The Xperia S is the first dual-core smartphone from Sony, not to mention their flagship 2012 device. So it’s no wonder that custom development on it is going pretty strong. The king of all custom ROMs, Cyanogenmod 9 (CM9) has been ported over to the Xperia S by the Free Xperia team, who have brought CM9 to a lot of Xperia devices. So, no need to wait for Sony to deliver the official Ice Cream Sandwich update (which the phone should have released with, but didn’t), as you can experience Ice Cream Sandwich Android 4.0 on your Xperia S with CM9.
Now, bear in mind that this is a work in progress, so it’s not expected to be completely stable. There may be some bugs and issues present, along with a few things that might not work at all. But the development is in the early stages for now, so things should get better as time goes on.
Read on to find out how you can install CM9 to get Ice Cream Sandwich Android 4.0 on your Xperia S.
This ROM and the guide below are compatible only and only with the Sony Xperia S. It’s not compatible with any other device and may render an incompatible device unusable. Check your device model in Settings » About phone.
The methods and procedures discussed here are considered risky and you should not attempt anything if you don’t know completely what it is. If any damage occurs to your device, we won’t be held liable.
- Developer → FXP
How to Install CM9 on Xperia S
- This procedure will wipe all your apps, data and settings (but it will NOT touch your SD cards, so don’t worry about those). Backup your Apps and important data — bookmarks, contacts, SMS, APNs (internet settings), etc. This Android backup guide would help you.
Important! Don’t forget to at least make a backup of your APN settings, which you can restore later if your data connection does not work after installing the ROM. Use the backup guide to find out how.
- Important! Your Xperia S must have an unlocked bootloader. You can unlock your bootloader officially → here.
- Install ADB on your computer using the guide → here. This is required to flash the requisite kernel on your phone. (Skip if you already have ADB installed on your PC).
- Download the latest version of the ROM from the download link below. You need to download the file that says nozomi in the filename, as other files are for other devices.
- Download the Google Apps package, which will install the required Google apps like Market, Gmail, etc, which aren’t included in the ROM itself.
Download Link | Filename: gapps-ics-20120317-signed.zip
- Transfer the 2 zip files downloaded in step 4 and 5 to the SD card on your phone.
- Open the .zip file downloaded in step 4 using free software like 7-zip, and extract the boot.img file to a convenient location.
- Download fastboot, which will be used to flash the kernel extracted in step 7.
Download Link | Filename: Fastboot.zip
- Extract the Fastboot.zip file to the C:\ drive on your computer to get a folder named Fastboot with four files inside it.
- Copy the boot.img file extracted in step 7 to the Fastboot folder. You should have 5 files in the Fastboot folder now, as shown in screenshot below:
- Now, connect your phone to the computer in fastboot mode. To do this, first plug the USB cable to PC, then pick up your phone and hold the Volume Up key, and then, while holding the Volume Up key, connect the USB cable to your phone.
- Open Command Prompt on your computer from Start » All Programs » Accessories.
- Now, in Command Prompt, type the following commands to flash the kernel, pressing Enter after each command (Check the screenshot after step 13.2 for reference).
- Once the kernel is flashed, you will get a “finished”/OKAY message in the command prompt window. Disconnect the phone from your computer.
- Turn on the phone. The screen will turn on and show you the kernel logo. As soon as the LED lights up, start pressing the Volume Up button repeatedly on your phone until you boot into recovery. In recovery, use Volume buttons to navigate and Home button to select options.
- Select install zip from sdcard, then select choose zip from sdcard. Scroll to the ROM file on the sdcard and select it.
- Confirm installation by selecting Yes – Install ______.zip on the next screen. The ROM will start installing. After ROM finishes installing, select go back to go back to the main recovery menu.
- Now, repeat step 16, but this time, select the gapps-ics-20120317-signed.zip file. Select Yes on next screen to confirm installation of the Google apps package.
- After ROM finishes installing, select go back to go back to the main recovery menu.
- Select wipe data/factory reset, then select Yes on next screen to confirm. Wait a while till the data wipe is complete.
- After data wipe is complete, select reboot system now to reboot the phone and boot into CM9. First boot will take some time, up to 5 minutes, so be patient.
Your Xperia S is now running Ice Cream Sandwich Android 4.0 thanks to CM9. Visit the official development page (the via link below) to get more information and the latest updates on the ROM. Share your thoughts on the ROM in the comments below.