While You Wait For Android 4.0, Android 4.1 Hits The Android Open Source Project

The developer community was excited yesterday when Google’s Jean-Baptiste Queru announced that Android 4.1 had been released in AOSP, but what exactly does that mean for us consumers? Well, for the majority of mobile consumers, not much — considering most of us are still waiting for Android 4.0. For those who purchase Nexus devices and/or root their devices: it means Jelly Bean is on the way.

With Android 4.1 now in AOSP, developers can download the source code and compile their own version of the OS to get out to the masses via custom ROMs. For years, this has been the main advantage and argument for rooting and ROMing: to ensure you receive the latest version of Android.

Version 4.1.1_r1 is the published version and should be the starting point for Jelly Bean once it hits our devices. If you’re an unrooted Nexus owner, you’ll be happy to know that proprietary binaries are available for Nexus 7 and Galaxy Nexus, with the Nexus S and Xoom soon to follow. While we’re still at the mercy of the carriers, that at least means they have the tools necessary to start “testing” and preparing to provide us with some OTA Jelly Bean.

I’m torn between excitement and despair as I realize Jelly Bean is right around the corner, yet most consumers haven’t even received Ice Cream Sandwich. Carriers should be ashamed of themselves for keeping the average Android user in the past and contributing to the tarnishing of the Android experience, but they aren’t and it’s unfortunate for you and I.

Thankfully we have an amazing developer community to provide us with the tools necessary to keep us up-to-date without having to dish out unnecessary money just to get a device with the latest version of Android. So expect some Jelly Bean ROMs very soon, and if you’re a non-Nexus owner against rooting and ROMing, expect Jelly Bean sometime next year.