All things considered, there aren’t a whole of things you can complain about when discussing Android. Sure… every phone, carrier, and mobile operating system have their strengths and weaknesses, but its impossible to deny that Android is at least NEAR the top of the heap. One thing detractors CAN criticize is a fragmentation problem that seems to grow every month.
We’ve got Android 1.5, 1.6, 2.0, 2.1 and although the hottest handsets are now launching 2.1 there are others – like the Motorola i1 – that are still launching with Android 1.5. The feature set varies greatly and even developing for the different versions take leaps and bounds in different directions. If this problem were to grow it could spell TROUBLE… but it looks like it might not.
According to Engadget, two main factors/approaches will severely bridge the gap of fragmentation:
- BIG UPDATES. Google has been developing features into Android at a ridiculously furious pace, providing huge updates within months. Apparently this “breakneck” speed is over and Google will maintain a more modest pace of releases, although continuing to innovate over time. Think of the iPhone – 1 huge update announced every year.
- LITTLE UPDATES. Want a better version of Google Maps? How about an improved dialer/contacts system that swipes and responds more quickly? Google is looking to push more basic OS elements into the Android Market, meaning they would be able to update core components of the operating system and make them available through Android Market without having to wait for the blessing/testing/approval of various carriers.
Great idea if you ask me, although Google may have fostered this more-more-more/now-now-now attitude to the point of no return. Do you think this two-pronged approach will be helpful or hurtful to Android, its partners and consumers?