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The other day, we heard a few mumbling about a new “Concept for Android” scheme being prepared by Sony, which is promising a “fresh take on the Sony user experience”. Today, Sony has officially announced the project and has launched a beta scheme for residents of Sweden.

Sony’s Concept for Android is a new work-in-progress operating system designed for its Xperia devices, which is based on Android 5.1 Lollipop. The concept OS is a stripped back affair when compared to Sony’s most recent interpretation of Android, not that we’d call Sony’s current software particularly bloated anyway. It has a more stock Android look and feel, as you can see from the screenshots below, and whittles down Sony’s input to only its most popular apps and features.

Sony Concept for Android screenshot

As part of the launch, Sony will be giving 500 Xperia Z3 handset owners the opportunity to take part in a closed beta, but you have to live in Sweden to be eligible. The idea behind the small beta is to gain valuable consumer feedback on the OS, patch up bugs and collect opinions. Sony is also trialling the concept to see if its new OS and various tweaks might make sense for different markets, devices and users in the future.

If you fancy getting involved in the beta, you can read up on the T&Cs and register your interest on this website. You will have to hurry though, 500 places is a very limited beta.

Successful applicants will be notified in the coming weeks.