Google has released the latest version of the Android mobile operating system, Android 4.0 'Ice Cream Sandwich', into the open source community.
The release of Android 4.0 into the Open-Source Project means that countless handset manufacturers will be able to go ahead and incorporate the new software as well as roll out updates to previous generation phones if they are so inclined.
The release also means that third-party firmware developers such as the CyanogenMod team will also have access to the latest branch of the OS which unifies smartphone and tablet-based UI elements from Android 2.x and 3.x respectively.
Android Open-Source Project software engineer Jean-Baptiste Queru said that the release was especially large since it contains "the full history of the Android source code tree, which naturally includes all the source code for the Honeycomb releases."
The source code is for Android 4.0.1, the version that will be pre-installed on the imminent Samsung Galaxy Nexus, the first Android 4.0 smartphone. The code allows building of the complete system image for the Galaxy Nexus.