updated 12:55 pm EST, Thu December 15, 2011
Alpha Android 4 ROM has very limited functions
Sony Ericsson has, for the first time in its history, publicly released an alpha ROM of firmware for its phones. Android 4.0.1 for the Xperia arc, Xperia neo V, and Xperia ray is meant for experienced developers who know it might not work as an everyday OS. Some major features, such as phone calls and data, don't work at all.
The software is also relegated to handsets running the company's latest custom software, 4.0.2.A.0.42. The original Xperia arc and Xperia neo aren't compatible due to their different partition layouts. Developers also have to unlock handsets using Sony Ericsson's Unlock boot loader service and thereby void their warranty. Doing so will also make the handsets ineligible for the final, official build of Android 4.0.1 from Sony Ericsson.
The other features that don't work or aren't included are Google Mobile Services apps, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, ANT+, and the FM radio. Developers will get Holo theme support that lets them test apps written to take advantage of it. They can also control music playback from the lock screen, and notifications can be dismissed with a swipe.
A finished Android 4.0 upgrade is is most likely to show sometime in early 2012.