Fragmentation has been quite an issue on android, with iOS users outrightly flagging it on Android fanboys. Well, there are just so many android versions and no coherent correlation between them. Unlike Android, Apple has been doing pretty well with their OS as far as updating their mobile OS and transferring power to more recent versions is anything to go by. When an iOS update is released, it usually is adopted in nearly two thirds of devices within just a month’s time.
The android fragmentation problem has been fixating programmers since they must make sure their apps work with each of the versions of android currently in circulation. Manufacturers are also not left unaffected by fragmentation. They have to treat each android upgrade as a new OS for complete testing procedure before they can actually approve it and roll it out to their device users. Part of the reasons why for this is because low end devices tend to do well with earlier releases of the OS. It is still common to come across Android Froyo devices selling on the low end sections of major online retailers, including Amazon.
Google’s co-founder Rich Miner is of the opinion that the fragmentation problem is still ‘overblown’, citing that average android users are happy with the experience their device offers. But categorizing the average android user as ignorant of OS updates comes across to me as a bit of generalization.
Any Foreseeable Solution to the Fragmentation Problem?
In a notable achievement, Google released statistics this week that Android Jelly Bean had surpassed Gingerbread as the most-used version of android. Considered how hard Google has been working to push the community towards the modernized features present in their latest OS updates, this is a significant step.
With a modern version of android leading the pack, programmers are yet to get their sigh of relief, but they can at least focus most of their development efforts on a version that is sure to yield users for their apps.
Although these statistics are a step in the right direction, it is unlikely that Google will catch up with Apple as far as propagating OS power from update to update is a factor to consider.