Android versions and variations: great data, terrible wallpaper

A visually striking graphical representation of all the Android devices out there.

Here is something I want to present nearly without comment: a visually striking graphical representation of all the Android devices out there.

android_frag_opensignal_0.jpgImage via OpenSignal
A whole bunch of Android devices, carved up by color.

Compare that to the standard Android Version Platform chart, which seems much less sliced up.

It was put together by OpenSignal, a great service that crowd-sources cellular voice and data reception maps from actual humans experiencing real signal loss around the world. The text points out that global fragmentation has problems and advantages: spread and reach, versus conformity and predictability. But just look at something like the screen size possibilities (and be sure to click over to the original for bigger, interactive views.

screen_sizes.jpgImage via OpenSignals
Android screen sizes, distributed across frames

The typical responses in the positive realm are along the lines of "Great for Google, because they're all going online and seeing ads," or "Look at that huge international reach across all price points!" The typical negative responses are akin to "What a nightmare to develop for that world," or "It's the quality and engagement of users, not the raw numbers."

I just think it's a remarkable chart, because it works both ways. Just don't set it as your desktop background, because, man, it is jarring.

Thanks to my coworking partner Jim Brandt for finding and pointing me to this eye candy.

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