updated 06:25 pm EST, Mon November 14, 2011
Google posts shipping Android 4 source
(Update: ready) Google late Monday started posting the source code for Ice Cream Sandwich. The Android 4.0.1 code is the same as that shipping on the Galaxy Nexus and will be the basis for nearly all of the first wave of Android 4.0 phones from others. Code hadn't finished going live as of early evening on Monday and might not be completely ready until later.
The OS release is the first major revision to get source code from Google since Android 2.3 last year. Google withheld Android 3 source code under the claims that its rush to get it on shipping products and have an iPad rival left it with code that wasn't really usable by outside developers. Critics have noted that the lack of code conveniently prevented white box tablet makers from forcing Android 3 on to the seven-inch screens they often use. Small tablet support didn't come until Android 3.2.
Google usually release source code around the launch of the smartphone that uses it, supporting notions that the Galaxy Nexus is ready to go for at least some carriers. Bell and Virgin won't ship until December, though, and rumors have emerged that Verizon might do the same.
Update: Google updated to confirm that the source code should now be completely ready.