Android Ice Cream Sandwich to Go Open Source In a Few Weeks

Google plans to open source the new Android 4.0, also known as Ice Cream Sandwich, soon after the mobile operating system debuts with the Samsung Galaxy Nexus.

Speaking during the AsiaD conference in Hong Kong, Andy Rubin, Google's senior vice president of mobile, said that the platform will become open source ‘in a couple of weeks' when the Galaxy Nexus is launched.

Making the platform open source will allow mobile phone makers to customise the operating system to work on their devices.

Samsung's Galaxy Nexus will become the first device to ship with Ice Cream Sandwich, and will remain so for the next couple of months, giving Samsung an added advantage over other Android device makers.

With Ice Cream Sandwich, Google looks to put an end to fragmentation and bridge the gap between smartphones and tablet devices. Analysts believe that Ice Cream Sandwich will prove to be boon for Android tablet devices which have enjoyed the same success as Android smartphones, chiefly because of the limited number of apps available for them.

"By creating a single version of Android, Google is making it easier for developers to modify their apps and take advantage of the larger screens of tablets, which should stimulate the creation of apps designed for Android tablets," said Ovum's analyst Nick Dillon.