Sony is reportedly developing a new launcher for its Android smartphones, and has already shelved any future development plans for its existing Xperia Home launcher. While current Sony smartphones will continue to receive maintenance-based updates for Xperia Home, no new development is set to take place on the launcher. The new launcher could be showcased later this year, when Sony launches new devices on Android P.
The new launcher could also be previewed early on the Android P Beta program, which the Sony Xperia XZ2 is a part of. As reported by Phone Arena, it could also mean that the new launcher will be more attuned to gesture-based controls, as has been pushed in the early Beta versions of Android P. With the trend moving towards larger screens on smartphones, Sony may be looking to exploit Android P’s native gesture controls, thereby removing the traditional navigation bar entirely.
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There’s no firm timeline on when the new launcher will debut though, or indeed any information on Sony’s next line of smartphones for that matter. It was speculated that Sony intended to go with a stock Android launcher or get its phones onto the Android One program, but this report suggests that the company intends to retain its own flavor on its devices.
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In India, Sony seems to have taken a backseat with its smartphone range entirely. The Sony Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Premium were launched globally earlier this year at MWC, but didn’t see an official launch in India. The Japanese company has been losing ground over the last few years in the smartphone market, and has a very small market share in India. As such, even if the new launcher is to debut with the rumored Sony Xperia XZ3, we’re not sure if the phone will even launch in India.
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