It’s taken the better part of a year, but the developers of the popular CyanogenMod version of Android have released the first stable build based based on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. CyanogenMod 9 is now available for download for several dozen phones and tablets.
The last stable version of CyanogenMod was CM7.2, which is based on Android 2.3 Gingerbread. It took a while for the CyanogenMod team to update because of the many difference between Android 2.3 and Android 4.0.
The updated to CyanogenMod 10 (based on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean) is expected to happen much more quickly.
In fact, the developers have already announced plans to start offering early nightly builds of CyanogenMod 10 soon.
CyanogenMod and other custom ROMs provide alternatives to the Android software that probably came with your phone or tablet. If you can root your device and unlock the bootloader (which may void your warranty in some cases), you can install CyanogenMod or another custom ROM tailored for your device.
It’s based on the Android Open Source Project, but includes a number of performance tweaks and customization options for a variety of devices. It’s also available for some mobile devices that have yet to receive official Android 4.0 updates from their manufacturers. Unfortunately, as previously stated, the CyanogenMod team has also decided not to offer CyanogenMod 9 for some older devices such as the Google Nexus One, due to hardware limitations which would impede overall software performance.