Remember back at Apple’s WWDC a few weeks ago when they took pot shots at Android? The company claimed their platform adoption rate is far superior to Android’s, with even the oldest of their smartphones able to get hooked up with the latest updates. We figured Google was going to respond to those claims and they didn’t disappoint.
As we expected, Sundar Pichai brought up the fact that a lot of Android innovation no longer comes from core firmware upgrades. Instead, they come from upgrades to apps and the Google Play Services platform, which is available to 93% of people running Android (mostly dating back to Froyo).
Google Play Services allows Google to bring new security and usability features across the board. Google Play Games is one such user-facing feature that was made available without having to wait for firmware updates from OEMs. Google reaffirmed the fact that updates to apps and Google Play Services gets to users within six weeks, which is perhaps the fastest turnaround you’ll see in the mobile space.
Apple’s expert twisting and skewing didn’t fool us techies into believing their platform isn’t fragmented. Sure, many of those older iOS devices do get the “latest updates,” but what they fail to tell you is that older phones are often missing some of the latest and newest features that Apple shows off. Whether that’s due to hardware limitations or a ploy to get people to buy the latest phone can only be answered by Apple, but the point is that Android is no worse than iOS when it comes to fragmentation, and in fact it is even better. Don’t let Apple tell you otherwise.
- Leak: Wear & Play Services
- IO 2014 source code published
- Video: IO dev sessions
- Google Play Services 5.0 out now