Android OS Fragmentation Not Bad, But Hardware Issues Remain
According to recent January 2011 reports on the Android Developer site, Android may not be as fragmented as initially thought. The stats show that 87.4 percent of users are at least on an Android version 2.1 or higher, which means legacy devices may not be a support or fragmentation issue. What are the implications? Read on…
Check out the numbers on the right, which are as of Jan. 4, 2011. The Android Developer site updates these figures every 14 days or so. The numbers, which show that 35.5 percent of Android devices are running Android 2.1 and 51.8 percent are running Android 2.2, are good news for the Android development community. What’s more, it shows that carriers or users are updating their devices to the latest and greatest operating systems and the support for the structure of Android OS is solid. It may also imply that device manufacturers are wising up, instead of shipping Android devices with outdated versions of the dynamic OS.
But while it’s nice to know that Android users aren’t using outdated software, there remains the issue of device functionality. And here’s where the fragmentation issues still persist. Not all Android handsets are created equal, so hardware fragmentation remains. Screen resolution, CPU speeds, GPU subsets, RAM and storage space all are factors that Android developers need to take into consideration when building apps.
Still, this feels analogous to everyone finally jumping on Windows 7 instead of trailing with Windows XP. Even without the same hardware, at least the operating system is being adopted up and into the future, setting standards and eliminating (some) handset confusion.