Developers can now download the new update apparently and it is said that Ice Cream Sandwich will be open sourced just shortly after the revealing of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, although the code has actually been made publicly just before the release of Google’s latest benchmarking phone.
Member of the Android Open Source Project and Software Engineer Jean Baptiste Queru has just verified that Ice Cream Sandwich is going to be updated or added to the Android source tree. It is said by Queru that it is Android 4.0.1, which is the same version of the software itself that will ship on the Galaxy Nexus. The source code will be pushed out right now. The instructions for downloading is for developers, available here once everything is just ready.
Most of the viewers reading this are not developers, but here is a simple and easy reason that you should be happy to see this otherwise. For Google to make the best ROM’s possible, the developers need the exact right code from the AOSP. ROM’s that are pieced together from the SDK of Android are no where near as good as what could be achieved from being open source. So with the exactly correct code, these developers can start working on customizing Ice Cream Sandwich or modifying it to work with your own phone right before carriers and manufacturers do (which requires a root). This also means HTC and LG can get working on those updates as they promise to release them.
The source code for Honeycomb on a side fact is also available today. It was chosen by Google to not make it open source so that it would prevent people from making software for devices that were not currently ready for it, though the AOSP team officially made team at least made the code available. Though Queru still is saying, “Since Honeycomb was a little incomplete, we want everyone to focus on Ice Cream Sandwich. So, we haven’t created any tags that correspond to the Honeycomb releases (even though the changes are present in history.)”
This isn’t stopping developers and other ROM modders from doing it otherwise. Everyone is not a fan of Ice Cream Sandwich, please do not be suprised if you are not seeing the ROM’s or App launching with elements from Honeycomb instead afterall.