Sony’s Small Apps has been present on all Xperia devices ever since the tool debuted with the Xperia T in 2012. Now, it appears that the company has decided to retire the feature with the Xperia X series, and there doesn’t seem to be any way to bring them back.
Sony’s Small Apps are floating applications that provide users with quick access to various services and tools like email, a calculator, a timer, and many other. They provided additional functionality since they were created to run on top of another application, like Google Maps.
Small Apps allowed users to perform multiple tasks at the same time, like browsing the Internet and using the Remote Control feature. Users were able to add or remove Small Apps in the launcher, either from Google Play or by selecting and adding any widget to the list.
The removal was confirmed on Sony Mobile Talk forum
The feature also allowed users to minimize Small Apps at the edge of the screen or define the display of the icon using a basic graphic. They were simplistic applications but did come with all the tools that users might need to complete basic day-to-day tasks, with the additional advantage that they were easy to find on the phone. They were self-contained applications or an extension of another app.
Small Apps were accessible from a favorites bar at the bottom of the screen. But they seem to be missing completely from the Xperia X series, which includes the Xperia XA, the Xperia XA Ultra, the Xperia X, and the Xperia X Performance.
According to Xperia Blog, a company representative has stated in a post on Sony’s Mobile Talk forum that Small Apps were retired because of “the specification, and how Google has defined it.” However, further details haven’t been provided, and it’s unclear if Sony will be offering alternatives to the feature anytime soon.