Monday, 16 January 2012

Android’s Most Crucial Problem: Fragmented Distribution

Reference  And Courtesy :-  Gizmomantra
Authour- Vishal Gaikar

                      The word fragmentation to an Android user sends chills down his back. At one side, it is the sole reason of Android’s popularity with both developers and users alike. But at the other end, the freedom brings with it a whole bunch of problems and issues. With the introduction of the Amazon’s Kindle Fire, the market for smart phone and tablet applications just got a lot wider in scope and competition. Apple and Google both must realize that the fight is on, and the first company to get its act together will be the one to cash in.

Android Android’s Most Crucial Problem: Fragmented Distribution

The variety of OS versions on Android platforms :-

It seems that every Android fan has a different version of the OS running on his smart phone or tablet. Consider for example these latest findings which tracked the OS versions on the devices like HTC Hero, HTC Droid Incredible, Motorola Droid, and other popular Android gadgets.

  • A total of 18 Android devices were tracked that were released between the years 2008 to 2010.
  • 7 out of the 18 devices had never installed the current version of the OS, whichever that might be at the time.
  • 12 out of the 18 devices did install the latest version of the OS, but only for a few weeks.
  • 10 out of the 18 devices were two major releases behind the current version.
  • And if that trend is to be continued, then 16 out of the 18 devices will probably never install the Ice Cream Sandwich update (Android 4.0)
The statistics display a tough situation for Google and its plan to improve the reliability and performance of the Android platform.

Software fragmentation might not be the only problem :-

Some optimists in the industry are of the opinion that this fragmentation problem can very easily be solved by Google if they tighten their grip on their distributors, partners and developers. They need to make sure that there are maximum platforms available for updating phones wherever possible. This will surely reduce the software fragmentation, but that’s not the end of it. There’s still hardware fragmentation to take in to consideration as well.
Consumer’s trust and confidence in the various hardware specs and versions have steadily declined because every manufacturer is selling its own type of Android hardware with its own set of mobile carrier services and packages. The Android OS might have a slightly higher rate of failures than its rivals but that is more due to the fact that the problem lies not just in the software but also because of the cheaply manufactured hardware as well.

Is there a permanent solution?

It seems that Google is finally looking in to this problem with the concern it should have showed some years ago. It’s better late than never! Google’s been very protective of its Honeycomb code and has been giving it to a select few developers and manufacturers. Google has also created the Alliance of Android Updates and made partnerships with several top quality manufacturers so that updates can be released in a timely manner.
Now, only time will tell if Google can unify the Android market and consumer-base with its Ice Cream Sandwich update and put an end to the problems once and for all.

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