Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Google’s Big Fragmentation Issue And Control Is Needed Now

Wireless Week blog post is emphasizing the Android fragmentation issue.  I happen to agree with them 100%.  

When a mobile user buys an Android device, he or she ought to be able to know the carrier and device maker will provide a timely update.  Right now, most devices ship without Gingerbread for one reason or another.  And that simply is a fact of life.

However, the users has to be given assurances that a forthcoming update will be weeks away, not months.  This creates havoc for the market and the developers trying to create apps for it.  What's worse is that developers end up exacerbating the situation by picking and choosing which devices they are willing to support.

And in the past, I've blasted Google for this.  But we know by now that Google simply doesn't have a handle on the problem.  So I turned my attention to the developers.  They obviously only care about selling apps and accepted that fragmentation is a fact of life in Android-dom.

Wireless Week's made a very good point.  The Android ship cannot have more than one captains.  What's worse, each 'captains" have his or her own agenda and going into the direction they want Android to go.

In a recent developer data released by Flurry, developers are abandoning Android and once again embracing Apple's iOS platform.  The reason is simple.  Despite having a larger share of the mobile market, Android app development isn't what it can be.  And with multiple OS versions and dozens of devices to support, it makes sense for developers to concentrate on just a few or abandon the market and go else where.

From Q1 to Q2, Android project starts were down 8%.  Meanwhile, iOS gained 8%.  And that's not all, with 28% Android app developments started, you have to dig deeper and realize that some apps will support only a certain number of devices.  And if you're talking about high-end devices, that number becomes even smaller.  

Basically, Android developers are then forced to choose which segments of the Android market to support because of the OS fragmentations and mix of devices.  

Folks, this is not the way to go.

Must Read:  Wireless Week.

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