Sony announced that you can now create a test image for Android M Developer Preview and put that on any Xperia smartphone or tablet that's part of Sony's "Open Device" program.
The list of supported devices includes:
- Xperia Z3
- Xperia Z3 Compact
- Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact
- Xperia Z2
- Xperia Z2 Tablet
- Xperia Z1 Compact
- Xperia Z1
- Xperia Z Ultra
- Xperia E3
- Xperia M2
- Xperia T2 Ultra
- Xperia T3.
Sony seems to have single handedly vastly expanded the number of devices that can run Android M right now, up from just a handful of Nexus devices that included the Nexus 5, 6, 9 and the Player.
Unfortunately, it's not as clear cut to put Android M on an Xperia device right now as it is to put it on a Nexus, but Sony has provided a list of instructions for how to do that. Right now, the instructions seem targeted more at ROM developers who want to play with a "stock" Android M ROM on their Xperia devices and perhaps further develop it or submit bugs and patches to Sony. However, once all the kinks are ironed out and Android M is officially released, we may see Sony provide a downloadable version of stock Android M ROM for its "Open Devices."
With the Android M Developer Preview being supported by so many more devices, it could also help those Android app developers who have a supported Xperia device around to test their apps for Android M before it's released. They could see, for instance, how the new permission control system works with their own apps.
Sony's early work on supporting Android M could also put the company ahead of its competitors in officially upgrading its devices with Android M, along with its own customizations on top. Although, whether Sony will succeed in doing that or not will depend on how many resources Sony will dedicate to upgrading its devices to Android M, and on how many extra features it intends to add to stock Android M.