While unrooted Sprint HTC EVO 3D owners still have yet to receive a Sprint-branded Ice Cream Sandwich ROM for their phones, things are much different in the root world: Not only have EVO 3D owners had fully-functioning Ice Cream Sandwich ROMs for the past few months, but we’re also looking at potentially getting Jelly Bean ROMs in the next few days.

Android 4.1 – a.k.a. Jelly Bean – is the next version of the operating system after Android 4.0.x – Ice Cream Sandwich – which Sprint promised to deliver to the HTC EVO 3D between last month and the end of this month. While there are still 21 days left in that timeframe, it’s looking more like like Jelly Bean ROMs will arrive for root users before deployment of Sprint’s ICS OTA even starts.

What is available right now in the Jelly Bean ROM world is a “flash at your own risk” non-functioning development ROM, meaning it does not boot but does do some promising things and produce logs. While that may not sound like something to be excited about as an end user, as a developer it’s backflipping time.

Android 4.1 is not the giant leap over Android 4.0.x that ICS was over Gingerbread, which should mean that things that work on ICS for the EVO 3D (which is every bit of hardware now) should be fairly easy to port to the new JB framework; the massive reinventing of the wheel that was required for ICS should not need to be repeated.

There’s a lot of work ahead for the developers, and absolutely no timeframe guaranteed, but it’s an interesting work in progress to watch and once again an exciting time to be rooted and not waiting on Sprint to get their software together.

[xda-developers]