Ice Cream Sandwich Confirmed Open-Source Coming In Weeks

In what's shaping up to be the biggest launch of an Android version yet, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich has had many rumors surrounding it, including one that persists in saying that the OS will not allow customizations – not only is that not true, today there's confirmation that the completely open source version of the OS will be out in just weeks. Have a look back at our Complete Ice Cream Sandwich Launch Q and A with Android Authorities to see the answer to the second question, and head below to see the answer to the first – or just head below to find out everything you need to know.

First have a look at this short set of snips from the Q and A and find out for yourself what it means to be open source – and how that's different from customizable UI (this in this case the User Interface that manufacturers put on their versions of Android devices such at TouchWiz for Samsung and Sense for HTC.) Participants here are Matias Duarte, Hugo Barra, and Gabe Cohen, each of them Android authorities which you can get an extended description of in the complete post linked above.

Q: In Android 3.0 you have restrictions on manufacturer the level of customized UI, how about 4.0?

Matias Duarte: We have no restrictions on customized UI.

Gabe Cohen: There are Honeycomb products that have customized UI just like the Samsung Galaxy Tab [10.1], that's not vanilla Android UI.

Hugo Barra: Yeah, you shouldn't confuse that with open-source. Android 4.0 is going to be really open source, it's going to be able take customization to a much further level than you see with Honeycomb in which the customization was much more stringent.

Matias Duarte: We absolutely welcome and encourage that OEM customization – that is one of the reasons why Android is so popular, its not just that the OEMs can make the right sized phone, the right color, the right shape for each and every one of you, it also means that they can continue to customize the software and really hit specific target markets, specific demographics segments, specific cultural segments.

Gabe Cohen: Exciting new form factors, you know there are radically different form factors of 3.0 devices on the market right now that were developed by third parties.

Then there's a bit of information that the Open Source team over at ZDnet have picked up, Paula Rooney speaking with Google spokesperson Randall Sarafa:

"It will be open sourced in the coming weeks, yes, correct. [And] no, Honeycomb was not [open sourced.]" – Rooney for Google

Of course we could have figured this information out from the bits we've already got including a confirmation from Andy Rubin on the "weeks" after the release of the Galaxy Nexus bit as well as the November 17th release date of said phone. I wager we'll see an open sourced Ice Cream Sandwich before the end of 2011 – believe it!

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich hands-on