There was a rumor going around earlier today that Google was just about to release the Ice Cream Sandwich source code to the Android Open-Source Project. While there weren’t many details available, this was all supposed to go down by November 17. Now it seems that even a three-day wait won’t be necessary, and Google has gone ahead and released the source code to Ice Cream Sandwich, along with the first release of the Honeycomb sources.
This is huge news for the Android development community, and should usher-in the era of some more complete custom Android 4.0 ROMs, rather than the SDK-based efforts we’ve seen already. Technically, the version Google released today is Android 4.0.1, which will also be the edition of Android included on the Galaxy Nexus once it arrives.
Google never previously released source code for Honeycomb, trying to discourage attempts to shovel the tablet-based OS onto smartphone hardware. With Ice Cream Sandwich making that sort of project a whole lot less interesting, the Honeycomb sources are included here as well. They’re more of a historical reference than anything, and Google notes that it hasn’t gone to the effort of tagging the appropriate files as belonging to Honeycomb. Still, better late than never, we suppose.