If you are a fan of Android, or even just a fan of open-source projects in general, today's news should serve to make your day just a little bit better. Just a few hours ago, the source code for the next major Android version (Ice Cream Sandwich) began pushing to the Android Git repositories. What this means is that now developers have access to the full and entire source code of Android, which will open the door not only for application development but also for customized ROMs.
After the dry spell of Honeycomb (Google opted not to release the source of this version) developers were stuck with Gingerbread, but now they can move finally right ahead with cooking up some up-to-date ROMs for devices not officially supported by Google.
For example, the folks behind Cyanogenmod, one of the most popular custom Android firmwares, will soon be transitioning to a new version based on Android 4.0 as well. Their work will bring the very latest OS version to a number of devices otherwise not supported.
The release of the source also helps manufacturers, both those Google has approved and those they haven't. For the official manufacturers like HTC and Samung, the release of the source means that they will be able to add their customizations and release updates for their devices.
Of course, they had to have some access to Honeycomb to release tablets, but they had to follow certain restrictions from Google which should be gone now. Unofficial manufacturers have an even bigger break, as they can now release devices with the latest version of Android, which they were unable to do during Honeycomb's lifetime.
Unless you're a developer, there's not much this does for you now, but soon in the future you should start to see the fruits of Android's open nature.[Phandroid]