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Nov 212011

With Google recently releasing the source code for Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS), many are in a mad rush to the Google repositories to grab the code–especially developers, modders, and Android enthusiasts who all seem to have one end goal: porting ICS to other Android devices, both smartphone and tablet alike.  One of those who are sailing away after having grabbed the code on release day is the CyanogenMod team.

The team’s chief developer, Steve Kondik, was quick to give a rough estimate of the arrival of his team’s Ice Cream Sandwich concoctions–two months after mid-November.  That’s roughly mid-January.  Kondik’s announcement came through the team’s Twitter account:

To accompany the release of ICS source code, Google also decided to release the sought-after three major releases of Honeycomb.  But, since Honeycomb was somewhat incomplete (according to Google engineer Jean-Baptiste Queru), the Android team instead wants developers to direct their efforts to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

The Honeycomb sources, nonetheless, would be a treasure trove for the likes of the CyanogenMod team, which had been dying to get its hands on the Honeycomb sources so it could push development further for CyanogenMod 8–the team’s custom ROM reserved for Honeycomb tablets.

A custom ROM such as CyanogenMod is a popular alternative to official Android distributions that come preinstalled with manufacturer-customized versions of the operating system.  Many people replace the stock Android on their new handsets with custom ROMs such as CyanogenMod–and for various reasons, including the removal of carrier- or manufacturer-provided bloatware (useless apps), improving the performance of the Android device, maxing out the device’s hardware capabilities, and others.

Official upgrades are most likely being prepared for your Android device by the device manufacturer.  You can either wait for that (if your device is lined up for an ICS upgrade), or wait for the custom modders to release publicly usable alpha or beta versions of custom Android ROMs.

Feature image courtesy of masatsu (Flickr)

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