Fragmentation!? Google’s Dan Morrill Doesn’t Want to Hear the F-Word Anymore


danmorrillGoogle has no doubt been trying to downplay the use of the word ‘fragmentation’ to describe the state of its mobile OS, but they can’t really seem to tack down any hard evidence that suggests Android is in fact not fragmented. On the Android Developer Blog, Googler Dan Morrill, Open Source & Compatibility Program Manager, has given his two cents on the whole issue.

Going back all the way to the beginning of Android, the use of the term fragmentation in regards to the platform has gone hand-in-hand with its development. Morrill doesn’t want to hear it anymore, and claims an ill-defined criteria for fragmentation has led to excessive and sensationalist reporting on the matter. To him, Android is already set up to make sure fragmentation is a non-issue.

For as much as I love reading the Developers Blog, Morrill’s diatribe does very little to address the elephant in the room. He quickly sweeps the discussion of the term aside to talk about device compatibility. And really, if you read what he says about developers creating apps that won’t work on all systems, he in a sense is proving that fragmentation is a reality. Sure, Google will take care of making sure an incompatible app doesn’t appear in a devices Android Market, but isn’t that the very issue at the heart of fragmentation?


When I can show my good friend who owns an HTC Hero how I can use Navigation in Google Maps and when he tries to duplicate the functionality and his device won’t let him, that’s fragmentation. Fragmentation is when users are clueless and confused as to when they may see a new OS update on their devices. Fragmentation is when new devices are slated to be shipped with OS versions three iterations behind the current one. Fragmentation means that the user experience is not uniform across all devices running the operating system. [I should be clear that when I say uniform I am not suggesting all devices should have the same UI or the same hardware, but merely that all devices should be able to perform the same functions, and yes certain older hardware will become dated and non-compatible.]

Having an Android Market that automatically hides apps from users who can’t take advantage of them isn’t solving fragmentation, it’s avoiding the issue altogether. Heck, some users don’t even get to have an Android Market.

While Google may be sidestepping the fragmentation issue in their rhetoric, they are definitely working on solving the issue in the long-run in terms of software. Future updates that separate core apps from the Android SDK and a more stable once-per-year release schedule should help a great deal, but for now the fragmentation story is more muddled then ever.

I’ll leave Dan Morrill with one more definition of fragmentation: when you announce the latest and greatest version of your OS and users are immediately confused or dissatisfied when learning there is no actual firm plan or announced date for getting it on their handsets. I don’t like to give the iPhone much, but at least we know that when Steve Jobs leaves the stage at the upcoming WWDC, users of his smartphone will know exactly when, where, and how they will receive the latest update.

Kevin Krause
Pretty soon you'll know a lot about Kevin because his biography will actually be filled in!

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  1. Fragmentation. There is Windows XP. Windows Vista (Home Basic, Home Premium, etc, etc), Windows 7 (multiple editions), etc.
    In a large ecosystem, there are going to be multiple versions you have to write for. The flipside is to work on a system that has no variation — one size fits all.
    65 Phones, on 59 Carriers, in 48 Countries, manufactured by 21 OEM’s. (and growing)
    2 (soon 3) Phones, on 1 Carrier, in ?? Countries, manufactured by 1 OEM.
    If you want to count iPod/iPad then also count the tsunami of Android tablets / ebook readers that are coming.

  2. @Danny
    Lets not forget x86 and x64 versions too

  3. I dont think its fragmented, with some very simple code an application can be compatible with all android version, no spaghetti code, no porting, no real hassle other than the lazy programmers that ignore bug alerts

  4. You know, the term “fragmentation” is a very loose term, and can mean different things to different people. When I think of fragmentation, I think of customizations, not versions. There are ALWAYS going to be multiple versions of operating systems on the market. Deal with it. We’re not seeing it yet much with Apple devices, because all the iPhones and iPod Touches have gotten the same updates right along, but that will change with iPhone OS 4.0, which won’t be allowed to run on 1st-gen devices, and will be missing features on non-4th-gen devices. No, fragmentation occurs when varying incarnations of a particular version of a product are introduced. In the Android world, we see this in the form of HTC Sense, Motorola Blur, and so on. These companies have heavily customized the Android OS. It’s not just a different launcher app and a few extra widgets either. HTC Sense devices have heavily customized versions of many of the core applications in the OS. While that’s all fine and well in terms of offering improvements where Google fell short, it becomes a significant problem when Google produces updates, because the stock updates can’t be directly applied to the customized versions of Android. HTC and Motorola have to re-customize the new update with their tweaks before the update can go out. Unfortunately, here we see that one of open source’s greatest strengths is also one of its greatest weaknesses. Now, I’m one to talk, because I love HTC Sense on my Droid Eris, but at the same time I can see where this creates a big problem for getting updates. I will be very interested to see what the designer who worked on WebOS comes up with at Google. Should the stock interface and apps become advanced enough, I may choose that over HTC’s variation, but for now, I’m content to wait as long as necessary to get an update, just because the interface and apps are already so much better than stock.

  5. Is it fragmentation if everything is still backwards compatible? How can someone with 1 year old (computer)phone expect to run the same software that the latest and greatest hardware provides?

    The same thing happens with Iphone… there are quite a few apps that ONLY run on the 3GS. That IS the identical scenario.

    When the Iphone HD comes out, you can be sure there are going to be some upset 3G and 3GS owners that will not get access to all of its new apps. It is the nature of the beast.

    As long as Android provides backwards compatibility to support legacy apps you purchased on previous phones for previous versions I really don’t see how you can get upset at innovation…

  6. I hope google reads this article…

    I have a hero…. and i’m still waiting for the latest HTC update… to get 2.1 … how long would i have to wait before i get froyo?? next year?? :/
    its really annoying …

    Love HTC devices and I love sense , however this is the only reason why i would consider to get another phone… As an user, i want to have the latest android version installed in my phone… period.

  7. I don’t understand why this whole “fragmentation” thing is getting so blown out of proportion.

    Google has SOME unintentional software-side fragmentation. That is natural when some of the first products have already been on the market for over a year. These are CELL PHONES. They are obsolete in 3-6 months and have a lifespan of 12 months.

    What about Apple? A company that INTENTIONALLY creates hardware-side fragmentation to drive loyal owners to purchase multiple versions of the EXACT SAME PRODUCT with minor hardware improvements.

    What is worse? Fragmentation caused by a company pushing software releases to consumers as fast as they can to improve a product FOR FREE or a company that rushes a crippled product to market that then sells, AT FULL PRICE, “upgraded” versions only a few months later with key functionality that should have clearly been included in v1.0?

  8. This is a complete non-issue, raised by the ignorant and those who are trying to spread FUD about Android as a platform.

    I prefer the viewpoint of the analyst who asked is this fragmentation, or the new pace of innovation?

    I say it’s the pace (and price) of innovation. Why are we reframing our decisions and justifications for the iMorons of the world? Remember when iOwners were pissed because they couldn’t get a subsidized iPhone every year? Seems like it’s the only demographic who can’t understand the carrier-subsidy model and plan accordingly.

    Along the same lines, I think it’s sad that Google is planning to schedule releases based on their partners needs, as far as I’m concerned that’s the price of SenseUI/MotoBlur. Cool customizations that will be outdated as soon as the next AOSP build.

  9. The cost of rapid development is a slight overhead in fragmentation. iPhone hasn’t had a major feature update since the App Store came out. No copy-and-paste is not a major feature update, it’s a bug fix. I’ll take some fragmentation over stagnant development, thank you.

  10. on the one hand, having a N1, I really appreciated the idea that anytime the folks at Google dreamed up some awesome or even incremental update to their Android software, they would deliver it to me. I kinduv thought of this as an advantage Android would always have over the Mac folks and spoke more to their tech minded (smarter) audience, rather than mindless, simpletons that want a phone that is shiny and just works, who couldn’t handle a phone that truly changed at the speed of innovation. On the other hand I understand that as good of a phone as the N1 one was, the business model that it came in under failed and so Google has resigned itself to having to work with the carriers. Moving to the once a year updates will help carriers stay more in line with that is the current iteration that the Android team has out, and I guess in the end that serves the masses better. But now the ball falls in the handset developers court… no more excuses for putting out handsets that run on 1.5. Google threw the m a bone, now they have to keep up…

  11. I just wanna know where he got that plush android!

  12. Garbage…

    Despite broader coverage than most other fan blogs, I removed phandroid from my preferred rotation of android news sites a long time ago. Please don’t make me yank it from my RSS feed.

  13. @Jason
    Elaborate please?

  14. The life of a smartphone is not 12 months in most people’s eyes. Maybe if you’re a developer, or gadget geek. But not to the average consumer. These things are worth $600. How much of the US population doesn’t even have a computer yet?? Google needs to ensure these devices get TIMELY updates, at least while the typical consumer is locked into a contract with it, after that let em complain. Or better yet, explain, advertise, and remind them of the difference between the 3 different Android smartphone implementations, so they can choose their path based on facts and their wants/needs rather than what the salesman at the wireless counter tells them (lies, usaully). I personally, dont want to have anything to do with Sense, Blur, or any of the other garbage UI’s slapped on top of Android, because they will only hinder my access to innovation, and probably slow it down too. In time, Google will polish its OS up nicely. And if you’re using your Android phone the way the carriers dont want you to, the junk UI’s are even more cumbersome in my opinion (GV for calls and txt, no carrier “premium” features whatsoever, DATA ONLY PLANS). Personally, I take what Goog gives me, and deal with the temporary shortcomings. I just wish they’d give me access to upgrades early or something so I can better promote the platform…

  15. I just don’t see this as being an issue.

    Android is just now starting to really catch on, since it’s been made available to a cell company that has more than a few customers (sorry T-Mobile), and provided with good, solid hardware to run on.

    I think “Haggie” up top made the best argument. “Fragmentation” is a silly argument. I’ve had 2 phones, and I love them. If someone expects to keep ANY smartphone for more than a year and have it run all of the latest apps, they’re crazy.

  16. The issue of how many old phones have the old OS’ is being dealt with thought. That chart in your article is from 2 weeks ago. They just released new statistics today and you can see a rapid change.
    Android 2.1 has 45%, up 8% from 2 weeks ago.
    1.6 has 27%, down 1% from 2 weeks ago.
    1.5 has 28%, down 6% from 2 weeks ago.
    I’m guessing we will continue to see more improvement like this, although we will also see some devices switching from Android 2.1 to 2.2.

  17. first bad article ive seen @phandroid during the last year…fragmentation means ur getting more updates than any other os…

  18. hero does have navigation on 2.1 just not street view… still pretty good and gets the job done…

  19. Why is the ‘fragmentation’ thing such a big deal? I am happy that android is developing so quickly and that there are a lot of updates. Sure not all phone’s receive the updates as quick as others, some not at all, but that is the manufacturers fault, not googles’.
    The manufacturers can’t keep up with google’s development speed.
    Keep the updates coming google!!!!!!!!!

  20. So nobodies using Froyo then?

  21. Wah wah wah I want a pony.

  22. @Ryan. I take Jason to mean he wants less sensationalized panic articles and more well thought out. I know I do.

    This article. The article complaining about Verizon wanting to make tiered data pricing. And the panic about motor ditching Google maps in favor of a wifi triangulator all come to mind.

  23. Not officially. Google hasn’t even released froyo to the public officially yet.

  24. @Ali I have streetview on mine Hero….hmmmm?

  25. Here’s my latest thought on fragmentation. My 18yr old sister just bought a Backflip from AT&T. She is a college bound kid with just about everything she wants. The Backflip has Android 1.6. She barely understands what that means and more importantly, doesn’t give a damn. The Backflip does what she needs and she loves it. If Motorola/AT&T pushed FroYo to her tomorrow she probably wouldn’t notice. Only people who follow Android blogs and gadget sights give a rats ass about fragmentation. Meanwhile, what fragmentation really means is that Android as an OS is getting better every 4-6 months. Quit bitching sit back and enjoy the new features as you get them… or go buy an iPhone.

  26. While there are many android phones; there are statistically 3 Andorid versions in use. 1.5, 1.6, and 2.1 The other versions are so sparcely used they are statistically insignificant.

    So; Andorid has the same # of OS’s in use as Iphone.

  27. I just upgraded my Sprint Hero to 2.1 last week, and to a customized ROM at that. (So as to avoid losing root.) Sorry, but the current state of Android OS development is close to chaotic. I’m currently on vacation, and before leaving I reactivated my Palm Pre ( to play with webOS again. You know what? I had forgotten how nice webOS is. Palm may have plenty of problems at the moment, but at least fragmentation isn’t one of them. I may just switch back to webOS.

    Oh, and I agree that the sensationalist tone is unnecessary.

  28. Basically what Eric said. And I think the ones bitching about fragmentation that do read the blogs are the early adopters for phones that will never see 2.0…

    Honestly, name me one SPECIFIC application that you are unable to use because you don’t have 2.0+? In most cases, you can’t. Its just wah wah wah I want 2.x. If you want to keep the latest and greatest, you have to upgrade about once a year… it has always been that way, even pre-iPhone. Lucky for Android users, you have the option of rooting to get the latest unofficially.

    Anyway, fragmentation is a given, it doesn’t matter what OS it is… or if it even has an OS. Ever heard that once you buy an electronic device its out of date? It wasn’t made up.

  29. I gotta say that was a very well written piece !
    I agree. When the recently released Samsung Behold with vs 1.5 can only get vs 1.6, why would I ever buy a Samsung phone ? I dont trust Samsung now to keep up with the OS updates. I’ll stick with HTC or Motorola thank you very much.


  30. Holy fuck, where can I get that plush?

  31. Android and iPhone are not comparable.

    1. Google is merely leading a consortium of manufacturers in developing an OS. It does not control the individual members implementation of the OS. iPhone is solely controlled by Apple.

    2. Market segmentation and Product differentiation calls for differences in hardware and software capabilities in the devices in accordance with their cost to value proposition. This is the reason why manufacturers continue to launch devices with older version of the OS.

    3. If every device at different price levels could do everything then how would the high end devices charge a premium.

    4. Even if Google were to release one OS version a year, there is no guarantee that the manufacturers will not release devices with older versions of the OS. Therefore, the critics complaint to Google is like barking up the wrong tree.

  32. Part of the blame should go to carriers and manufacturers too – they are the ones who are often slow to release updates, if at all.

    Android needs to take a more modular approach to updates, as well as making it easier to separate custom GUIs from he base OS.

  33. Man am I sick of these “fragmentation” articles. For crying out loud! You release an “open source” platform that anyone can customize and you are damned. How is a phone being released by manufacturer xyz that is 3 revs behind Google’s fault? First answer me that. Once you come up with a half baked explanation, let’s move on to point two. On currently existing platforms that have customized the open sourced Android OS, how is it Google’s fault as to when the manufacturer of that phone decides to update it? You lay blame on Google, when you should really be laying it on the phone manufacturers. You know, the retards releasing new phones with Android 1.6 on them. Those are the bafoons you should be complaining to and about. The way I look at it, this “fragmentation” is clearly showing who the leaders are in supporting Android with updates. From recent articles, looks like its safe to say we need to stay far away from Samsung devices.

    And PLEASE, stop comparing Google Android to crApple OS. The reason I use Android is because I HATE Apple’s tight control of their iPhone. I don’t give a squat how Apple updates their line. If you read into it, starting with OS 4, there will be f-r-a-g-m-e-n-t-a-t-i-o-n of the Apple line. Yes folks, the 3GS is the only model (and the new one) to get all the features of OS 4. OMG, there will be MASS HYSTERIA because all the sheep won’t know what to do!!!!!!! Oh, we must stop this release or the world is going to come to an end!!!!! Whatever is Jobs gonna do about this fragmentation?????

  34. My Motorola Cliq is still 1.5 – I’m done with T-Mobile and their phones. As much as I love the Android platform, I can’t be promised my phone will be “future proof” for the next two years during my contract. If I am going to spend $200-$500 on a phone and almost $2000 a year on a device I demand it be useful during that time. My Cliq is the biggest piece of garbage ever. As much as the new Android phones coming out are awesome I can’t be promised that updates will ever get applied, seems like the makers push them out and move on.

    This is why I am looking into an iPhone. Not that I like Apple, not that I like the phone. But I know that if I buy it I will receive updates until the phone is phased out by Apple in the next year or two. Not become obsolete as soon as I walk out the door.

  35. @SVT
    I am totally with you! Where can we get a huge plush Android dude like his?!?

  36. The carriers and handset makers will kill android..pure and simple. We are still on 1.5 with 2.1 nary in sight. if our carrier hadn’t locked down our stinkin phone I would have rooted mine already. the average user cannot accomplish this. Hell, I jailbroke my ipod and then iphone in about 15 seconds each with a simple program, and iphone os is supposedly a closed system for goodness sakes. Htc and the carriers are getting in the way, big time. The fact we are having this thread shows fragmentation is an issue, otherwise it would be a dead thread.

    btw, i make good money, but when i buy a smartphone i expect to use it a while, and do not plan or desire to upgrade hardware every year just to get the latest software release for it. Most of the public does not either, im pretty sure of it.

  37. c’mon. You know you’re going to run out and buy whatever phone comes out next with the latest flavor of the month OS and you wont blink at what OS or capabilities your old phone had. Fragmentation? Really? Who the hell cares. Most of us upgrade phones every two years if not sooner by some discounted method or other and we’re only doing it because we’re conditioned to do so. Do you really need the latest turn by turn directions? Is having the latest/fastest/do everything app that critical? I call fragmentation a non issue and as soon as Droid Extreme comes out with 2.2 on it everyone will flock right to that platform and drop their current device. And stop comparing everything to how Apple does things, for crying out loud. This is not the iphone, and thats exactly why I have an incredible and a droid. I don’t care, I love my phone. Want to solve your own fragmentation issue? Upgrade your phone. Want a less expensive solution to your fragmentation issue? Start enjoying the phone you have for gods sake. I’m taking the most cost effective route and enjoying the hardware I have today, not based on whether or not my current phone is going to get some new capability it wasn’t necessarily designed for.

  38. Unless you have 1 software version that you never update and never improve the hardware there will be fragmentation regardless of how you try and slice it….

    Kevin said: “Fragmentation means that the user experience is not uniform across all devices running the operating system.”

    So you admit the iPhone is fragmented too…then why aren’t you yelling about iFragmentation? What about that iPad apps that I want on my iPhone? What about games that only are for the newest iTouch with the faster processor. The stupidest of them all, I want native MMS support on my wife’s 1st generation iPhone.

  39. At least own up to the issue. They know there’s fragmentation so by skirting the issue it makes it worse. If they’d just say “yes there’s fragmentaion and that’s just how it is” it’d be much better. They’d take a hit initially pr wise but it’d blow over and people could start asking HTC or Motorola why they don’t have the latest software.

    And yes iPhone will have this issue soon but not nearly as bad. Google is starting to become more like Apple than I think people want to admit. I’ll be anxious to see what happens now that their OS has caught up and essentially passed Apple in terms of functionality. They’ve already said the updates will be slower in the future so it’ll be just like the iPhone with people waiting for the next new hardware implementations.

  40. Idea 1: make a high-end stock Android phone, a la Nexus One, available on all 4 major carriers. I have Verizon, and I want quick updates, FroYo and beyond, without having to stick with a 550 MHz processor and a bulky, useless physical keyboard (Swype all the way) so I’m waiting to upgrade from my VX9800 until the Incredible gets rooted (or maybe until the Droid Shadow comes out)

  41. You know let’s just be real and call a spade a spade. When I decided to upgrade to a smartphone I did my research. People should grow up and utilize modern technology and become informed consumers. Apple has had success because they make ready to go devices and for the mindless its great. Now that’s not to say they don’t make products that go beyond, but the mindless consumer is their bread and butter. This is about lazy developers, control freak us telecommunication companies and manufactures that care only about profit. As for the market issues, there is a such thing as governments. Not every country allows the private market to dictate things like the US. If you want BET then you pay for it, and give me a break most people in the US buy subsidized phones via contrect extentions. I bought my moment for what it could do, and the kid inside me wanted certain apps and android 2.1. It wasn’t a need just a want and for most of us it is a want. You don’t get mad at a car company because you bought the 2010 version and then they release the 2011 version. While functionality should always be first that doesn’t mean the phones are unusable just outdated. Last time I checked if you can still make a phone call then guess what that’s what your “phone” plan with your “cell phone” carrier was for. Latest and greatest has its pros and cons. Google avoided being what it was against by drawing back on its own phone. Get over it folks, there are plenty of rooted roms out there for popular phones. I’m not saying that google shouldn’t do more but this is a rapidly growing and new platform, that all must agree keeps getting better.

  42. So don’t use the F-word. Whatever you want to call it, people like the iPhone and WebOS style of updating ALL phones at once, so everyone gets the latest and greatest. Surely Google understands that.

    I don’t like the way Google is brushing off this obviously large issue that gets brought up over and over. I don’t like that they pick apart the F-word rather than talk about what people are really upset about.

    Android exists in many versions world-wide, and all want to be on the newest. THAT is the problem.

  43. I’ve had an iphone for about 2 years now I like it but I’m a little bored and wanted to try android for my next phone. After a couple of days researching handsets I’ve decided to wait. Trouble is I want a phone thats going to be supported and receive updates for the next two years. Seems to me that the android handset market is saturated. Too many handsets out now and due to come out. HTC has alot to answer for. How many different handsets do they have out now? People cant expect google to write updates that fit across the board can they? HTC should get behind the desire and keep updates rolling out parallel to the nexus but instead we’ve got the EVO coming out soon. My contracts up in January 2011 and Im glad Ive got time to watch this crazy mess settle down a bit. If I had to buy right now I’d be tempted to go for the nexus one which is always going to get the latest FW first.

  44. I don’t understand the comments I read sometimes about separating the apps from the OS. What difference does that make? Who does it help. If you can’t do navigation on 1.5 phones then that’ll still be the case whether navigation ships on 2.2 or is available separately. Which version of Android is going to be the one that starts this separation anyway? I didn’t hear it mentioned around the time of the announcement of 2.2. So perhaps it’ll be 2.3, which is still some way off.

  45. New features get released with new OS versions. Not every platform will get to upgrade immediately after a new OS version comes out, and some may never get to upgrade. Is that fragmentation, or simply the reality of hardware and software? There are those who always want the latest and greatest, and feel entitled to it. While it’s good business to keep some phones constantly up to date, there’s a limit, too. At some point the software requirements outstrip the platform capabilities. And while some may say that their reasonably new phones are still running an old OS (1.5, 1.6) some of those phones may not have been intended as upgrades. Fragmentation is a good rationalization for why what some users want (the newest available) to be immediately available to all products at the same time, but it’s more of a rationalization than a problem. There have always been products that lag behind the current and always will be. Development isn’t instantaneous.

  46. Oh look. 1.5…. So the hero users take up most of this. HTC aren’t making friends keeping us here. Still waiting…. I know obviously phones cant get updates constantly and with the fact the Hero aparently cant run beyond 2.1 as the flash player is a so called cpu drain and this shows the limit of the Hero. I guess this will be the only and last update for the Hero if it ever comes. Still by November i’ll be upgrading so constant updating is not an issue for me. There is life after the Hero. It’s called the Legend, or the Desire at present.

  47. @phandroid
    Thanks for this article .
    Also for the haters out there I have to say that phandroid didn’t do anything wrong . Phandroid only focused on a problem which is considered a pain for many Android users who doesn’t have Android 2.1 even though their devices are capable of handling the update . As a result , these users can’t enjoy the android market as much as 2.1 users . This is a real problem but there are some people who can’t see father than their 2.1 OS until they become out-dated ! .

  48. I’m a user, not a developer. I have an HTC Hero on Orange UK running 1.5. Awesome phone, and way better than the Nokia I had before.

    The practical issues I have with fragmentation:

    1. When I upgraded from the HTC build of 1.5 that my handset shipped with to the newer, bugfixed build(, several applications disappeared from the Market. I upgrade, and I lose functionality. Great. Not because these apps are incompatible with 1.5; not because there’s any reason they wouldn’t work on my handset – just because they hadn’t been certified for this particular build. It seems to me that the filtering criteria in the Market are too strict – it’s asking too much of app developers to certify that their apps are compatible with each build from each manufacturer.

    2. HTC and Orange are being slow to push out an upgrade to 2.1 (or even 1.6) for my handset. Why can’t I download the new build from Google or a third party and run it on my phone without going for root and voiding my warranty? Once Orange has stopped selling a phone, there’s little incentive for them to spend time creating new builds for it, so people with that phone get frozen in time. Why can’t the hardware developers let users upgrade once the code’s available?

    3. Saying “the life of a handset is 12 months” is not acceptable when mobile providers (in the UK at least) lock you into 18 or 24 month airtime contracts. Realistically, they should have design and support life cycles that are at least as long as the contracts you buy them on. Consumers are entitled to expect that.

  49. I’m going to keep this very brief.

    Android isn’t fragmented. You want hard evidence for something that just DOESNT MAKE SENSE. By your definition Linux is fragmented to HELL. ZIP file format, fragmented. Mozilla Firefox, fragmented. I can go on and on… If carriers are still choosing to use legacy software. Yes, once-per-year release schedule will help with vendors not tripping over QA to try to get another build out the door and developers trying to imagine how something would perform because they have to try to develop for something that their carrier/device maker doesn’t even have yet. It’s their choice. You can’t force them to use 2.1, if you did, there would be a lot of upset vendors. Keep that in mind. I wish I had a voting app and ask how many people are TIRED of this same old topic. We can’t care less about “fragmentation”.

  50. Ok, forget all of this fragmentation arguing. I want to know where to get one of those giant stuffed Androids for my daughter.

  51. Oh one more thing.

    ” don’t like to give the iPhone much, but at least we know that when Steve Jobs leaves the stage at the upcoming WWDC, users of his smartphone will know exactly when, where, and how they will receive the latest update.”

    Let’s stall ALL the devices until ALL of them have 2.2 update ready to roll before we roll out 2.2. How about that?

  52. And how much choice in hardware is there with Apple? It’s easy to say, “they will all receive the latest update” when one source controls the hardware and software. If you like that sort of thing, run with it, but you pay a price. iPhone has never been cutting edge. It was marketed very well and had people convinced it was, but it was feature poor from the start and Android phones are already leaving it in the dust.

  53. All that Google has to do is change their EULA so that manufacturers provide root access. Let us decide ourselves what version of OS and which UI we want to run.

  54. @vlad
    Now thats an idea, wish it would happen…id love to be able to root my phone…

  55. All of these F-Word just means one thing Android is bleeding.

  56. @Vlad, won’t happen. It’s not Google. Carriers don’t want you rooting nor do manufacturers.

  57. it is highly fragmented and that will continue to be an issue. Everyone knows that even if an app shows up in Android market for you that doesn’t really mean it will work on your phone for sure. Just look at the comments of all the people saying it doesn’t work on their phone. Morrill’s tantrum doesn’t change reality.

  58. so reading the comments seams:

    fragmentation = pissed hero owners still on 1.5 (or insert other 1.x version and device)

    that about sum it up?

    Anyone on 2.x think this is a major issue?

    I assume that when 3.x comes out anyone with a device that only has 2.x will then complain about fragmentation too and all 1.x device users at that point will buy iphones, take part in armed revolt, or kill themselves.

    so isn’t the issue more about vendors not updating their phones in a timely manner (or selling hardware that is too borderline to get significant updates in the future?

    I have a droid. I’ve had it since the first week they came out. I see all these new devices and get a bit envious. but then realize that either moto will update me to froyo (and beyond..) or the developers will have custom roms to handle it. So i’ll just wait. When version X comes along that wont run on the droid (or has significant features that wont be included) then I’ll buy a new phone. I hope that I’ll have made the 20 months you need for VZ to upgrade, and I’ll again aim for the latest and greatest device in the hopes that it too can last 20+ months.

  59. I just want to know if the fragmentation whiners and the Incredible/EVO/Galaxy S wankers are actually the same people.

    “Ooo…new! Fast! Shiny! Must! Have! NOW!”

    “Why won’t they update my phone? All they care about is bringing out new devices, existing customers be damned.”

    It would be funny, if it wasn’t so pathetic.

  60. I hate to wait for mfr upgrades before I can enjoy the latest and greatest android OS on my phone.

    We as consumers should have a choice of whether we want to install the mfr programs as addons, or go straight ahead with the naked OS.
    Like how many PC users keep all the HP and Bestbuy sh*ts in their systems now a days than to choose a clean install?

  61. i think what many of us “geeks” as it were, constantly do is update our own knowlege of the latest and greatest android updates. what some of u seem to forget is that the majority, YES, the majority of phone buyers dont know and dont care what version of whatever OS is on their phone…they just want whats COOL at the time, and what their friends have. most of those idiots are happy that they can be a “twit” or whatever that is, or constantly update their facebook page with uninteresting stupidity…they dont care about google navigation, or the newest coolest apps…theyre dumb. im sure google is aware of it….and these “new” phones being pumped out with 1.5 or 1.6 are for the clueless masses that are only worried whether they can get a cool pink gel for their phone and whether itll match those kicks they just bought…someone i know just ordered a blackberry because a co worker has it…i almost puked.

  62. One of the plush androids is up on a eBay charity auction:


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