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Android hardware and software fragmentation visualized

By Shawn Knight · 9 replies
Jul 30, 2013
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  1. App maker OpenSignal has published a new report on Android fragmentation and despite what Google may say about the situation, it’s far from under control. By looking at more than half a million Android devices that downloaded the company’s Wi-Fi...

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  2. gamoniac

    gamoniac TS Guru Posts: 303   +71

    If fragmentation is good for providing choices, it does little to enforce post-sale device support. Case in point, both my Android devices (2.0 and 4.0) were literally abandoned by their manufacturers (Samsung and Lenovo respectively) less than six months after they hit the market. (The Lenovo tech guy even suggested that I root my barely six-month old device to upgrade to 4.1, which would void the warranty... seriously).

    I recognize this is not Google's fault, but the bottom line is they have no control over it. Burnt twice as a consumer, I will avoid Android device unless it is made by Google (eg Nexus line), or go with another OS that has better post sales support. * I am not sure about Samsung's post-sale support in recent years.
  3. mobilevangelist

    mobilevangelist TS Rookie

    As daunting as the first graphic looks, the Android OS allows developers to account for all of the different screen sizes. A good Android developer will not have (much of) a problem with screen sizes and resolutions.

    The issue is Android internals. What's missing from the second graphic is all the fragmentation as a result of the manufacturers and/or carriers creating their own flavor of Android. Android 4.1 from Google is not the same as 4.1 from Samsung or HTC. That's what gives Android developers fits.

    As gamoniac points out, that's not Google's fault, but without exerting some kind of control through certification or the like, it's not going to get better any time soon. Their move with the Google Edition phones is a step in the right direction as hopefully users will find that the best Android is the one that Google meant for you to use (even if it is missing a few cool features).
  4. misor

    misor TS Evangelist Posts: 1,232   +229

    no longer holds true.
    Samsung has released cheap android 4.xx smartphones costing about 80-120$ for the Philippine market and presumably other markets where low cost is the primary consideration.
    Cherry Mobile, also an android smartphone (and tablet) maker, has also released sub 100$ android 4.xx smartphones for the Philippines (and India, I think).
  5. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 1,919   +595

    If my next phone isn't a Nexus, it'll be a Windows phone... if they're still around.
  6. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Posts: 2,920   +629

    Saw this a couple days ago. It's pretty much a graph of all Android handsets and software versions. Not fragmentation.
  7. PinothyJ

    PinothyJ TS Guru Posts: 451   +21

    You, you are an fool. Those are exactly the same thing. The graphs shows the fragmentation of OS versions -_-.

    Le sigh...
  8. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Posts: 2,920   +629

    Alright, I'll rephrase. It's not 'fragmentation' in the sense of "spread software versions causing issues" that people like to make a deal of. We need to define this better.

    I can just make a graph of all flower species and say "HURRR SO FRAGMENTED".
  9. Divvet

    Divvet TS Member Posts: 57   +19

    Sigh, I love how you call someone a fool, yet the correct use of grammar escapes you.

    As St1ckM4n points out, this is not fragmentation, you could do the same for Windows versions and PC manufacturers and you would get the same sort of graph.

    Fragmentation ended in Android with Gingerbread when Google separated allot of the OS in to separate applications, which allowed easier updating of the phone.

    Apple has similar fragmentation. Yes most their devices get updated to the latest iOS on release, but not every model gets all the features available in that latest update. This is fragmentation as well.

    So, a pointless article, clearly no understanding of the actual situation.
  10. Divvet

    Divvet TS Member Posts: 57   +19

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