Wednesday, 16 March 2011

"Annoyalments, Peevifications and a whole sack of Grrrr" - Fragmentation in Android

Today's Rant is about the fragmentation in Android version numbers across the whole platform and the quote is from Bleak Expectations.

Android has one problem that iOS does not and that is the fragmentation of version numbers. there are new phones that have the latest Gingerbread but quite a few new phones released after Gingerbread only have FroYo or worse. Having 2.3 and 2.2 is ok but not as good as it could be. Even worse is the fact tha t there are still people with laggy tablets running 1.6 Donut as the manufacturers or the company providing the tablets to it's employees haven't bothered to update it. This means there are people who don't have critical features and is akin to having half you football team in the Premiership as 4 year olds and playing on the opposition's side or not turning up. We need to solidose on 2.2 and 2.3 then get everyone to move to 2.4 at the same time.

The problem is all these companies contributing privately to Android (which they are by all means allowed to do - it's free software). But, they take the code from Google after the next version is released and spend ages making their addons like User Interfaces or other tools and the users either don't get the update as the company drops the handset or they get it after the next version comes out. Why can't there e a tea from each mobile company working at Google and they all work together on the Android codebase each creating seperate branches for their particular parts which then can be pulled in for each build and all builds can be released at the same time. HTC's build will have Sense but not TouchWiz or whatever others use. Also, main ideas will be shared and eventually a single refined unified UI can be created and Android will be in a good position to fight with iOS or work alongside it as a viable alternative. Why can't they all sit down or video-conference each other from their tablets and sort it ou. Agree to work for each other. It will make life much more simpler. How hard can it be? The coalition Government sort of managed it and they have the pressure of running the country/stealing our money on their shoulders. I would do it myself if i had the time but I guess you cant win them all.


  1. I agree.
    I don't think companies like HTC should call it Android. They should make their phones come with an OS called HTC Sense. It doesn't need to make any pretence at being "Android".
    Also, there should be a policy, that developers agree to, that if they use their OS for sales the OS should have an option to delete the OS on the phone now and switch to REAL Android.

  2. Alex, they should call it Android if it is and their own name if it isnt. Ubuntu is debian but up to date and som more stuff but isnt called debian with extras. but on the other hand they should mention based on android or an android product so people know its still android. Also phones should be more hackable - maybe a DFU mode type thing where if u hold down the right sequence of buttons then it will let you put anything on there.