Ice Cream Sandwich Release Date: Source Code Now Available

The source code for Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is now available, having been released two days before its intended Nov. 14 date.

Google software engineer Jean-Baptiste Queru announced in a statement that the "Android 4.0 source code is being rolled out to the public Android Open Source Project version control repository where it will be available for the public to download."

Ice Cream Sandwich was unveiled Oct. 19 alongside its flagship smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus.

The operating system is a poignant development for Android as it is the first that integrates “tablet and phone interfaces in a unified environment.”

Since Android withheld the source code for its previous tablet operating system, Android 3.0 Honeycomb, this release will be developers' first chance to delve into the makeup of Android's tablet OS.

Google said the release of the Ice Cream Sandwich source code would allow developers to view the Honeycomb source code as well.

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

"However, since Honeycomb was a little incomplete, we want everyone to focus on Ice Cream Sandwich,” Queru added.

Technology website ARS Technica noted the release of the Ice Cream Sandwich will be greatly appreciated by the third-party Android platform development community with whom Android has clashed in the past.

The Galaxy Nexus is scheduled to release in the United Kingdom on Nov. 17 and in Canada in early December. A United States release date has not yet been announced; however, industry insiders expect a Nov. 21 release.