Google Wants to End Android Version Fragmentation

Thu, Apr 1, 2010

Android, Mobile

Android has long been criticized for the fragmentation that is obvious across all of the current phones on the market. Here’s the problem laid out simply: Any one Android phone may not have the same version as any other Android phone, causing the fragmentation issues. Thus, app developers do not have the same capabilities across all phones and all phones do not take advantage of the latest Android features. For instance: The HTC Droid Eris has Android 1.5, the Nexus One has 2.1, HTC G1 has 1.6 and so on.

Well, Google is finally looking at fixing these issues. The first strategy is simple: Stop developing new versions so quickly. The latest versions of Android appear to be very refined and streamlined especially compared to earlier versions so this wouldn’t bring down the quality. For reference, Google developed 4 different Android versions in less than a year.

The second strategy is to separate the core apps from the OS. What this means is that apps could be simply updated from the Android Market not requiring a new OS update to receive new features on these core apps. A good move, considering only Google moderates the market, not the handset maker or service carrier.

This plan is expected to take effect with the next OS release which currently does not have a release date.

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  4. Free Apps Still Conquering Android – Why?
  5. Google Adding Flash Support in Android 2.2

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Talor is a Contributing Editor at Frisky Mongoose focusing on the mobile side of the social gaming world.

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  • Dd

    Eris is on 1.5

  • Talor Berthelson

    Corrected, thanks.

  • Mike

    With all the media apps, as a developer I would love for the MediaPlayer Service to be independent of the Android distribution. Then features could be added and bugs fixed, which would allow Android applications to improve more rapidly. Thx Goog.

  • Talor Berthelson

    Yes, I agree. I think making the core apps separate from the OS is a very smart idea.