updated 09:00 am EDT, Fri October 21, 2011
Android 4.0 to be hacked on to Nexus S 4G soon
Google's Android 4.0 has started to unofficially make its way on to onto Android devices other than the Galaxy Nexus. Users who have access to the developer SDK have started hacking the OS onto devices that have yet to get official manufacturer support. The first to get the Ice Cream Sandwich treatment is the Nexus S 4G, which is the easiest to target because of its plain vanilla installation of Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) and unlocked bootloader.
However, Andy Rubin has already intimated that Ice Cream Sandwich will be made officially available on the Nexus S within the next few weeks, which will make such efforts redundant fairly quickly. Hacks for other devices are also sure to follow, as it is likely to be six or more months before most other devices running Android 2.3 are likely to get official Ice Cream Sandwich support based on previous device update history.
Another hurdle for hackers to overcome in trying to install Android 4.0 on other devices will also be whether manufacturers have locked the bootloader on their devices. While not an insurmountable challenge, locked bootloaders also make it much more difficult for users to install custom ROMs on their devices.
Manufacturers, including Motorola, have suggested that where possible, newer Android devices will ship with unlocked bootloaders. Part of the reason Android devices have shipped with locked bootloaders has been due to carrier pressure. Carriers have insisted devices remain locked, so that their bloatware can remain installed on user's devices so that the might utilize their premium services.
Google has recognized this particular issue and tried to address it in Android 4.0. Google has said that users will now be able to remove any app from their homescreen, if not entirely from their devices. [via Android Central]