Well, developers, it looks like Google will soon be releasing the code for Ice Cream Sandwich to the Android Open-Source Project. Thanks to a Google+ post penned by Jean-Baptiste Queru, the Technical Lead of the Android Open Source Project, and his link to an email written by Google engineer Dan Morrill, we do indeed have confirmation that Android 4.0 source code will see the light of day.
“We plan to release the source for the recently-announced Ice Cream Sandwich soon, once it’s available on devices”, Morrill said in his Google Groups post.
This week, Google officially announced Android 4.0, a.k.a. Ice Cream Sandwich, at an event in Hong Kong, in which it revealed the sexy new Samsung Galaxy Nexus, the first phone to run ICS. You can check out Greg’s mega-video here for more.
While Ice Cream Sandwich may usher in a new era of awesomeness for Android, developers were quick to note that the introduction ceremony (so to speak) was lacking in the release of any and all Ice Creamy source code. Some wondered if Google would take the same approach to Android 4.0 that it did to its predecessor, Honeycomb, and avoid releasing the source code to the public.
At the time of its release, Google decided not to make Honeycomb available due to its being targeted at tablets, and, as Google VP of Engineering Andy Rubin told BusinessWeek: “To make our schedule to ship the tablet, we made some design tradeoffs … we didn’t want to think about what it would take for the same software to run on phones”. Google didn’t want to take a chance of “creating a really bad user experience”, so it kept Honeycomb’s code out of public hands.
Google also explained in its own blog post today that it will be publicly documenting its calendar and text-to-speech APIs for Ice Cream Sandwich. Which will mean some changes for those who have been using undocumented APIs. For more on that, see the post here.
More to come.