use 6.0.1 Mashmallow drivers and firmware. (The part that you need to download separately from Sony during the flashing procedure). The application compatibility layer for Android 8 obviously cannot run on an 6.0.1 base."

Well, 6.0.1 would be better than 4.4 -- there are a lot of apps that want at least 5.0.

"Well, at least the browser is a Sailfish app, something that they can write once and immediately provide on all Sailfish devices. Browser improvement have already been starting to appear in 3.0.3 and these are available on all devices (including X and even Jolla 1). Jolla is at least keeping their promise to continue releasing Sailfish upgrades on older devices."

Look at the bar fight that broke out at the developers chat a few months ago when Jolla said they were not adopting a much better webkit. They may be doing some sdnky incremental stuff, but a more robust and modern webkit would unleash all kinds of development in the community. Which isn't going to dive into broswer projects based on the telephonic version of Mosaic.

depscribe ( 2019-06-24 23:12:13 +0300 )edit
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Asked: 2019-06-23 23:15:37 +0300

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Last updated: Jun 23