Google sent the source code for its Android 4.0 system update to developers in early November, and they are now free to tinker with the system and add different features to the customizable operating system. One of those features includes hacking Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and building a version that can be downloaded before the official version is sent out to certain devices.
A group called CyanogenMod 9 is already wildly popular with tech folks who love to customize their devices to the nth degree. They've announced they have received the Ice Cream Sandwich code and are now working on a version for download that could be ready in as little as two months, tech blog Slashgear reported.
One popular hack CyanogenMod already did this year was to build an Android version for use on the webOS-powered HP TouchPad tablet.
The Ice Cream Sandwich build Cyanogen is working on is essentially an app, like many apps already available in the Android Market. There is no final date set for when it will be completed, but it won't come soon enough for those who don't want to wait for their smartphone manufacturer to issue their own official release of the next-generation operating system.
Once the Galaxy Nexus goes on sale, Google can decide at anytime to let Samsung, HTC, Motorola and others begin to roll out the system in a series of over the air updates. Galaxy Nexus will be the first device to be sold with the highly-anticipated Android 4.0.
Because there has been no official word on who gets the update or when, anyone who is willing to hack their device could be able to use the Cyanogen app to replicate Ice Cream Sandwich on their device. People with newer devices may not want to tinker with their new phone, and they'll have to wait for the OTA update. For older devices, the problem is two-fold. Whichever manufacturer made the device could opt to eschew the Android 4.0 update because it may not be able to run on older hardware. But, those same devices may be able to run the ported version from CyanogenMod once it is ready and before the manufacturers even decide which devices to send out the official version to.
Tell us in the comments if you'll hack your device or wait and see when your manufacturer decides to send out Ice Cream Sandwich.