Exaggerated and undervalued Android fragmentation


I compile caused you in the discussion yesterday, it is thought the Android open and fragmentation cause its experience than iOS. Walk so iOS “reference” Android after these functions can give users a better experience.

this returned to a classic problem: Android fragmentation how serious?

Game Oven well describes the Android fragmentation of the status quo of its reference this Vine is especially classic short video:

(can’t see the short video friends please self-provided ladder)

7 different Android devices running on the same electronic compass application, is completely different results.

Android fragmentation, already has been exaggerated, and been grossly undervalued. Because of from which Angle you observe.

exaggerated Android fragmentation

exaggerated is the version of the fragmentation system.

Google’s efforts to reduce the Android version differentiation has been showing results. About three-quarters of the currently existing Android devices have been used more when new 4 X system. But more importantly, Google has put its core Services (such as maps, payment, etc.), notifications, push out Android encapsulated into the software level, Google Play Services.

by the move, Google can bypass the carriers and handset makers, directly to the user to push Google service system (API) + application updates. Even mobile phone makers no longer to users to upgrade the firmware, Google can still through the cloud to make these users enjoy the latest application and API, Google system version is no longer as important as he used to be. Last year’s Google I/O conference we have seen, Google has just announced a new maps API, these functions through Google Play Services update push to most of the Android mobile phone calls for developers, even if the phones are still running the old version of the operating system. Google’s cloud services to bridge the system version fragmentation.

undervalued Android fragmentation

at the same time, the hardware level of fragmentation is intensifying. OpenSignal sketch released last summer, can let we intuitively see Android fragmentation of hardware:

Android fragmentation of itself is not necessarily a bad thing, it is deeply rooted in Google in the past for all relevant decisions. “Open” and “diversity” will make this kind of finely divided. Android devices price range from $50 to $600, hardware difference is closely related to the price difference, I don’t think there are ways to bridge the differentiation of hardware. If a system hopes to include thousands of manufacturers, including a variety of user requirements and price range, the nature can also lead to various appear on the market a variety of different configuration of the equipment.

there is a price to be way apple soft hard couple, apple products co., LTD., covers only a narrow price range (and screen size), and its success will be limited to the part of the market. But apple because of the “limited” and “closed”, it can be predicted. Android diverse consequences also widely, more price, more abundant equipment, a broader market, cell phone after all can afford $50 people always more than $600 to buy mobile phones. However, it also make Android fuzzy boundaries, the results of unpredictable chaos region.

is not only a compass example above, almost all of the hardware and the development to the Android there will be complicated. Android is difficult to put the NFC into the mass market is near. Developers cannot understand how many user devices have NFC (of course a lot on his mobile phone users themselves also don’t know if I have any NFC).

since the Android hardware on the fragmented nature of evil – all involves the integration of hard and soft for the future of innovation is almost impossible to produce on the platform. We also see: the fingerprint on the iPhone 5 s experience, and all the factory follow work of Android all does not have availability.

apple hardware, the ecological Google take the ecological cloud

as a result, Google and apple chose a totally different path. Apple continuously towards the integration of hardware and software experience (iBeacon, fingerprint identification, M7, Mac OS x and iOS device communication, etc.), Google that apple more than anybody in this area is difficult. Through Google Play cloud Services, and machine learning, Google is the Android ecological migration to the cloud. Apple cannot rival Google in this field.

paradox: equipment VS cloud

in between these two kinds of ecological pattern, developers into a dilemma. On the one hand, Android has more users, it seems that it is easier to enter; On the other hand apple ecological internal Nemesis standing is difficult, but it provides limited choices instead of saving the cost of development. Samsung sold in different regions of the Galaxy phone actually have different camera driving, you develop an application might collapse on the han edition of the Galaxy, work well in Europe, or collapse in two… As a developer, how would you choose? Your time is limited, the fund is limited, must develop applications for the next round of financing as soon as possible. Choose iOS also understandable, so the current application of most innovative or first appeared on the iOS platform.

which platform in the future will be more innovative? If you agree with Game Oven’s point of view, the innovation is still the iOS first, then turn to Android (even couldn’t appear on the Android). But also some people think that the innovation of the future will be more appear in the field of cloud rather than local application or hardware level, so Google will beat apple in his comfort zone.

it’s a pity that the second view will face a paradox. Assume that all the best in the future in the cloud, the user may be more inclined to according to the design, quality, comfort, and work to choose equipment. Logic is simple, the service in the cloud, in the service level has no difference between different devices, device with Android devices and apples were similar to that of cloud services, by this time the user to select equipment must be more from the hardware itself… While apple does best is to create exquisite hardware.

this sort of thing has happened. Web once saved apple more than 10 years ago. The rise of the Internet to some extent weaken the Mac ecological and Microsoft PC at the software level between a huge gap. Users can buy iMac without having to worry about lack of software.

if the cloud is the future, the apples in this completely is a loser in the future?

at the end of the text’s discourse:

this article main reference Bendict Evans.

this discussion about Android fragmentation does not involve other caused by the lack of “over-the-counter factors” Google service of Android in China.

often watch readers should know that I am not fan of hunting cloud (but Google Fanboy). But to see some friends too lightly come to the conclusion that “apple is to decline”, I still can’t agree. Apple is in the past few years, the future for a period of time will still be the world’s most good at software and hardware integration of innovative consumer electronics companies, it still has the best mobile phone and tablet applied ecology. And over the past year, apple showed innovation vigor, the WWDC apple is to convey to the outside world vision for their own development path self-confidence: lock the best ecological into integrated hardware and software integration. Ignoring the strengths of the apple is not the right thing to do, even if you hate the company and its business model. Of course, I will in the next article with apple as the theme, said the first.

pictured above from