Reiterating what the company has been saying about Android 4.0, Google's Dan Morrill said today that the Ice Cream Sandwich source code would be made available to the general public "soon," after the software begins appearing on new and existing Android devices.

The source code for Android 3.0 was never made available - Google's official reasoning for this is that it didn't want the tablet-oriented Honeycomb code running on smaller screens, though others have suggested (as we noted in our review of the Xoom) that Honeycomb seemed to be a bit rushed at the time of release. Most of the focus on Ice Cream Sandwich so far has concerned what it will do for phones, but for tablets it's likely to represent an iteration of Honeycomb with more polish and fewer rough edges.

The lack of Honeycomb source code has been criticized by the open source community, which often takes advantage of Android's "openness" relative to iOS or Windows Phone 7 to develop custom Android distributions for all kinds of devices, including some (like the HP TouchPad) for which it was never really intended. Once its source code is released, Ice Cream Sandwich should give these developers a more modern and robust platform to start from.

Source: Ars Technica

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  • webmastir - Thursday, October 20, 2011 - link

    soon can't come soon enough!
  • bollux78 - Thursday, October 20, 2011 - link

    I hope it comes before the end of the next year, or the world will end before we have CyanogenMod ICS!
  • iLLz - Thursday, October 20, 2011 - link

    Oh my how I look forward to CM8 ( I presume it would be called) with ICS! Mmmmmmmm... The CyanogenMod Team is awesome at what they do and I can't wait for them to get ICS source code to start playing with.
  • A5 - Thursday, October 20, 2011 - link

    They've already announced that it will be called CM9 as a (very minor) protest of the Honeycomb source never being released (which presumably would have been CM8).
  • Booster - Thursday, October 20, 2011 - link

    Ice cream sandwich, my bum. Google thinks we're stupid, don't they? They need to literally candy-coat this useless garbage of Android, that's why they choose such seemingly attractive names accosiated with food. You can call a turd a diamond, but in the end of the day it's still a turd.

    Ice cream is tasty, makes you kinda want it, right? But it ain't no ice cream, dude. It's just a trick to make you want what you don't really need.
  • KineticHummus - Thursday, October 20, 2011 - link

  • Booster - Thursday, October 20, 2011 - link

    I'm offended by Google's naming scheme. Seems like they think I am dumb as a rock and will want it.
  • seamonkey79 - Thursday, October 20, 2011 - link

    I'm sorry you're dumb as a rock and cannot figure out how to use Android. It took my sister all of five minutes to master her Droid 3 and do more stuff with it than the people I know with iPhones, who wanted something 'cool' and 'fun' and don't know what the heck it's capable of.

    Repeat, I'm sorry you're dumb as a rock. Go and read a book or something.
  • uhuznaa - Thursday, October 20, 2011 - link

    Believe me, if those people had an Droid 3 instead and your sister an iPhone it would have been exactly the same.
  • ImSpartacus - Thursday, October 20, 2011 - link

    Yeah, I love me some Android, but all mobile OSs are pretty easy to use.

    We bicker over the most minute differences, but they all get the important things done very well.

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