Android Ice Cream Sandwich source code released

By JR Raphael (@jr_raphael)

Android Ice Cream Sandwich Source Code

Here we go, gang: Google has just released the source code for the Android Ice Cream Sandwich OS.

Android engineer Jean-Baptiste M. Queru posted the news in the "Android Building" area of Google Groups moments ago. From Queru's post:

Over at our Android Open-Source Project git servers, the source code for Android version 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) is now available. ... 

This is actually the source code for version 4.0.1 of Android, which is the specific version that will ship on the Galaxy Nexus, the first Android 4.0 device. ... Build configurations for other devices will come later.

Queru goes on to note that the release is a large file and may take some time to become available to everyone. 

Now, the release of the Ice Cream Sandwich source code isn't directly significant from a typical user's perspective; this is raw code, after all, and not something you could just install onto your phone as-is. The real significance is two-fold:

First, this means the Ice Cream Sandwich software is now considered complete. That's obviously huge. 

Second, this means manufacturers and third-party ROM developers can start working on prepping Ice Cream Sandwich to run on all sorts of Android phones and tablets. The source code was the one piece of puzzle they were missing up till now.

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The next big question is when Google's ICS flagship Galaxy Nexus phone will arrive. With the Ice Cream Sandwich OS officially out in the wild, one would imagine its launch is right around the corner; numerous leaks and rumors, in fact, suggest the phone could appear as early as this Thursday. Google has an Android-related event scheduled for Wednesday, so it's possible we could learn more then.

UPDATE: Android 4.0 and the Galaxy Nexus: My in-depth reviews 

I'll be launching a list of which devices will and won't be getting the official Android 4.0 upgrade very soon, so stay tuned. In the meantime, for more about ICS and its many new features, click over to my full Android Ice Cream Sandwich FAQ

It's on, baby -- it's on! 

JR Raphael writes about smartphones and other tasty technology. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+.

Article copyright 2011 JR Raphael. All rights reserved.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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