Most Android OEMs outfit their phones with their own skin on top of Android, and with that, a custom launcher. Sony’s phones have long come with the Xperia Home launcher, and following the latest update that landed on June 11, development for it will be ending.
As noted by moderator Erika Prymus for the Xperia Home Open Beta on Google+:
A business decision has been taken that our current launcher, Xperia Home should enter maintenance phase.
In this “maintenance phase”, Xperia Home will no longer receive new features. There will still be updates down the road, but they’ll strictly be focused on removing bugs “for as long as deemed necessary.”
Additionally, this transition also means that the Xperia Home Open Beta program will be ending.
The latest update to Xperia Home (11.3.A.0.17) prior to this switch was mostly focused on bug fixes anyways. As noted by Sony, some of the highlights include fixes for widgets not updating, crashes when trying to open a photo from search, and more.
What does this mean for the future of launchers on Sony phones? Although Xperia Home will probably keep on chugging for a while to come, it’s likely that Sony’s either looking to create an all-new experience or just go the Nokia route and mimic the Pixel Launcher. I’d prefer to see the latter of those two things, but only time will tell.
Are you a Sony fan? What do you think about the end of Xperia Home?