[Opinion] My argument for ending the Android F-word talk once and for all



Whenever anyone mentions Android’s “fragmentation problems”, my typical reaction is to chuckle and wish to myself that the person would be born as a web developer in their next life to understand what fragmentation really is. But, hey, there’s almost always someone who brings up the topic every now and then.

Unfortunately, the last person to do so was Kevin, the traitor who left Phandroid for iSource. In his post yesterday, he said:

We can argue to the moon and back as to whether or not Android fragmentation will one day result in the implosion of the ecosystem

No, Kevin, we do not have to argue to the moon and back. Android’s fragmentation has always, and will always remain a feature. Same as when I wrote about it a bit over a year ago, and pretty much throughout its history.

Also, I decided to put things to rest with a little test: I had recently spent some time rebuilding an app I had released last April as part of my undergrad CS course, making sure to follow all the best practice guidelines I had learnt. The app works really well on any phone or tablet of any screen size, but I wanted to check if it works well with a Motoactv.

vocab on motoactvYup, I ran my app on a smartwatch (well, an emulator, I wasn’t too fond of the custom ROMs for my Motoactv) without making a single edit to the final release apk. The result? The app works perfectly, as the screenshot on the left shows. If there were users installing apps on their smartwatches, I might make a few edits including going into full screen mode, and maybe a translucent ActionBar. But seriously, how on Earth are we talking about fragmentation when an app runs as well on a 1.6″ 220X176 display as on a 2560X1600 10.1″ display?

Also, is there a lawyer reading this whose permission I can take to say “lawyered”?

Raveesh Bhalla

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  1. I don’t understand people that switch from Android to iOS. Those people have serious issues.

    1. most are ppl who hand low to mid tier android phones years ago and figure there hasnt been any improvements

      1. I hate this so much. It happens way too often.
        “I had an android phone once and it sucked. iPhones are the best”. Maybe if you spent the same amount of money on you spent on an iPhone on an Android phone you wouldn’t have had such a bad experience.

        1. I agree. My girlfriend was burned by the HTC Hero and vowed NEVER to use android again. I see it as foolish but millions of people feel the same way. All it takes is someone to have one really horrid experience to taint them forever. Shes not a very tech savvy person so showcasing how android kills iOS to people like her is frivolous

          1. Hopefully one day she’ll come around again.

          2. until she does, ill continue to kill her wifi every now and then

          3. lmao

          4. Haha bit harsh don’t you think?

          5. hey my girl makes more than I do, tech is the only thing I can still hold over her head

          6. Your attitude towards iOS users also turns people away.
            Do y’all read your own posts? You sound like complete a holes!
            Most iOS people I know just want to enjoy their
            Devices and be left alone but when you resort to name calling
            And being a total d**k to random people and your friends and loved ones, we tend to kind of retaliate by wanting no part in your cult
            Yes I said cult, you can’t see it but your just as bad as apple fans.

            I hope you were kidding about that girlfriend part.

          7. Oh, please! Do you think iSheeps got their name by accident? It was a cult of the first degree, that’s still going on btw, with some idiots praising to books and making movies about Jobs. Only when Apple has lost in the game of competition, and all iOS fans started to feel threatened, insecure, and left out (just like BB users years ago) you reserved to “tending to kind of retaliate by wanting no part in your cult”. Why don’t you go pray to your Saint Jobs for salvation?

          8. Hmmm im confused Mark. I reread all of my posts and I didnt have any attitude toward iOS users. Did talking about my girlfriend really upset you? I mean bro, ill ask her if she can swing one of her girlfriends ur way. Where u located?

          9. First of all I’m married so no thanks, I can’t prove that so let’s move on. My point is I’m noticing a pattern of rude comments on here towards loved ones who prefer iOS. I saw a comment on here a couple months ago say their wife insisted on having an iPhone so he
            Set up her email to say ” sent from my iPhone but android is still better ” it’s crap like that I have a problem with, a lot of you have this
            Bitterness and resentment towards ppl who don’t use android and I just don’t get it, my wife has 2 android devices ( which is why i come here for android news )and I’ve never once tried to convince her to switch sides. So reading the comments on this site a lot of you seem like bitter fanboys who loathe the other side and can’t get over some people don’t like what you like. And you claim it’s cuz apple did it first.. If you hate that type of behavior why do you mimic it? Can you show me on the doll where the bad fruit touched you?

            And my comments weren’t just aimed at you it’s at all of the raging fanboys. You are just the one who set me off

          10. yawnnnnnnnnn

          11. u sir…need a life

          12. My buddy had the same problem. After being a dumbphone user for a long time he finally got an HTC EVO. Currently, it’s hardly the best phone on the market but it was good for its time. He couldn’t figure out simple things and dumped it for iPhone. The funny thing is that he found out those same things are just as hard on the iPhone (because they’re the same, poorly made apps. He simply thought it was Android that was his problem). At this point he’s spent so much money on the app store, he doesn’t want to leave because he feels like its a lost investment. He’s “stuck”.

          13. yea spending hundreds on itunes music n apps will definitely keep many with iOS.

          14. You are able to sync your iTunes music with Google play music.

          15. I found it incredibly easy to switch from iOS to Android. I’d only invested $50 or so, but it’s still more then I’ve invested in the Android market.

      2. Yep just like you said living under a rock, a rock shaped like an apple O.o

      3. My wife and I both had the original Galaxy S (Epic 4G). When we upgraded I took the natural Galaxy S3 route, and she decided for the iPhone 5 – specifically because she couldn’t find a good android phone with a smaller screen. Very quickly she realized what a downgrade that was, but kept the phone because of the size. She is already looking into getting a replacement, and I might have to get her something off-contract just so she can actually have a useful phone again.

    2. android is still too complicated for some people.. a lot of people don’t care about tech and arent tinkers they just want a smartphone that they can just pick up n go… I love android too but i understand the need for iOS for many users….

      Kind of like someone saying “i dont understand why anyone would want an automatic car, you dont have the same control that you do with a manual transmission.” Not every one want’s to be bother with all of that.

      1. I get your point, but I think the “Android is too complicated” bit is significantly overplayed, particularly ICS and up. I’d say that at that point, Android devices are like self driving cars (quite literally thanks to Google Now, and possibly what we’ll see with Moto X) that has an option for a manual override.

        1. yeah that was definitely more so back in the day, but I do on occasion have to help my mom with a task or two on her gs3. She doesn’t bother me with the ipad she got from work. Not a huge deal either way, but it is in the mind of people who are on the fence.

          I tried to get my girlfriend to switch to android when i brought her over to tmobile but she told me my nexus was 4 was too complicated -.- and that the apps on iOS are better than their android versions so she got an iphone 5.

          1. My girlfriend knew right when her parents said she could get a smartphone that she needed to get an Android. I’ve ranted for years telling her since I had a Samsung Transform that Android was flawed, but coming into it’s own, and Apple was paying for the over-hyped teenager’s phone. Needless to say, she got a Galaxy S III and I have my Note II. So proud.

          2. yeah ironically my girlfriend used to own a g1 but yeah she has felt the bug of early android, she’ll come around eventually.

          3. I took it out of my girlfriend’s hand by simply gifting her a Nexus 4 for her birthday. And really, really pissed my sister off by giving my mom my old myTouch 4G and selling her old iPhone 4 she sent for my mom.

        2. Raveesh hit the “nail on the head”. Current Android phones like the Galaxy A, Note,.HTC One, etc aren’t tech savvy required. The point would have been more accurate with the G1 & early iterations of Android, but the robust UI’s of current phones negate the need for dumb proof phones like the iPhone.

          1. Great minds think alike. :) I should’ve read the followups first. :)

        3. I just moved from iPhone 4s to an HTC One and the only thing that has kept me on Android is that iOS has become boring (been on iOS since the beginning). Here are some things to ponder…

          1) The Android ecosphere is fragmented; I noticed almost immediately. Qualcomm, for instance, stops updating the Android OS after about 2-2.5 years leaving phone makers to either do the work themselves or not update their older phones to the newest OS. After Google releases the next OS and the chip makers update it, it goes to the phone makers to ‘tweak’ it. After that, each carrier gets a hold of it to put in their software. Then, there’s updates which will come down the same line. This is the very definition of fragmentation – every company for itself in the Android market.

          2) Android is missing a centralized hub. iTunes isn’t the greatest piece of software, but it makes management simple and effective. Backup over USB, WiFi and/or to the iCloud makes iOS devices very easy to manage and backup. If I loose my HTC and get another, it will take me the better part of a day, maybe even two, to get things back to where I like it. Even then, it will never be the same. With an iPhone I could be back up and running 100% exactly as I left my other phone within 10min; wallpaper, icon/folder placement, multiple email accounts, certificates, etc…

          3) Way too many devices for the laymen to deal with. It’s too damn confusing for ordinary people that compose 90% of the market. HTC, for instance, calls the One it’s flagship, yet three months later announce a phone that surpasses it in every way. HTC has 18 smartphones on the market – a bit much IMO.

          4) Too many vulnerabilities’ in Android right now. Recent studies show that nearly 30% of Android apps have man-in-the-middle holes. Then there’s the master key issue. Nothing can protect you 100%, but at least iOS is using a condom.

          5) Android’s tablet market is poop. Everyone knows it. Every game I love either doesn’t exist on Android, is still in development, or is just absent.

          6) The Android experience isn’t always equal to iOS. There are several apps that haven’t updated to Google’s current standards and don’t look like they ever will be. Phone makers are having to deal with it in different ways. HTC One doesn’t do it well but Samsung’s lineup does IMO.

          All that said, I still like Android because it has matured enough that I don’t have to worry about stability and it’s made for tweaking. There’s a good reason 70% Android owners are men.

          1. 1. You need the newest version of software each and every time when your current version works fine again why?

            2. What is google play then? You know you can reinstall everything from google play, right?

            3. So like cars then?

            4. It’s called research apps before downloading… if a person doesn’t have the sense to, then complains about getting a virus from it, it’s their own fault. Android is more secure in most aspects aside from what users can download / install.

            5. Blame devs.

            6. Blame devs.

          2. 1. Free markets depend on “wants” not needs. Business 101, customers feel insulted and cheated if a better version comes out a month after they purchase something. It really pisses them off.

            2. It takes time to install & setup dozens of programs, organize them into folders, log into each to put relevant data back in (e.g. passwords), then organize each widget. It could take days to smooth things out. If you’re switching carriers and/or phone model’s, it could take longer. With iOS, it takes 10 minutes, plus, I could use the same image for iPad’s as I do on iPhones (tablet apps not withstanding). This kind of simplicity is what most people want. They don’t wan to sift through hundreds of previously installed apps, looking for the ones they liked, install them… It’s damn anoying for the 90% of people out there that aren’t tech savvy.

            3. No, not like cars. The automobile industry learned long ago, you never make twenty different types of vehicles. You make five or six, with upgrades. In the past five years almost every automobile manufacturer has thinned out their lineups extensively.

            4. Seriously? You’re going to ask an average phone user to research Google Play apps for security holes when even the developers don’t have the skilled security specialists to check their own work? I guess that’s why anti-virus/trojan software is now so popular.

            5 & 6 Blaming devs won’t make much of a difference in the short run. It takes time to develop for two platforms. Google finally came up with a dev kit that makes a lot of sense now, but it barely arrived a year ago. Android developers must try to optimize for dozens of screen’s, cpus, and gpus. Worse, Android doesn’t pay as much as iOS development. People want their free stuff on Android while iOS users tend to spend more per app. Apple = Money = Put more development there. Plus, Apple forces devs to put their apps on the oldest devices. Not so for Android. You’re lucky if you get any love from devs after two years on most Android devices.

            Google made a smart move by distributing their Nexus tools/apps on the market, but since they aren’t native, they usually start acting poorling down the road. For example, I use the Google Keyboard, not the HTC Sense. It works fine for about two or three weeks, then it starts to slow down. The lock screen takes about a second or two longer to pop up. If I go back the HTC Keyboard, restart, then re-enable the Google Keyboard it’s snappy again. In two weeks, it’s sluggish. Unless I root, everything not part of HTC Sense, starts to slow down unless I re-start it every two or three weeks. Friend has a Samsung and his starts acting the same way in one week, not two to three like mine. I really don’t see a way out for Android.

            I also managed a large network with hundreds of tablets, most of which are iOS. They’re sooooo easy to manage vs. Android devices. In ten minutes I can have 100 iPad’s with dozens of apps, WiFi settings, security certificates, and have the backoffice software taking care of logging and security. Android is NOT distribution friendly. I don’t have to get any new training for iOS, but I must for Android – worse, every company has their own solution which isn’t compatible with each other. Fragmentation.

          3. HTC may have 18 phones on the market but it’s global. Of course there will be different devices for different markets and different price points in different countries using different mobile technologies. One device does not fit all. At most, there’s maybe 2-3 HTC phones on display at the local carrier’s store. People can decide for themselves, and if they can’t, too bad.

            I develop software for a living and you make it sound optimization is such a difficult process. It isn’t. You get it working for Qualcomm, you get it working for Nvidia and you get it working for Samsung’s chips and it generally works great on every device, then you fix the issues that are few and extremely far between.

            Google Play has a backup feature and installs every single app you installed on other devices and even sorts them by device.

            Developers get more on IOS than on Android because the entire culture is built on “make an app, get rich” mentality where some kid that made a fart button app made a million dollars. There are free alternatives to everything and Android users don’t get nickled and dimed every time they need to perform a basic task.

            In regards to anti-virus, I could release an “anti-virus” application that does literally nothing on iOS and it’d get hundreds of thousands or possibly millions of downloads. I’ve been with Android for a long long time, Google takes care of those virus-ridden applications much quicker than Apple has done in the past and honestly, I’ve never had a single issue and neither have any of the “average users” I know and work with.

          4. 1. You keep talking about the “tech savvy” people not being the average consumer, yet how many of these actual consumers actually know what a software update really is? Or really care that much? You do realize most won’t even know that other devices are getting an update.

            2. Google play –> install all programs from other devices separated by type of device. If you complain about having to ‘set the widgets just right, it takes days!” well at least you -HAVE- the widgets, unlike iOS. And if it’s such a horrible thing to have to, gods forbid, try to remember how you set your widgets up in the same rows on your prior phone, how could anyone cope?

            3. Look at global car manufacturers, they usually have a dozen or two cars globally. Similarly with global phone manufacturers.

            4. Yes I do expect, it’s called being an “informed consumer.” Ignorance is a choice in the age of the internet. If you choose to be ignorant, and take the risk, it’s your own fault out of sheer sloth. Sorry, I have no sympathy for the willfully ignorant.

            5. True on the dev kit, however this doesn’t change that it’s been the choice of devs not to develop as heavily for Android,

            6. Well it’s been shown that human infants only a few months old, chimpanzees, and orangutans can use iOS with proficiency, so there should be no surprise it’s easier to set up and distribute. It’s so simple you could practically be braindead and use it, since there is nothing but press icon and something opens. iOS 7 was the first version of the OS to have any real change outside of the notification bar anyhow. Whereas Android actually has tried to evolve with OS updates. Sure it’s fragmented in OS versions, but so’s Windows. Like Windows, most apps work across all the versions of the OS, with a few exceptions, but the vast majority are fully compatible.

          5. Defend Android as hard as you like; there’s nothing here that I’m making up. These are well known issues that Google has admitted to (either in the dev kit or openly). A lot of people that switch from iOS to Android, though most like the change, often say the same things I am. They miss an iTunes equivalent. They want easy backups on multiple tiers. They want smart consolidated settings vs. every program for itself (ex. notifications, location services, & privacy). Businesses & education institutions want uniformity between brands, not a mixed bag of different standards. It’s arrogant to expect laypeople to understand the complexities of security and vulnerabilities. Saying Android is superior to everything else and anyone that doesn’t choose it, is a moron, is fanatical. Android has as many stollen features as iOS & Android would surely not be as good an OS without iOS. I’m on Android AND iOS and that makes me happy because I can enjoy the best of both worlds. Hope you can find enough open mindedness to do the same.

          6. I’m not saying everyone who doesn’t choose Android is a moron, blackberry is more secure still, and for some purposes is a better operating system, however Android in my opinion is superior in most every regard to both iOS and Windows Phone 8 other than in fanboyism in the former and well… I really can’t think of anything in the latter, given if you -really- want that flat tile design for your GUI there are plenty of windows phone based launchers for Android.

            As for “it’s arrogant to expect laypeople to understand the complexities of security and vulnerabilities” it is only because society allows people to be willfully ignorant that it is a problem. If people can’t take five minutes out of their lives to use their skill of typing words into google, just to make sure an app they’ve never heard of before is actually valid, then it’s their own damn fault they got a virus. that’s willful ignorance and stupidity, and if you think it’s arrogant to have no sympathy for those who are such, then fine, call me that, but I would like to think most of humanity was at least as intelligent as my 6 year old little brother.

            Also, my first smartphone was an iPhone as an FYI. Just saying.

          7. Every OS has it’s benefits and its drawbacks. iOS is proprietary, Android is Open. Proprietary 99.9% of the time wins in the enterprise market. Free almost always wins in general markets as long as there are few or no proprietary competitors. Android sells more devices only because it is free and available, not because it’s superior. That is why only the top 90% of developers aren’t making any money while 60% of iOS devs are.

            So, you can diagnose and repair your own 2013 car? Build your own furniture? Self diagnose your ailments? All of that stuff is on Google, but most people don’t do it. Why? Because it takes years to become good. Most grownups have jobs, kids, yards and other responsibilities to look after. Now you want them to learn the in’s and out’s of app security too? When’s the last time you went through thousands of line of code to find holes and errors? And just because you can Google terms like SSL Cipher, NSURL, & chain verification doesn’t make you an expert. It just gives most people headaches. There’s a big difference between being informed and being savvy.

      2. Myth. Android isn’t complicated or for techies. You can just pick it up and use it. In fact, due to a lot of Google integration, it’s easier to use in some ways than an iPhone. When I last upgraded devices, all my contacts were just there. No getting out the cable and syncing with a desktop. Just…there. Same with apps. They downloaded. No computer necessary. What could be easier?

        It’s different than an iPhone, and that scares some people. Different isn’t harder. Different is different.

        1. Excellent comment.

        2. you can’t just say “myth” yes they are mostly different, but each OS has more difficult or easier ways of doing certain tasks. you are only addressing one area of android in your comment. People call iOS “idiot proof” and believe it or not, thats what a lot of people want.

          Yes gmail syncs better, and multitasking is far easier… but using my mom as an example, never hits that multitask button. She liked the clock widget that came with her HTC and wanted it on her gs3 and didnt understand why she couldnt get it. Then i told her she could download some clock widgets for the playstore (she didnt really like the stock gs3) and explained widgets to her and she was just like “blah whatever, just put up something nice for me.”

          She actually never owned an iphone, and got her first ipad AFTER she had android for 2 years and never had to ask me to do anything on that. So yes its mostly different, but its not JUST different… or one way to look at it, some of the differences is what makes certain tasks on some devices less intuitive than on another.

          1. You are not very knowledgable then. Either with how to teach tech to older folks (you never bombard them with a litany of stuff at one time) now clock widgets. The Sense UI clock is in the Play store. It’s also one of the theme parks for Beautiful Widgets.

            Where iOS fails is iTunes. Good help you if you have a Windows machine and want to sync something. Is a POS piece of software.

          2. but i think you are proving my point for me… there is more to teach in android than there is in iOS i never had to teach her anythign about her ipad, but i had to give her a run down on her gs3 and her evo 4g and her work phone droid 4…

            like a gentleman above stated, iOS a more basic OS. very simplistic and boring, but simplistic… and apparently there is a market for that… that is all.. this is not a discussion over what is better or what is worse, its that believe or not there are some people who enjoy the extremely simple and static.
            side bar: That sense UI clock was decent but was still a knock off, unless it’s changed since the last time i gave it a look.

            But the fact that they are different means the complexity of certain tasks will differ, I’m not saying android is complicated its just more so than iOS in some peoples minds.

      3. That’s why most devices have little tutorial videos, which in turn would not require them to change a thing to the phone customize it in any way just feel out how it works, i believe its more a matter of convenience and laziness, my brother has a Samsung galaxy s 3 everything he asks me about a feature or how to do something on it he doesn’t wanna do he says it’s too complicated but yet i see him messing around with an netbook that has Ubuntu on it with no problems when he needs to get some work done. I gave my dad his first smartphone (an lg optimist l8 i think it and he’s almost 60 btw) has no complaints can figure it out just fine and he can barely power on a desktop computer… Nuff said, whatever Happened to googling or going on YouTube for this kind of stuff… If you can’t do something as simple as that you have no business even having a smartphone to begin with

      4. The funny thing about that is, my friend’s brother just got an iPhone 5 and he had a harder time setting it up than I did with my Galaxy Nexus. Provided the user has an existing Gmail account, I’d argue that Android is actually a bit easier to pick up and go.

        1. Particularly now that your apps can be synced across too, thanks to their device backup feature. I was laughing out real loud when some of my friends were so happy about iOS’s “automatic updates” for apps, thinking that something like that would probably blow their minds

      5. That point may have been a good one during the G1 days but not when every other bank commercial these days now shows a Samsungish phone instead of the iPhone to display their app.

      6. My phone cannot possibly be more complicated than say…Windows or even Mac OS. I would say pretty much anyone saying Android is complicated probably also owns a machine with one of those OSes. The times I’ve used iOS I have had trouble finding where it does things more simply than Android other than just being a more basic system (array of icons homescreen and such).

    3. they have a fetish of being tied and bonded to the wall….

    4. Some people prefer a novice UI experience.

    5. WTF is wrong with you people? I
      like android as much as the next otaku, but stop this nagging and
      complaining about people having other opinions. I can give you one good
      reason to go iOS, at least for the phone, and that is device
      reliability. Apple won’t let the carriers scr3w around with the ROM and
      customize and encumber it with all the cruft. If you go with android, it
      is a roll of the dice as to what you’ll get.

      For those of us who can root our phones, it is a slightly different
      story, but still. I use a non-rooted Galaxy Note (SC-05D) on docomo in
      Japan, and I often use it as a WiFi tether for my better behaved,
      rooted, Nexus 7. But docomo has done some “optimizations” that cause it
      to go to sleep, network-wise, when no apps are using the data
      connection, so my tethering goes dead. Apple wouldn’t let this kind of
      thing happen.

      So, I have thought about changing over to the iPhone just for this reason: carrier control.

      The wide-eyed zealotry some android fan display is pathetic. It is just an OS. Get over your feelings of superiority already.

      (note: my first reply was held for moderation. Has phandroid begun using keyword censors? )

      1. What tha phok you talking about man?? What does carrier branding have ANYTHING to do with reliability? Jesus your brain is so swollen you dont know how to think right anymore. Carrier control has it’s advantages, one of them is on my S4 i get 125mb/s on LTE, with an iphone 5 you’d never go over 50-60, why? because carriers tweak the phone modem to offer best performance on their network, but this NEVER HAS ANYTHING TO DO WITH RELIABILITY. If anything, it makes the phone more reliable with less dropped calls and better performance

        1. Now that is something most people don’t know about but should

    6. What tha phok you talking about man?? What does carrier branding have ANYTHING to do with reliability? Jesus your brain is so swollen you dont know how to think right anymore. Carrier control has it’s advantages, one of them is on my S4 i get 125mb/s on LTE, with an iphone 5 you’d never go over 50-60, why? because carriers tweak the phone modem to offer best performance on their network, but this NEVER HAS ANYTHING TO DO WITH RELIABILITY. If anything, it makes the phone more reliable with less dropped calls and better performance

    7. I switched from ios to an S4. This is just to hold me over until a large screen iphone is released and I will be switching back. There are numerous reasons I will be switching back. I have no serious issues, ive spent just as much on music and apps on android as I did on ios. Its cool that android is your preference but thats not the case for everyone. Im just glad that I am one of the very few that can be honest and unbiased about both platforms.

  2. As has been mentioned a million times already, the above chart does not show fragmentation. It represents all of the devices that are out there for Android, based on their popularity. The colors merely represent a way of easy differentiation.

    Not to say that there aren’t a ton of skins out there overlaying the 8 to 10 dominant versions of the OS. That does lend to a lot more flavor than any other mobile OS out there.

    A look at where Android truly is:
    -As illustrated above, cross-compatibility is totally possible. Google has made this possible with its “fragments” as well as its best developer practices.
    -Android is beginning to break core apps into downloadable versions to prevent OS updates from keeping users out of the fast-track loop. For instance, the best and greatest of Google Now and the Camera are available to anyone 4.1 and up. You don’t have to wait for your phone to be updated to the latest version of the OS.
    -All other mobile OS’s are fragmented, just less so. Apple has several iPhones, with different screen resolutions and aspect ratios. Ditto for its iPad series (minus the aspect ratio issue).
    -What Android REALLY needs to do to solve the fragmentation issue is to take a page out of Microsoft’s book and open source the hardware drivers. If an OS could figure out what it needed to download for a Kernel pack, fragmentation would cease to be an issue.

  3. The only revelant fragmentation is, Processor/gpu, api, android version. All else is irrevelant since android is like windows in that the drivers allow easy scaling.

    Processor/gpu, far as I know there are what, 3-4 major ones.

    API, universal

    Android version, not as big a deal as before with the way google is making it able to update essential android services without requireing a version update (google play services, google settings, etc.

  4. When attempting to download apps from the Google App Store for my Nexus 7, I occasionally get a message saying the application is not compatible with my device. Kind of weird considering it is a Nexus. I have viewed it as a “Fragmentation” problem. Have any of you had similar issues with your device . . . especially the previous generation of the Nexus 7? Comments please.

    1. Yeah I’ve had the problem, and it’s only because the developer has locked it. I’ve side loaded some of them, like one of the official DirecTV apps for tablets, and they have worked fine. Others like Sim city just have crappy developers who just don’t update.

    2. This is probably because the app set a version MAX requirement or a screen resolution requirement.

      1. Correct sir

    3. Generally that is for games and stuff that require a tegra processor (for example)

      1. Another correct situation, but these are no different than a TV with one hdmi skit instead of four our more.

        1. Typos.
          “slot” not.”skit”
          “or” not “our”

    4. Thanks for all your input. It just surprised me that Google would allow Apps in the Google Play store that do not support a Nexus device.

    5. That’s all depending on the developer and what the focus of the app was, has nothing to do with the Android os, it has to do With the developer and how/what they optimized the app for, your not gonna optimize a game that’s to beefy and intended to be for a tablet on a phone, especially if the phone ford not have the specs to run it efficiently, that will make people who are not educated in that subject assume the game poorly coded and leave bad reviews when in fact its not the game its ur device.. Or the other way around if an app is intended for a phone.

  5. Raveesh, please go to iSource and make an article about how iOS doesn’t have enough fragmentation

    1. why? With each iOS release, “old” users clearly feel how their device was crippled. They grin and bare it for the good of the master.. Apple.

    2. мy coυѕιɴ ιѕ мαĸιɴɢ $51/нoυr oɴlιɴe. υɴeмployed ғor α coυple oғ yeαrѕ αɴd prevιoυѕ yeαr ѕнe ɢoт α $1З619cнecĸ wιтн oɴlιɴe joв ғor α coυple oғ dαyѕ. ѕee мore αт…­ ­ViewMore——————————————&#46qr&#46net/kkEj

      It’s good to see a development side of the affair as it’s really not
      that complicated an issue. Android is all about options and I welcome
      the CONSUMER choosing what they want rather than a company to dictate
      what you want.

    3. Actually. iOS fragmentation is more of a problem than in android. Developers have to build apps for each screen size and resolution device that apple makes. Which is 3 iPhones 2 iPads and an iPad mini. Android you just build one and it works on thousands of devices. Really seems like quite the great feature of android.

    4. Lol they do, every time they drop they’re iPhones face first.

  6. Kevin should get the F out of phandroid.com. No one wants to read his articles anymore. He might be a good writer but recently has become a blind follower of Apple and no longer neutral like a good blogger should be. It really feels like he is regretting his choice to move to ios and so has to bash Android to make himself feel better. You dont see phandroid writers going to isource and bashing do you?

    1. This!! I was going to type out the same thing until I saw this comment

    2. Did you just use the word neutral in the context of Phandroid?

      Do you even read the comments on this site?

      1. Notice how he said the bloggers themselves were neutral and not the commentators there is a big difference there

        1. Chris Chavez is far from neutral

          1. “You dont see phandroid writers going to isource and bashing do you?”

            As far as I know, Chris doesn’t post on iSource. Which is his point.

      2. The comments dont have to be neutral. Just the bloggers.All the other writers on this site are neutral when it comes to tech and tend not to bash another os just because they dont use or like it.

      3. Dedicated Android site, it’s expected. Sites like Phonearena, Verge, etc, bias shouldn’t exist, with heavy emphasis on shouldn’t.

    3. That’s because their is barely anyone on iSource. There are rarely a lot of comments unlike on here.

  7. Permission granted

  8. good article; i’m sick of that moron continually posting his bullshit here on Phandroid. he seriously needs to leave already..does he not realize that 99.9% of us don’t give a crap about his idiotic opinion and pathetic attempts at bashing android? he’s just trying to justify his switch in his own sad, feeble little mind.

    1. Hey, no name-calling. He’s done an awful good work for us over the years and still does. All he needs is an intervention.

      1. Correct me if I an wrong Raveesh, but isn’t part of Kevin having occasional posts here to provide we the users another view?

      2. unfortunately, raveesh, he’s become nothing but a troll, and by reading the comments of every article he posts, I can say majority of phandroid readers agree.

      3. Yeah that’s an excellent idea, maybe then he could also stop hiding behind that beard of his, shave off krause unless you have something to…. Hide! O.o

      4. He doesn’t need an intervention, he needs moderation. I can’t imagine that any of you other bloggers on the site really want his trash posted. Let him write the article, and if at least 3 of you can agree to post it, let it go up. If not, let the articles die. He brings nothing useful to the table anymore.

        I mean, really, he used android for a number of years, suddenly gets an iPhone and drops a post about the scariness and horrors of fragmentation? Was his mind completely erased as soon as he switched phones? Most people in the tech field deal with iOS and Android (and Windows 8 Phones and Blackberry) on a regular basis. I can’t comprehend how he got to where he is now without being completely swapped by a body double.

      5. While I agree with you, I also don’t see any of the Phandroid writers going to iSource and posting articles comparing the platforms.

        1. No y’all do it on your own site whenever apple releases a new
          Phone or iOS version and it’s throwing red meat to the fanboys here. so yeah no need to go over there and hate.

    2. Hey Jay, how’s that DNA battery life?

      1. good, and now my GS4 is even better.

  9. You can argue about the technical definition of fragmentation all you want. Yes it is awesome that you can run your app on anything, even a smartwatch. But at the end of the day the fact that Android phones don’t get timely updates if at all (which is what normal people say when they mean Android fragmentation) except for Nexus devices (and even then that isn’t a guarantee look at the crapshoot of the Galaxy Nexus for instance) is a problem and a big reason why people like iOS.

    That is really what the discussion should be about. Thankfully Google is making strides to make this better. Play Services helps a lot, they’ve got Google Play experience phones that give you high end options that should be updated fairly quickly and even things like holding back on 4.3 as long as they did can help. But it is still a huge problem especially for people like me who love Android but are also realistic about it. I don’t like having to put all these fundamental caveats on recommending an Android phone.

    1. No one is arguing Android doesnt have Fragmentation. We all admit that. But Fragmentation is not a problem, its a feature allowing Android to run and work on anything and I will tell you as a hobbiest dev. Even with Android fragmentation, writing apps for Android is easier than ios since every update wont break a app while on ios a single OS update leads to the app having to be re-written just to run.

      1. I can’t imagine how Android devices not getting updates can be construed as a feature or a good thing. Or at least not good enough to overcome the bad.

        Don’t get me wrong I use and love Android. But be realistic here.

        1. I can tell you like to have the latest and greatest. But most people don’t care. That’s why its a feature. It allows OEMs to make low end handsets that aren’t powerful enough to run say Android 4.3 but will run Android 2.3 just fine allowing them to create cheaper devices for the lower end markets where people don’t have as much money. This allows Android to be owned by everyone. Making it a feature since Apps for Android 2.3 will still run on Android 4.3 and vis-versa in most cases. (Note not all cases)

          1. I do like the latest and greatest, but that isn’t the big issue. The big issue is security. I understand that low cost phones and phones for developing nations need to exist. But that doesn’t make it OK for these phones to be inherently insecure. Like the masterkey exploit, basically every phone not on the most recent 4.2.2 build are vulnerable. And there are plenty of other security holes as well that are just not addressed.

            And while there may be some excuse for low end phones there’s no excuse for the mid and high end.

          2. Love how you completely ignore iOS fragmentation, if you don’t own the newest or the just replaced newest device all you get in your “update” is a crippled os with no new features, ask Apple users who aren’t deluded, and see what phones will get the full new version of iOS, just the new handset, everyone else gets a crippled version, THAT’S real fragmentation

          3. The phones are only vulnerable if you download from untrusted 3rd party sources. Ask any casual user what an “apk” is or if they have ticked “uknown sources” in their security options, they won’t know what you’re talking about.

        2. Yeah that’s why everyone jumps and runs to preorder stock android versions of phones because fragmentation Is so bad on android… If coarse there’s no fragmentation on ios you can’t do diddly squat with those things.. We all understand that with true innovation their will always be a bit of fragmentation. And as for updates google has always been good about being timely about that its the Frieken carriers at our lovely mobile service providers that have been the ones always lacking with the updates…

  10. Your simplistic screenshot is primarily text – it should scale well. That said, fragmentation comes from varying availability of API functions, which evolve with Android. An app that uses API calls that are only supported in ICS+ will obviously only work with devices with ICS or later. When developers start coding for specific screen resolutions or aspect ratios, or specific CPU/GPU functionality, that’s not fragmentation, it’s a (sometimes poor) choice on the developer’s part. Most of us see this quite frequently when viewing web pages – lots of wasted space on the left and right, with a relatively narrow area in the middle being used for content. In fact, I’m seeing this right now as I type – about 40% of my display is gray with no content. When I see this it’s usually because the code for the web page specifies how many pixels wide/high an object should be, when it would work much to specify a percentage of the display width/height.

    While I have done some programming and web development in my day, I certainly wouldn’t call myself experienced, and I know that what I don’t know far outweighs what I do know, but that’s my take on this.

    1. There’s actually a bit more to the app, with an image with each flashcard, some animation to polish the UX, and everything worked really, really well, just as it does on a phone and on a tablet (where you get more columns for the cards).

      Regarding the site, there are a few UX principles that suggest not having too wide an area for text. While I don’t see that much grey on my monitor, I guess it might be better for the grey to be minimized to a certain amount at most, and possibly extend the white margins since the color is easier on the eye particularly when you’re reading.

    2. “An app that uses API calls that are only supported in ICS+ will obviously only work with devices with ICS or later.”

      Not if it’s progressively enhanced and checks for the availability of an API before attempting to use it.

  11. Kevin’s article was intentionally inflammatory,to draw viewers/comments & further generate ad revenue.

    The best way to make these B.S. articles disappear is to simply ignore them.

    1. exactly. Quit letting people with outside agendas post articles here. You don’t go to a Mac fan site to hear about how great Windows compared to OSX is from an ex-fan.

    2. It’s a trap!

  12. The right question is: how is this google’s fault and why should they take the time to fix it? The primary people responsible for fragmentation is manufacturers first….then carriers…thrn ourselves. Those factors alone drive fragmentation.

    So we cant blame google for giving folks a good product to use that highly flexible. If you don’t want that, use apple, windows mobile or blackberry products….

    A good example is the galaxy nexus. Took a long time for a device like that to come around. 2 years later its still being supported by google — with ALL of the features the os provides

    1. Its actually the carriers first and then the manufactures, htc i believe we’re one if the first to admit that at one point they did not concern themselves to bring out timely updates due to the lack of time the carriers would take to release them. I believe if there is an issue with the current software if they got enough inquiries in their website directly they would take it into consideration and would provide the update or fix directly to the consumer and just bypass the carriers all together.

    2. That’s why I like my GNex so much. I’ll be getting the next Nexus after N4 as well. However, I think Google is working on fixing it. I made another post here about it above (If ordered by newest, it’s above this one a good distance.).

  13. want to end the argument.. quit having Kevin and other sheep comment on Android when they clearly have an agenda.

  14. how is Krause posting on Phandroid if he is from iSource? im not familiar with how these articles are posted….

    1. Thats my question as well. It makes the site look very unprofessional to have writers calling out other writers like this. I completey agree that Kevin needs to go but this article being public just makes the site’s leadership look very incompetent. To me this should have been an internal memo between the employees. Just more reasons to stick to droidlife, androidpolice and androidcentral. Those sites post all the same articles that are on this site anyway. Keeping Kevin around for click bait is a bad decision.

      1. ^^^this times infinity!

      2. yeah i noticed all of phandroid articles are covered on Androidcentral.com ….just about….i pretty much read Chavez and Q’s articles…then i bounce..

      3. I’m not calling him out, he’s far to senior to me in the ranks for me to do so. He also quite clearly mentioned in his post about the 12,000 active devices:

        “That’s a pretty staggering figure, but alone doesn’t prove the evils of fragmentation. ”


        “Years later, fragmentation is still an issue. It’s just not the Android killer everyone made it out to be.”

        I was simply bringing on another side of the argument to add to his post, that having so many devices is no where near being a fragmentation issue that others (like OpenSignal who made the infographic) would like to make it out to be to grab headlines for themselves.

      4. The head guy may be spineless, bottom line someone has to say something, maybe hearing it from one of his own will nudge him in the direction we would like him to go

  15. Bravo sir, bravo.

    It’s good to see a development side of the affair as it’s really not that complicated an issue. Android is all about options and I welcome the CONSUMER choosing what they want rather than a company to dictate what you want.

  16. I don’t even understand why kevin still posts articles on Phandroid. If you fell in love with iOS, fine, but stop bad mouthing Android if you still want respect from people…..His article yesterday about fragmentation was an iSheep article.

    1. Meh, he’s the internet equivalent of a professional wrestler. He no more loves iPhones than Hulk Hogan hates Randy Savage. Or whoever you wanna put in that analogy since Savage is dead. He’s getting paid to job out.

  17. Raveesh, well played sir. Well played.

  18. He needs to stick to writing about iPhone server outages and faulty 3rd party iPhone chargers.

  19. My argument for continuing the Android F-word talk and bringing it to higher prominence: Amazon App Store. Fin.

    1. You don’t like having choices? The Amazon app store and the other alternate App stores for Android are a great feature, not a negative no matter what Apple zealots say

      1. It’s fragmentation. It isn’t a good feature at all. And Amazon pays for certain apps exclusively for the Kindle Fire HD. That’s bad for Android.

        1. There are also appd exclusive to iOS and WP8 also.

  20. “making sure to follow all the best practice guidelines I had learnt”


    Fragmentation is the bane of hacks who think they’re programmers and basically do it wrong. Hardware differences and OS versioning is something professional programmers have had to deal with since the first hardware and/or OS change. It’s a fact of life and you have ways around it. It’s why we abstract in layers and use an API to talk to the guts of the system. Do it right, and you never have to worry about fragmentation.

  21. Ooo! And Reveesh dishes a left hook. How will Kevin respond?

    This might be one of your most useful articles yet.

  22. “Fragmentation” is a ridiculous phrase that has no real weight unless you’re a non-IT person.
    Now, boy genius is trying to coin the phrase “g adg et sp am” in referring to Samsung’s multiple size, shapes, features in phones. What d ou ches.

  23. Teehee. “F-word”.

  24. If fragmentation is a feature, why are some 1st gen Nexus 7 users lamenting the loss of some Tegra-optimized games when upgrading to the Nexus 7 2nd gen? If the new one has more horsepower and all that jazz, shouldn’t it be able to run everything the old one did? If it doesn’t, that doesn’t sound like a feature to me. That sounds like a pain in the ass :P

  25. When I first heard Apple use the word, it scared me. They made it sound like my phone was inadequate and wouldn’t function properly and who wants OS-envy!? (now I realize it’s nothing, apps are designed to work on the broadest spectrum possible). With a little evil propaganda and a chart like that they could actually scare others too. Apple has no shame, you’ll likely see this silly discussion again…

    1. I recently dunked my beautiful, flagship phone of last year. I went from JB to GB on my old backup phone. (EVO 4G LTE down to an EVO 4G) Quite honestly, the 2 things I miss most? The screen and the battery life. The rest isn’t that big a deal. Almost all of my apps are working fine, and I’m running CM 7, which is possibly nicer than CM 10 was on the LTE, except for a very few little things, such as Google Now. I’ll be glad to get back to a phone with a better screen, though… That’s for damn sure. But I have a Nexus 7, so I’m actually doing OK :D

  26. I get your point, but I think the “Android is too complicated” bit is significantly overplayed, particularly ICS and up.

    for more

  27. There’s two types of fragmentation on both Android and iOS: software and hardware. iOS has less of it because they have less variation of devices, but it looks like if you follow best practices fragmentation won’t be much of a problem if at all with either operating system.

  28. Honestly, we should stop thinking about “Android” as anything beyond the Nexus devices. It should really be Samsung, HTC, Moto, etc… they have Android as their “engine”, but that’s about it. OEMs/Carriers control updates, OEMs patch or screw up things from stock Android, OEMs make it their own. It should no longer be Android vs. iOS – it should be Nexus vs. iOS, Samsung vs. iOS, HTC vs… you get the point.

  29. “Google Services Framework” Those are the three words that should put an end to most people’s worries about fragmentation, especially once Jellybean is the most used version of Android. As far as I understand from reading these blogs, if Google can update all phones themselves with their newest APIs, then older phones will get new features no matter who made them or what version of Android and skin they have. It even seems to bypasses carrier requirements for OS updates. The only reason I think Jellybean needs to get a larger userbase is because of the OS updates they had added to it before they started the Services system. I’m really hoping this is how it will work. We could even see Android OS updates less frequently over time since Google is in better control of updates to their services (Maybe once a year or every two years?) That would sure make phone’s lifespans a lot longer and the OS version “fragmentation” far less.

  30. I have apps that I have used since version 2, and they still work fine on 4.2. Fragmentation is a Jobsism, and the only people who ever talk abut are Apple fanboys

  31. So while this is largely true, there is some bad (read not helpful) fragmentation in the Anrdoid world. It isn’t wide spread at the moment but a great example is the Droid Bionic and Netflix. Because Motorola jacked with core Android and removed some intents and interactions for the way they chose to do WebTop on that device the UI for Netflix is stuck in old ugly mode. The first time you run netflix it will look like the new UI and you’ll think “wow that’s much nicer” and then the next time you launch the app it defaults to the old, slower, uglier, unfriendly UI. What’s really funny is that when you use one of the accessories or just hdmi out and use webtop, the new UI is all that comes up. Now this level of fragmentation is nothing new to Linux users, however on Linux we are given much better resources to resolving our problems. I did “fix” my phone eventually. I put Xposed on it and force Netflix to think it’s on a tablet. Oddly the Droid4 and RAZR line don’t have this same issue and it has plagued the Bionic since the introduction of ICS.

    So I think the real fragmentation scare is how badly a manufacturer can mess up their “distribution” of Android.

  32. Not sure what happened to my comment. To sum up. Actual fragmentation issue is manufacturers jacking with the core OS. Example is Droid Bionic and Netflix. The webtop implementation on that device, unlike Droid4 or Razr line, causes Netflix on phone to be the old UI, but in webtop it is the new UI. Has to do with Moto removing some core Android intents, or at least moving them.

    This sort of thing is nothing new to Linux users, but on Linux the problems, this day and age, are typically a lot easier to fix than Android. To solve the problem on Bionic I had to root and install XposedAppSettings.

    1. bah! disqus decided to sort all comments by Best without warning…great.

  33. I’m pretty sure if there were a bunch of different iOS OEM’s there would be quite a bit of fragmentation as well. The only thing with fragmentation between android and iOS is nexus phone/tablet vs iPhone/Pad because those are the devices where the version updates are control by the OS companies. Google doesn’t control when Moto&verizon release updates to their O/S. And the thing is, I really don’t think 95% of the public who owns an android/iOS phone even care about when/if their phone gets an update to a newer version.

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