Create your own FTF

A comprehensive guide on downloading firmware files via a download manager and creating an FTF bundle for Sony Xperia Phones – Includes a guide on how to create a pre-rooted flashable zip for Sony Xperia Z3 Compact

So I recently upgraded my Z3 Compact to Android Lollipop 5.1.1. The upgrade went fine but the process of downloading the necessary files were a pain in the ass.

Why? Because downloading the firmware files using the XperiFirm is very slow (well, sometimes)!

Anyway, this post is not for me to rant about it but to teach you on how to avoid waiting for too long for the XperiFirm to download those firmware file updates. We will discuss the following topics in this post (seriously. I feel like a teacher right now):

  • How to download firmware files using a download manager
  • How to unpack firmware files
  • How to create custom FTF files (lets assume that you wanted a pre-rooted FTF)
  • How to create a flashable .zip file

Read More »

Xperia Flat Theme - Purple

Xperia Z3 Compact Flat Themes – The Android Lollipop Experience

Can’t wait for the Android Lollipop update? You can install these themes to enjoy the Lollipop experience!

Read More »

March 5, 2015 Album App Update

Z3 Compact: Updated Album App (2015-03-02)

Sony recently pushed an update to the Album App this morning. The the most noticeable changes were the following:

  • Slight design improvements to align with the Lollipop interface (new fonts and flatter icons)
  • Ability to move photos into separate folders (users can use this feature to manage and move their photos into separate folders)

To get the update, head over the updater app and download the update. Enjoy!

Sony Movie Creator Updated to v2.3.A.0.3

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Sony has recently updated their movie creator app, bumping the app version to 2.3.A.0.3. Major changes includes the following:

  • New movie creator list which highlights unfinished movies and allows addition of photos and videos.
  • Some new UI designs
  • Bug fixes

Screnshots:

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Note: After installing this update, your Z3 Compact’s time-shift video mode might become broken (I personally experienced this myself).

Xperia Z3 Compact: Disabling Movie Creator Will Kill Your Time Shift Video Camera Mode!

Time Shift Video Camera Mode
Time Shift Video Camera Mode

Yes. I own an Xperia Z3 Compact. Since I have a bad habit to optimize my phone so that bloatware will be super minimal, I decided to disable some of Sony’s apps. One of which is the Movie Creator – an app that automagically (if that is even a word) creates slideshows from the Albums app. For me, this is just one of those fancy apps that will always bother me and I won’t be using so much. That being said, I decided to disable it on my phone. To my surprise however, disabling the Movie Creator killed my Time Shift mode. Turns out the Time Shift Video mode in the stock Sony Camera App is so well tied with the Movie Creator App itself that disabling it will kill your capability to slow things down in a high speed video. You read that right. You can’t edit the video if the Movie Creator is disabled! This kinda sucks since I have to live with a bloatware running on my phone. Anyway, if you own an Xperia phone, please do not disable the Movie Creator app! Cheers!

Make those birthday entries appear in your Sony Xperia Z3 Calendar widget (or any other Sony Stock Calendar widget)!

Stock Calendar Widget for Xperia Z3 Compact
Stock Calendar Widget for Xperia Z3 Compact

Recently, I was able to get an Xperia Z3 Compact phone. It’s a small phone with a stellar performance. However, after days of tinkering, I was not able to find a way to make those birthday entries appear in the calendar widget even though they appear in the stock calendar app itself.

I did not lose any hopes of finding the solution. I tried using a different widget and other calendar apps but I still came back to the stock Xperia calendar app (its nice and clean!). And then, a wild thought appeared. “What if I try to install Google Calendar and use its widget instead?”. I was hesitant at first because the stock Google Calendar widget app sucks in Jelly Bean and Kitkat. However, recently, I read that Google updated its design to reflect their “Material” design language. So I told myself, “This could work. I have to try Google Calendar again.”. To be honest, material design of Google calendar was indeed fantastic compared to other Google apps that really suck in my opinion (I’m looking at you Google Play Store!). The design was so good that I wanted to ditch the stock Z3 Compact calendar. However, after trying to add find the Google calendar widget, I noticed that the a birthday calendar event was added into it! I was surprised at first. Did it fix the stock calendar bug? I hurriedly check my widget list and tried to find a “Google Calendar” widget entry again. To my surprise, it didn’t have an entry in the widget list! That is when I realized that the Google Calendar app might have fixed the problem! It may have installed the necessary functionality in order for the birthdays to sync in the stock calendar widget or it may have woken up the stock calendar. Whatever it is, it fixed what I call the birthday bug in the stock Xperia Calendar Widget! Hurrah!

Well, that was for the back story. To summarize:

In short, in order to make the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact Stock Calendar Widget to show birthday entries (or any other Sony phone with such bug), just install the Google Calendar app!

Google Calendar
Google Calendar

PS: I don’t really know what will happen if you uninstall the app after the stock calendar widget was fixed since I kept the Google Calendar app installed. 😉

Swipe to quick settings!

Did you know that you can access the quick settings box in your Android status bar by just swiping it?  Yes!  You can. Just pull down the notifications bar and swipe to the left. 😉

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Now you can access the quick settings bar via swiping the notifications pane!