Google has just released source code for the latest version of Android, that is Ice Cream Sandwich. According to this Google Groups post by Jean-Baptiste Queru a.k.a JBQ, the code for Android 4.0 is currently being pushed to the servers and will take some time to complete. The release, which also includes the source code for Honeycomb, will enable manufacturers to start prepping their own devices for the big upgrade.
Android fans all around will be pleasantly surprised to see ICS being open sourced earlier than they anticipated. Originally, everyone expected the source code to be available on the day Galaxy Nexus hits the markets. Galaxy Nexus however, is still days away from release.
The source code, which is technically Android 4.0.1, comes with a slew of new features. Changes include a refined UI, revamped home screen, new fonts, improved voice engine and much more. ICS, unlike its predecessors, will work seamlessly across tablets as well as smartphones perhaps alleviating the fragmentation problem to a certain extent.
As of now, the code is being uploaded to the git servers, and if you try to get your hands on it before it’s done, you might end up with an incomplete copy, warns JBQ. Once the upload is complete, developers and manufacturers can start building their own phones and tablets loaded with ICS. Also, starting today, companies like HTC, Motorola, LG, and Samsung can start working on upgrading their own phones to ICS. This, however, doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to upgrade your phone immediately; the process is a long one and it will take some time till you see the much-adored Roboto on your droid.
The release also includes source code for ICS’s predecessor, that is Honeycomb. Not that anyone’s interested, but Google has put it out there in case you want to tinker around with it. Android 4.0, which will ‘theoretically’ run on all Gingerbread devices, will come first to Galaxy Nexus followed by Nexus S. For developers looking to get their hands on the code, here are detailed instructions on how to do that.