The text below is for everybody. You don’t have to be insane to understand it.
Android’s fragmentation is a topic which everybody wants to throw themselves at. I witness, it got itself two teams, one referring to it as a bogeyman and the other states, it will eventually bring Android to a Catch-22.
After going through the topic, surfing between neat, well written articles, I arrived to a point, people on both the teams have just signed up for the fan club, without even bothering to dig deep or they are just arrogant about badging their choice, no matter what the scenario beholds.
Fragmentation has multiple definition on its own or you may say the same concept caters to different entities.
Run the clear all syntax within the console of your brain and lets get started with a blank screen. Now think of Android as a whole substance comprising both the software platform and the hardware.
Fragmentation, is very loosely defined as several characters sharing the same soul, but still they are different individuals. I made this up on my own, it helps you to understand the concept, atleast here. Let’s extend this ‘character-soul’ analogy to Android. There are many flavors when it comes to Android, in brands that manufacture devices, OEM UIs, Android versions itself but they all make up an Android. So, you have Androids serving as the soul to multiple and distinct characters. Fragmentation branches to different Android versions, devices and OEM skins.
So, what problems does fragmentation offers ?
We will absorb the whole feel as we read along the article.
What follows immediate next is how the Android team protects the most popular open source mobile platform. The big & awesome reply, Android Compatibility Definition.
Android Compatibility Definition, is a set of rules which help individual apps to map to compatible devices. For this, Android Market had to be licensed to Google and not made open. What it does (the best) is, hide incompatible apps from the Android Market when viewed from your Android device. Trust me, it’s a huge favor. Amazon’s Android market has an awful filter and many suffers the fiasco. This is the bird’s eye view. Now let’s take it down to the roof.
Androids - Small, Big, Fat, Thin
Android comes in so many shapes and sizes. Android Compatibility Definition states that for a device to port with an Android Market, it got to have a touchscreen, camera, bluetooth transceiver, and GPS. That help developers to get started with some ground rules at hand but still so many different screen resolutions and single-multi core processors clocked at different speeds always limit apps to certain devices. The relatively older devices often don’t end up running apps high on resources.
Sense, TouchWiz, Are You Seriously Talking About Moto Blur?
I am not sure how many of you here, are big fans of stock Android but it’s the customized UI offered by OEMs that makes a consumer badge not only Android but a brand. My favorite will be HTC’s Sense UI but it’s a big battery and resource sucker. So, how does Android Compatibility Definition handles the diversity to unite them under the same roof - Android? Intent. It’s a system through which an Android application request function exclusive to another application. For example, you have a grocery app which does help you pick up stuffs and read the bar-code. Now the app developer don’t have to write the script that reads the bar-code, all he has to do is to pass an Intent to bar-code reader app that’s already in your device to fetch the price and return the result. Remember both apps are mutually exclusive.
So, an application have a set of intent attached to it. If an OEM wants to replace a default Android app, they have to make sure the newly replaced app have the same set of Intents that the default app carried. So, that prevents other third party apps to have broken functionalities. And the solution works pretty well and needless to say we enjoy such varieties of flavor, all serving Android.
When I will get to taste that darn Gingerbread?
Donut, Éclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Oh, they just keep coming thick and fast. Though I think the rapid updates have led to the massive success of Android because they bring so much new to the board and keep on refining the experience but what it also does is leave a huge gathering of consumers crying out for updates.
Multiple versions co-exists in the ecosystem, this is the major frowned upon area in Android Fragmentation. The Android team got to admit this.
Many devices who had their glorious days don’t qualify for current updates . That limits their app spectrum to a certain extent and not to mention they miss the cool new features attached to the updates.
And even if your device have made it to the update list, receiving the update is agonizingly slow.
Reasons for which updates are so late to knock the door of your devices?
- OEM have to figure out the new source code, figuratively, so that the new version runs happy with their custom version of Android.
- OEM does it free of cost, so the energy in the work flow isn’t that much.
- The evil idea of forcing you to get a new device might be a possibility.
Why Apple’s Integrated System Sounds Good To Ears And Tastes Delish?
Because it’s a one man show. Developers just have a handful of devices to concentrate on, all sharing the same resources, a single app market, updates are delivered almost synchronously.
Developers have the freedom to concentrate on just an iPhone, an iPod Touch and an iPad to run their apps on. Consumers are overwhelmed because almost everything in the app store runs on their recently bought devices. Not a single device on the platform tease you by offering a bit more, after just a few weeks, you got yourself a new device. I remember Motorola Droid Razr release a day before Samsung Galaxy Nexus carrying Android Ice Cream Sandwich and now people just treat Razr as a pre-ICS phone. Things with Android changes quickly, too quickly. You never enjoy the ‘hot spring bath’ treatment as long as you do with an iPhone or an iPad. iOS is way more organized for the developers and pleasing for the consumers, atleast in the above criteria.
Don’t just think this article has it all. I have skipped, maybe missed many points to keep it short and readable. If any of you have made it till this, then my exclusive love to you, and I dedicate this moment’s heartbeat to you. Don’t worry there is nothing gay. It’s human and humor. I would love to read your comments, you may take me down, add to my points, abuse me for wasting your time, or if you like my effort to go through a huge number of article and then curating the points in a language read by humans, you can comment down your appreciation and invite others for this enlightenment treat. And hey, there is no business, there is no Google Adsense, look around.