Many were disappointed early this year when Google didn’t want to open source Android 3.0 Honeycomb, and for good reason. Google promised from the beginning that they will make and keep Android open source. So far so good, but with Honeycomb they refused to do it. Their reasoning was that Honeycomb was only a tablet OS, that was also not very ready for the whole of the Internet to get their hands on it, and they didn’t want that version to be tortured and put into phones and whatnot. That makes sense of course, but maybe Google shouldn’t have released Honeycomb in the first place if it wasn’t ready for prime time.

Now, they say, we’re going to have Android 4.0 open sourced, which means all the ROM developers out there will be happy to use it to upgrade their ROMs to it. The problem is we don’t know exactly when this will happen. Will it be after Google Nexus launch, or before? The CEO of Notion Ink, says we’re going to see it open sourced on November 17th:

That would make sense, since it’s also the day the Galaxy Nexus is going to be launched in other countries. So I’m guessing instead of letting developers strip the ROM out of Galaxy Nexus, they’d rather just release it themselves. Maybe if we’re lucky we’re going to see a stable version of CM9 with Android ICS by Christmas, as well as other ROMs with it. Some people with older phones may already have Gingerbread, while others don’t find it worth the trouble to root or upgrade to Gingerbread through a ROM, but I think a lot would find Android 4.0 worthy of that.