Sony may be taking Android and putting it into reverse gear. A post on Sony's mobile blog reveals the company is testing "Concept for Android", a version of the OS that feels and looks like the old Vanilla Android.
These tests will take place only in Sweden and will be limited to 500 Xperia Z3 users. Don't expect it to hit retail anytime soon though, as it is very much still in the concept stage. Apparently, Concept works like a stripped-down version of Android 5.1 Lollipop, albeit one with native Sony apps included. The blog post states:
This trial will help us assess the potential of running wider Android operating system concept initiatives for more markets, devices and users in the future – as we look to shift towards a model that allows for the creation of experiences with real user input, whilst adopting more transparent and open workflows. We believe this will eventually enable us to respond to your needs quicker and easier.
If you're an Xperia Z3 owner residing in Sweden you can apply to join the test, with places handed out on a first come, first served basis.
It seems as if Sony's keen to turn back the clock in order to give its smartphones a brighter future, although we'd say the company has never been among the worst offenders when it comes to bloating up Android with third-party touches.
One thing we can't quite figure out: if it want to make things simpler, why doesn't Sony just use stock Android in the first place?