Note: Every year, OpenSignal publishes an Android Fragmentation Report, detailing a few conceptions about the relationship between how many different devices there are on the market to how this makes developing for Android more difficult. Everything from OS fragmentation to screen size fragmentation is measured, but in actuality, Google has released countless tools for developers to minimize any hardship there is to get an app working on any and all supported Android devices. Long story short, we enjoy these reports for the pretty graphs detailing all of the phones, not the misleading talk on how Android is a fragmented mess and is scaring developers away. Enjoy.
Fragmentation is an interesting word to Android users. It used to represent how bad Android was with regard to OS updates and app development, but it’s really just the nature of having a free OS available to any OEM that wants to use it. Yes, Google does its best at making updates readily available for OEMs who want to implement them, and powering developers with tools to create the best apps they can regardless of a device’s screen size, but according to the latest Android Fragmentation Report posted by OpenSignal, there is still a long ways to go. (more…)
That chart, situated at the top of this post, represents 18,796 different Android devices that are in the wild, according to OpenSignal’s latest Android “fragmentation” report which looks at the number of devices that have downloaded their app over the last couple of months. That, is a lot of devices. In fact, in last year’s report, OpenSignal reported that there were 11,868 different devices, which means we saw a 60% growth year-on-year. In 2012, that number stood at 3,997 individual Android devices. Calling the growth of the Android platform “impressive” would be an understatement.
So what’s the point of this report? OpenSignal wants to show the level of “fragmentation” in Android devices, to somehow relate that back to the benefits and negatives it creates for developers. Mostly, they point out the negatives, but do note that the range of devices in the Android world also makes the opportunity for developers greater than any other platform.
We really just like looking at this report for the neat charts and to see which devices and manufacturers are leading the Android charge. (more…)
See what I did there? While the rest of the world is spouting off in their best Honey Badger voice, “Oh my gosh, the Android is just sooo fragmented,” I took the other route. OpenSignalMaps posted this report that shows off the thousands of different devices that have downloaded and installed their app. They even used the words “fragmented” in their findings, however, I’m just not buying the idea that having multiple devices available is a sign of fragmentation. I look at it as choice. Oh who am I kidding, I’m really just sick of every non-Android site with nothing to write about, finding another reason to bring up “fragmentation.” The platform seems to be doing just fine if you look at every market share analytics report over the last 2 years. Again, I’m over it.
But hey, check out these neat charts! Samsung clearly has taken over the world of Android. HTC is a distant second. Verizon is the top carrier. ZTE somehow is smacking T-Mobile in the face. And AT&T is no where to be found.
If you hit up the source link, you can actually hover over each of those tiny boxes and it will tell you which phone, carrier or manufacturer it is. Have fun! (more…)
I really despise this time of the month. Whenever the Android team updates their distribution chart, a barrage of posts from the tech world scream out our favorite word and argument all over again: fragmentation. It never fails. It gets so old, but these industry analysts and pundits can’t help themselves. Do we believe that there is some form of fragmentation in Android? Obviously there is or we wouldn’t have a chart like we do above. Is it a death sentence or end of the world as many seem to make it out to be? Not for a second.
As you can see from the chart, only 2.9% of Android devices today, run Ice Cream Sandwich, the newest version of Android. While that’s frustrating to a point, we know that carriers and manufacturers are feverishly preparing updates for many of their handsets, all of which should be here shortly. This is simply the way Android is and arguably, the way it was meant to be. (more…)
Netflix and Hulu Plus had limited app rollouts because of it. Eric Schmidt and Matias Duarte say it doesn’t exist. Charlie Kindel says it’s the reason Google will lose control of Android. Jon Evans says it’s the single greatest problem facing Android. Sanjay Jha says that carriers require it and he needs it to make money. It’s a subject that Android supporters are tired of talking about and that Android competitors can’t stop talking about. It was the subject of my first official post here at Droid-Life. Fragmentation is still a serious problem.
Yesterday our fearless leader criticized Nokia’s CEO, Stephen Elop, for bringing up Android fragmentation, saying that fragmentation is no longer an issue. While Kellen made some good points about how far Android has come since 2009, I disagree with his conclusion that Android fragmentation is no longer a problem. Four different types of fragmentation remain problematic for Android users. (more…)
So this story from Pocket-Lint is floating around the web today that quotes Nokia’s CEO Stephen Elop. Not that this should surprise anyone coming from the guy that is betting the bank on Windows Phone 7, but he of course referenced Android and this mythical fragmentation problem it has. He is quoted as saying that he doesn’t want fragmentation “being introduced” to Windows Phone because “we are” starting to see it “become a problem” in a “certain other eco-system.” And time for a rant… (more…)
Google’s Eric Schmidt stopped by CES and offered another classic comment that is sure to spark up some interesting conversations for the next couple of days. When asked for the billionth time if Android has a fragmentation problem, Schmidt used the word “differentiation” to describe the platform instead:
“Differentiation is positive, fragmentation is negative,” Schmidt said during an appearance here at the Consumer Electronics Show. “Differentiation means that you have a choice and the people who are making the phones, they’re going to compete on their view of innovation, and they’re going to try and convince you that theirs is better than somebody else.”
“We absolutely allow [manufacturers] to add or change the user interface as long as they don’t break the apps. We see this as a plus; [it] gives you far more choices.”
The fragmentation argument is beyond played out, so I’ll admit that I actually like this take on Android. While most of us are not interested in skins or custom UIs, they do make one phone different from another. And since so many manufacturers produce Android handsets these days, skins are by no means going away any time soon. We just need to see OEMs spend more time putting in polish and adding useful features that would make them somewhat desirable.
Your thoughts? Buying Schmidt’s “differentiation” argument?