This is a huge deal. Ice Cream Sandwich is the biggest upgrade to Google's Android OS since Android 2.2 hit in May 2010, and possibly the most important update ever. From what I've seen so far in a day with the Samsung Galaxy Nexus phone, Android users should be demanding their share of Ice Cream—and it should absolutely make a difference in your phone purchases.
Google lent me an international developer unit of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, the first ICS phone. This isn't the LTE device that Verizon Wireless will be selling in the U.S., but it's roughly the same size and shape with very similar capabilities, so it's a good way to judge what ICS will be like when it hits the USA.
But on the Google Forums, Jean-Baptiste M. "JBQ" Queru, a software engineer on the Android Open-Source Project, warned that "this is a large push," so developers should expect that "it will take some time to complete".
"If you sync before it's done, you'll get an incomplete copy that you won't be able to use, so please wait for us to give the all-clear before you sync," Queru wrote.
The source code is Android 4.0.1, which is the version that will be released on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus.
The release also includes the source code for Honeycomb, but "since Honeycomb was a little incomplete, we want everyone to focus on Ice Cream Sandwich," Queru wrote. "So, we haven't created any tags that correspond to the Honeycomb releases (even though the changes are present in the history.)"
Earlier we gave you the details about the monstrous Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphone, the first to sport Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Now get a look at its main features in the teaser video above. Who's getting one?