Friday, October 7, 2011

What is Android fragmentation - An explanation

Often we hear the term when talking about Android.
To understand what is fragmentation , we have to take a look at all the version of android released till date. Spanning from Android version 1.0 to 1.5 cupcake , 1.6 Donut, 2.x eclair, 2.2 Froyo, 2.3.x Gingerbread, 3.x Honeycomb and soon to be release 4.x Ice Cream Sandwich, there are more than 10 versions of the OS including all the point releases.

T-Mobile G, the first android device - Running 1.5 cupcake

So in a short span of time between 2008 and 2011, Google had released so many version of the OS. This meant that device manufacturers also had to keep up with the latest versions of the OS and release their devices with them running.

This also meant that users who had purchased older phones and which are still active due to the short time span are running an older version if the same OS.

This gives rise to the fragmentation issue. Same OS, different version all active and alive.

As per the chart above illustrates the share of devices and their version numbers that visited the android market for 14 days as of October 3.

As can be seen, though the number of older devices are subsiding, the android ecosystem in terms of version is very much fragmented,

To call it either fragmented or quick updates which means additional functionality and optimization all depends on the user point of view.

Please leave your comments.

Android apps to run on Apple devices - Myriad announces Alien Dalvik 2.0 Engine

Myriad announced the Alien Dalvik 2.0 engine which enables android application to run in any other device which has a compatible Alien Dalvik engine.

Myriad says this could solve the inherent fragmentation problem in the Android ecosystem and provide a consistent user experience. It also says that this could mean apps running in various platforms and OS's without any modifications.

Myriad will demo Android apps running on a iPAD 2 at CTIA Enterprise and applications 2011.
What this could mean is that the goodness of the android ecosystem and apps can be extended to a myriad of devices like TVs, Tablets and even automobiles.

The users could simply install the android apps in their devices and open them as would be done in a android device to run them. In other words, the technology is totally transparent to the users.

Press release : Here