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Android 4.0.1 "ICS" Open Sourced by Google

By - Source: Google | B 15 comments

Google has released the source code for Android 4.0.1, the build that will be shipped with the Galaxy Nexus.

In a post on the company's Android building group, Google software engineer Jean-Baptiste Queru announced that the source code for Android 4.0.1 "Ice Cream Sandwich" has been released. This means there's a good chance Ice Cream Sandwich is gearing up to launch across Android devices soon, but an actual release date will depend on individual wireless carriers and handset makers.

This is big news for Android developers, as the new Android build will supposedly eliminate fragmentation by unifying all Android 2.x smartphones and the 3.x tablets under one OS build. ICS will also open the door for a richer social environment, allowing developers to "add powerful new interactions that span multiple social networks and contacts sources" including calendar sources.

"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," Queru said. "This release includes the full history of the Android source code tree, which naturally includes all the source code for the Honeycomb releases. However, 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 the history)."

On the consumer front, ICS will reportedly allow users to finally be rid of bloatware pe-installed by wireless carriers. The new streamlined OS will also feature folders for better apps management (borrowing from iOS no less), a redesigned keyboard, navigation keys, a spell checker that locates and underlines errors and suggests replacements, a new voice input engine that offers a continuous "open microphone" experience, face recognition-based screen unlock and loads more.

Developers ready to jump on the Ice Cream Sandwich bandwagon can head here. The files are located on Google's Android Open-Source Project git servers, but Queru warns developers that because ICS is such a large code push, it will take a while to complete. "If you sync before it's done, you'll get an incomplete copy that you won't be able to use, so please wait for us to give the all-clear before you sync," he said.

Discuss
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  • 0 Hide
    dark_knight33 , November 16, 2011 4:23 AM
    Sweet, Cool. Both excellent descriptions of ICS.
  • 0 Hide
    everygamer , November 16, 2011 4:24 AM
    "The new streamlined OS will also feature folders for better apps management (borrowing from iOS no less),"

    Android OS's have had folders for some time now, not really a new feature. It was not included in Honeycomb I believe and is being re-added in ICS. It was in Gingerbread and previous versions.

    All in all sounds interesting, looking forward to see what legacy devices will get the ICS update, but I have a feeling it will likely be only dual core for performance. So I may not be in luck with my Droid X time time around but one never knows.
  • 7 Hide
    drutort , November 16, 2011 4:29 AM
    I guess this means time to visit xda more often ;-)
  • 3 Hide
    klavis , November 16, 2011 5:04 AM
    Not sure they will like the idea of the consumer being able to remove the bloatware, that's the reason they put it on there, so the user can't take it off. I have a feeling companies will block that from happening.
  • -1 Hide
    psp09 , November 16, 2011 5:44 AM
    just we need to wait for check the performance in the quad core tablet.
  • 8 Hide
    Anonymous , November 16, 2011 6:25 AM
    companies block us from removing bloatware now and we remove it anyway. LOL. yea, its a pain. but hey if they get paid to install bloatware by companies and it makes my phone cheaper I am fine with it. it just hurts my opinion of the phone company, and whatever company the bloatware is for, then I root and remove it. its like reverse advertising
  • 0 Hide
    archange , November 16, 2011 6:29 AM
    My SGS2 is waiting...
  • -3 Hide
    igot1forya , November 16, 2011 10:55 AM
    My Xoom is waiting...
  • -4 Hide
    soo-nah-mee , November 16, 2011 12:14 PM
    Quote:
    The new streamlined OS will also feature folders for better apps management (borrowing from iOS no less)

    ...Because apple invented the concept of sorting items into "folders"? Really?
    What was that word that Windows used to replace "directories"? Hmmmm.
  • -3 Hide
    JasonAkkerman , November 16, 2011 1:05 PM
    My Atrix is waiting....
  • 2 Hide
    getreal , November 16, 2011 1:40 PM
    Awesome! So this means that by this time next year, there will be two devices (MAYBE three) that officially support this "update"! Cool! I like having to buy new Android devices every year, that way I can receive the latest updates stolen from Apple and brag about my phone's MHz online! Super stoked!
  • 1 Hide
    soo-nah-mee , November 16, 2011 2:39 PM
    getrealAwesome! So this means that by this time next year, there will be two devices (MAYBE three) that officially support this "update"! Cool! I like having to buy new Android devices every year, that way I can receive the latest updates stolen from Apple and brag about my phone's MHz online! Super stoked!
    Glad you finally came around.
  • -1 Hide
    bv90andy , November 16, 2011 5:26 PM
    What I want is background sound in Browsers, for listening to flash content while doing something else. (or at least turn the f'ing screen off) Also in apps like iPlayer... which uses flash, why would I want to have my screen on and stuck on a picture while listening to a podcast? If ICS repairs this, then I see a reason to update, otherwise, meh.
  • 0 Hide
    Vladislaus , November 16, 2011 7:51 PM
    getrealAwesome! So this means that by this time next year, there will be two devices (MAYBE three) that officially support this "update"! Cool! I like having to buy new Android devices every year, that way I can receive the latest updates stolen from Apple and brag about my phone's MHz online! Super stoked!

    I was under the impression that Sony Ericsson would be putting ICS on the xperia arc, play, mini,....
  • 1 Hide
    clivene09 , November 16, 2011 8:20 PM
    I can haz ICS on my Touchpad?!
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