How much of a problem is Android fragmentation?

TheCount

While I still hear complaints about Android fragmentation from time to time, it seems as if those complaints are much less common than they used to be. Am I just going deaf, or is fragmentation not as much of an issue as it used to be? If it isn’t, what’s changed?

Answer this Question

Answers

3 total
sspade
Vote Up (4)

It is still a concern, but Google Play Services is going a long way towards minimizing the impact. It is a system level process to which Google can push updates to autonomously without any input from the user or carrier. This allows Google to do an end around carriers and manufacturers that are notorious for dragging their feet with updates, especially with older or lower end devices. Since Google Play Service is compatible with all versions of Android 2.2+, this allows Google to make changes that minimize the impacts of fragmentation. In fact, I have an old Android Phone running vanilla 2.2 Froyo that I use over WiFi only, and it is surprising how many modern apps will still run acceptable on it. This devices is rooted and overclocked, but still, it is a seriously old device that is still reasonably functional. Fragmentation does pose issues for devs and it would be nice if new versions of Android OS were quickly pushed out to most users, but it is not as serious of a problem as some would have you believe. Google is obviously aware of the issue, and I suspect Google Play Services is only a first step to make it less of a problem.    

sspade

After I wrote my answer, I did a little more reading and came across an article on Ars Technica that discusses Google Play Service in some detail. If you want to read it, you can find it HERE.  
jimlynch
Vote Up (2)

Sspade, your link didn't come through in your post but I think this is the Ars article you mentioned:

Balky carriers and slow OEMs step aside: Google is defragging Android
http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/09/balky-carriers-and-slow-oems-step...

Ask a question

Join Now or Sign In to ask a question.
Basically it's a Galaxy Tab 4 with Nook software pre-installed. Pretty disappointing.
A modified version of Android uses a system of modularized plugins to help make sure the latest security tools make it into the hands of end users as quickly as possible.
Columbia's Cycada might let you run iOS apps in Android. Plus: Is the Motorola Shamu the first Android Silver phone? And Apple's parternship with IBM could be a big blow to Android.
Uber has hired David Plouffe, a former campaign manager for President Obama with deep ties to the White House, to help it enter new markets and bolster its fight against taxi competitors.
Sprint's got a new CEO and the company is getting serious about catching up to its rivals with a new family data sharing plan.
HTC announced the HTC One (M8) smartphone for Windows todayl it's available exclusively at Verizon Wireless for $99 on a two-year contract.
As Microsoft chases the low-end phone market where Android dominates, it could be neglecting one of its core strengths: productivity.
Venture capital fundraising has picked up steam in the U.S., with cloud computing, mobile technology and robotics getting solid backing.
Google is preparing to launch a subscription music service called YouTube Music Key for $9.99 per month. Plus: Sony has released the waterproof M2 Aqua Android phone, and should you fear Facebook Messenger for Android?
In the short term, not much has changed. But don't despair. Over the long term, the new unlocking law is likely to deliver all the benefits promised.
Join us:
Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Tumblr

LinkedIn

Google+