Over the past week, ROM Manager extraordinaire Koush has been frantically working on making a working build of CyanogenMod 9 (Ice Cream Sandwich) for the Samsung Nexus S. The custom ROM, which is built purely from the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), has now reached �alpha 11.� All major features are present and no significant bugs remain. It�s too early to say that the build is ready for prime time or mission-critical work � the final release of CM9 is due in the new year � but it�s certainly stable enough for daily use. If you want to see CyanogenMod 9 in action, we�ve embedded our hands-on video at the end of this story.
In comparison to Kwiboo�s custom ROM for the Nexus S, the first ICS build that we covered last week, Koush�s version definitely runs a lot smoother/faster � there�s less sporadic lag, and the interface feels more responsive. Unlike the Kwiboo build, Google Wallet and setting a mobile data limit work in CM9. All of the usual CyanogenMod features are there, too � it�s pre-rooted, ROM Manager is installed, and of course there�s absolutely no bloatware cruft.
To install CyanogenMod 9 for the Nexus S, head along to XDA-Developers and grab the latest alpha build, and the �Google Apps addon.� Then follow our previous instructions for how to install a custom ROM, but skip the first step. Install the CM9 zip first, and then once the phone reboots into Ice Cream Sandwich, repeat the process with the Google Apps zip.
Incidentally, the first 50 seconds of the video show the Galaxy Nexus boot screen � it�s nothing to do with CyanogenMod, or Ice Cream Sandwich. Presumably Koush just liked the animation (it�s very pretty) and threw it in for fun.