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Please upgrade Xperia X's Android support from 4.4 to 8.1

asked 2019-08-09 14:02:38 +0300

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updated 2019-08-21 01:19:53 +0300

olf gravatar image

Dear Jolla,

please upgrade the Android support of Sailfish OS for the Xperia X from 4.4 Kitkat to 8.1 Oreo (rsp. the same "AlienDalvik" Android runtime environment the Xperia XA2s use).

This community wiki collects

  • reasons why this should be high in your list of things to implement
  • technical status and steps to be done to help with the implementation (planning)

Supporting reasons

Security: Google has stopped maintaining the AOSP 4.x codebase in 2017. Jolla (or still Myriad Group at that time) seems to have subsequently updated to that code base, but since then the AOSP components integrated in AlienDalvik likely have received no security fixes at all.

Security relevant functionality: AOSP 4.x and the AlienDalvik versions based on it do not support hash algorithms of the SHA-2 family, but only older algorithms as SHA-1, MD5 etc., which are broken meanwhile and hence being broadly phased out since 2018. Examples are most banks (that is one of the reasons why so many Android banking apps stopped working), Gitlab, Github and many more.

Some functionalities are simply not supported by any native app, hence Android apps are the only way to perform these tasks under Sailfish OS. Not being able to use those, which require Android 5 (API level 20) or higher constitutes a blocker for real life usage of Sailfish OS on the Xperia X for many (most prominent example: many banking apps)..

A unique selling point of Sailfish OS is that devices are supported a long time, this is good for the environment and users can keep their experience with the phone. Upgrading the Android support strengthens this selling point and can be used as an example for future buyers: "See, if you buy Sailfish OS now (for a fresh device), we will make sure you can use it well for many years."

If Sailfish OS on Xperia X has the same Android support level as on Xperia XA2 this allows more users to share their experiences and probably leads to less questions.

A large percentage of the users who have bought Sailfish OS for their Xperia X are still running these devices.

Over time Android apps make use of newer Android API features, so the fraction of apps which still support Android 4.4 (API level 19) is shrinking.

Quite some people are willing to pay for an updated Android runtime environment "AlienDalvik" for the Xperia X (see comments below).

Editors: Please focus on Xperia X because a single technical task is easier to consider in detail. Also important is to stay constructive and respectful. It is understandable and normal that there are other items on the implementation roadmap. The goal is to raise the priority by making the task and its importance for the user base and company well understood.

Relevant apps affected (examples)

Affected users

Other places where users are wishing for an improved Android support for Sailfish OS on the Xperia X:


The FAQ point 11 states (accessed 2019-08-09)

we will look into whether supporting other Sailfish devices (like Xperia X) is feasible only after we’ve got the support in XA2 in good enough maturity level and well stabilized.

(With the Sailfish OS 3.1.0 release came a number of improvements to the "Android support" based on AOSP 8 (only for / on the XA2 devices) and Jolla named this as one reason why Sailfish OS for the XA2s was put out beta status with the 3.1.0 release, so they are considering porting efforts for the Xperia X and likely also the Gemini PDA now; this is more or less confirmed by the quotes from the mer-meeting 2019-07-11 below.
Note that "considering" or "working on" it does not predetermine a specific outcome of these efforts.)


As outlined in Sony is providing drivers and kernels which are a precondition to port to a new "Baseport 8" adaption layer, which is needed. (This is a technical difference to older devices, where this precondition is missing, e.g. Jolla 1, Jolla C, Intex Aquafish, Jolla Tablet.) at

08:50:12 <sledges> #topic WIP AOSP8 rebase for X / X Compact (10 min - asked by vknecht)</sledges>

indicates that Jolla has a proof-of-concept implementation ("mal" is likely a (nick)name of an Jolla employee):

08:57:25 <sledges> that's why best is to ask us for the best approach before starting a job of such magnitude:) especially, when mal has already a PoC</sledges>

Continue reading up to 09:01.

Also on a possible Android 9 port:

09:21:47 <sledges> vknecht: forgot to add earlier: Android 9 sfos wiki has been designed with porting X and XA2 to 9 as well (see the -pie suffix on repo names)
09:21:56 <sledges> so the soil is fertile</sledges></sledges>

Does anybody know, where the source code repositories of these ports are located?
By @Andy Branson in a comment on 2019-08-20, below:

All of the Xperia SailfishX adaptations are open-source and can be found here:

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While I really wish Jolla would update Android compatibility on Xperia X, I am sure that will never happen. Let's face it: Jolla has no interest to do so. Their business is licensing Sailfish OS to corporate customers now. Selling Sailfish X licenses to a few hundreds or thousands of users (the community) can contribute only a small fraction to their income. Also, they already got the money from Xperia X users, there is nothing to gain anymore.

Looking at the current state of Android 8 compatibility on Xperia XA2, I am not sure I would trade my outdated, but mostly stable Android 4.4 compatibility for that.

ziellos ( 2019-08-09 14:30:24 +0300 )edit

A significant reason are the banking apps. EU law was changed and all banks move to TAN via App. Most of these apps only work with >=5.0 or don't work with "rooted" devices. No banking app will be ported to Sailfish. So only way to use SailfishX as daily driver is using these Android apps.

SaimenSays ( 2019-08-09 14:33:48 +0300 )edit

even if droid support would be higher i could not use banking app since its playstore only and i dont trust google. but tbh: tell organizations to offer a server based Version of your wanted app such that you are able to use it with a browser or leave the organization. works pretty fine for me. server based software is always better since if there is an update only servers need to do so and not every user himself. just a side note: its good for environment to.not transfer that many data :) regarding banking apps: its something i really not want to connect: a smartphone and my money, especially when google has some hands in there. if taken serious paper based tan.lists are the safest way to go. have no idea why eu is so one sided. as long as there are alternative ways for banking i use them

NuklearFart ( 2019-08-09 14:52:26 +0300 )edit

I would pay for an updated Android support of Salfish X. Maybe some others would do this too. That would be better than buying new phones every year.

s_mario ( 2019-08-09 15:00:25 +0300 )edit

Sounds like a duplicate question.

attah ( 2019-08-09 15:22:11 +0300 )edit

2 Answers

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answered 2019-08-10 13:20:49 +0300

egortro42 gravatar image

Now we have kernel 4.10 with sony's SODP update 9. So it's clean as possible, final (i think) as possible (so it means sony stopped support and we have FINAL version of our product, the X) and a good point to start with. I bought Sailfish X for €50 (in my country, Russia, buy a software it's not usual, haha, so €50 a big price), but i can give you, Jolla, €50 or again for make android 8.1 (or better, €100 for android 9) api level support! Just give me clear instructions, where to send money and how long it takes.

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bonus point if jolla manages a kernel 4.10 baseport 9 libhybris hal for X and XA2.

I would pay for the upgrade.

DrYak ( 2019-08-20 18:17:03 +0300 )edit

answered 2019-08-20 21:45:31 +0300

strobovalo gravatar image

Latest telegram from f-droid neet at least android 6.0 so we are stuck with telegram 5.7.1 with xperia x, the same phone with android support up to version 8 i think, realöy sad.

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I installed 5.9.0 over aptoide, but missing all new updates is a mess, especially wirh telegram...

h.berd ( 2019-08-24 00:20:48 +0300 )edit
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Asked: 2019-08-09 14:02:38 +0300

Seen: 2,350 times

Last updated: Aug 21