Google Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich source code is now available

Google Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich source code is now available

Summary: Google fulfills a promise by releasing Google Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (and Honeycomb, too) into the open source community.

SHARE:

Google promised, and Google delivered: the source code to Google Android 4.0.1, codenamed "Ice Cream Sandwich," has been released to the open source community. And as a nice side bonus, the code now available encompasses the complete source code history tree, which includes the never-before-open Android Honeycomb family of releases.

I'm not a developer, so I'll defer to Google Android Open-Source Project software engineer Jean-Baptiste M. "JBQ" Queru's post to the Android Building mailing list for details:

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. In the source tree, you will find a device build target named "full_maguro" that you can use to build a system image for Galaxy Nexus. Build configurations for other devices will come later.

Later in the same post, he writes:

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.)

This is a very cool thing for Google to do - I stand by my opinion that Google had been misrepresenting the openness of the Android operating system to everybody up to and including the US Senate, but this goes a long way towards realigning perception with reality.

But on the other hand, it seems pretty transparent that they only did it for fear that Google's rushed Motorola Mobility buy coupled with the closed Google Android 3.0 release tree would intensify the scrutiny on the search giant at a time when it can't afford much more of the legal spotlight.

There's no point looking a gift horse in the mouth, though, and I'm looking forward to seeing what the Android hacker community puts together with Ice Cream Sandwich as its new foundation.

Topics: Mobile OS, Android, Google, Hardware, Mobility, Security, Smartphones

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

15 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Patents vs Trade secrets

    It's interesting that the pro-patent lobby (which includes Microsoft) are the ones who are also the most vigorous users of trade secrets.

    Patents are supposed to permit companies openly show their workings while still being protected. The opposite of trade secrets protection.
    Yet here we are most companies use trade secrets for their *real* cash cows, and patents only for their trolling.

    ------
    NBC News has 4 times as many viewers as Fox News (~8.6 million vs ~2.1).
    guihombre
    • What is trolling?

      @guihombre

      Patents are property. They allow companies to sell or lease their intellectual property. And since they are property, they can be bought or sold. How is this trolling?

      The problem is not Microsoft, but the US patent office which has allowed trivial ideas to be patented.

      PS: Why the obsession with Fox News? Who cares what they or NBC has to say? Both are pushing an agenda and both lie to you on a daily basis. Turn off the TV, you will be much happier.
      otaddy
      • Re: Patents are property

        @otaddy Patents are incompatible with property, because they mean that, when you buy something, you don't actually own it if there are any patents (or copyrights) involved. This is a violation of property rights.
        ldo17
      • Patents themselves ARE property

        @ldo7 I was not trying to defend the current system, rather, I wanted to point out that because patents are recognized by the govt as property, patents can be bought/sold/leased, etc.

        Calling someone a patent troll is meaningless. If I buy/sell/rent houses, am I a housing troll?

        Again, I dont condone the current system, but let's argue the issues and avoid tossing around empty words like "troll"
        otaddy
  • RE: Google Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich source code is now available

    Google is the ultimate hypocrite... Please ask google to give away their search patents and other acquired ones and then preach about the patent system...<br><br>Android is assembled using stolen goods... google deserves no credit for making it 'open source'...
    owlnet
    • RE: Google Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich source code is now available

      @owlnet
      "Android is assembled using stolen goods"

      I'm not aware of that ever being proven in court. You might be thinking of MS Office (i4i). Small mistake; could happen to anyone.

      "Please ask google to give away their search patents"

      Google hasn't yet to sued anyone over search and especially search advertising so what's the issue.
      anono
      • RE: Google Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich source code is now available

        @anono ,
        Microsoft PAID i4i and no longer use the IP in their subsequent releases. Google has not paid for anything.
        masukuma
      • RE: Google Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich source code is now available

        @masukuma They had to be compelled by the court to pay i4i. They were convicted, and the conviction was upheld on appeal all the way to the Supreme Court. They are thieves. It's as simple as that.

        Google, on the other hand, has a relatively clean legal record.
        Third of Five
    • RE: Google Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich source code is now available

      @owlnet: Have you ever heard of Google suing anybody over search patents? In fact, of all the tech giants, Google are one of those who sues others the LEAST often. When was the last time you heard about them suing anybody aggressively (not defensively) over patents?
      Natanael_L
      • RE: Google Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich source code is now available

        @Natanael_L How exactly does your post defend Google? Not taking a side on this but Google not aggressively suing anybody only shows they don't do that. If Company A is violating the IP of Companies B, C and D do you really think they are going to aggressively sue anybody or are they going to try to fly under the radar so the rest don't come down on them? Again, not try to claim claiming Google is Company A or that anybody is Company B, C or D, just pointing out how your doesn't really mean anything.
        non-biased
  • Fire and ice?

    From the article:
    "I???m looking forward to seeing what the Android hacker community puts together with Ice Cream Sandwich as its new foundation.
    Rabid Howler Monkey
    • RE: Google Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich source code is now available

      @Rabid Howler Monkey
      And I'm looking forward to CyanogenMod 9 :)
      bean520
  • RE: Google Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich source code is now available

    "But on the other hand, it seems pretty transparent that they only did it for fear that Google???s rushed Motorola Mobility buy coupled with the closed Google Android 3.0 release tree would intensify the scrutiny on the search giant at a time when it can???t afford much more of the legal spotlight."

    Isn't it just remotely possible Google meant what it said? That Honeycomb, the tablet version, wasn't fully baked because of the rush to get the Xoom delivered on time, and that they would release the source code when it was ready?
    jim.mcmaster
    • RE: Google Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich source code is now available

      @jim.mcmaster: Let them believe what they want, the code is out now anyway. Even the 3.x code is there. I personally believe Google were telling the truth. There might still be additional reasons, sure, but I don't really think that matters much.
      Natanael_L
    • RE: Google Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich source code is now available

      @jim.mcmaster Yet 4.0 just happens to be ready for release at the same time 3.0 is finally ready and at the same time they are coming under such scrutiny. Of course it's possible but the author also said "it seems", didn't say "it is".
      non-biased