The source code for version 4.0 of Android has been released, along with Honeycomb for the first time
The source code for the latest version of Google’s Android mobile operating system, 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, has been made available via the Android Open Source Project.
The released build is of Android 4.0.1 and features the full history of the Android source code tree including version 3.0, Honeycomb.
Into the wild
This marks the first time that the Honeycomb source code has been released into the public domain, with Google’s decision not to release it earlier in the year drawing criticism from the open source community. Android’s open-source nature is what distinguishes it from other operating systems such as Apple’s iOS and Microsoft’s Windows Phone.
The first phone to be based on Ice Cream Sandwich will be Google’s new Samsung-manufactured flagship Android phone, the Galaxy Nexus, which was announced last month and is due to be released on 17 November.
Some older phones, such as the Google Nexus S will be able to update to the new operating system but some devices, such as the Nexus One, are too old to run the new software.
Ice Cream Sandwich aims to unite the smartphone focused features of Android 2.3 Gingerbread with the tablet-orientated Honeycomb to bring tablet features to smaller devices.
The software boasts improved camera controls, support for near-field communication (NFC) and a redesigned interface. New security features such as facial recognition will also be on board, as will Address Space Layout Randomisation (ASLR), which rearranges memory locations for various application components, making life difficult for hackers.