Android co-founder describes fragmentation issue as ‘overblown’

Android co-founder describes fragmentation issue as ‘overblown’The age-old Android fragmentation issue has kept a relatively low profile of late – monthly looks at the distribution figures and occasional digs from Apple aside.

There are two opposing schools of thought on fragmentation, but Android co-founder Rich Miner, for one, reckons the whole thing is “overblown”.

School of thought numero uno: Just over a third of Android users are on the latest version, Jelly Bean (Android 4.1 or Android 4.2), with almost a quarter on 2011’s Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0), and – worse still – 34.1% stuck on Gingerbread (Android 2.3), which debuted in 2010.

The alternative theory: A lot of those on older versions couldn’t care less, and those that do will do something about it and/or invest in devices wisely. And heck, what difference does it make anyway? It’s not like there are tons of apps that demand Jelly Bean as a minimum requirement, y’know?

Subscribing to that second notion (unsurprisingly), Miner says: “I think this is a bit of an overblown issue, frankly. Don’t forget, there are 1.5 million Android phones being activated every single day. There are 900 million devices out in the market.

“Us techies read the blogs and know what features we may be missing. I think if you asked a consumer, ‘do you feel like your phone OS needs to be updated today?’ they’re pretty happy with the results and the performance they’re seeing. So I’m not sure it’s a major issue.”

Rich? With my trusty iPhone at my side, pretty much guaranteed support for a good while yet (had to get that in somewhere), I think I actually agree with you.

via: BGR

Read more about: Android

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JanSt / MOD  Jul. 13, 2013 at 14:24

Agree, too... AND HEY, all those updates and they still missed that naughty backdoor (or did they? ;). )

cowbutt  Jul. 15, 2013 at 12:25

My first Android was a HTC Hero, which was already an old design when I got it at the beginning of 2010. So I wasn't terribly surprised that the latest official update it got was 2.1. When I replaced it, I went for a Samsung Galaxy S 2, which had the reputation of being well supported with updates and having a long life expectancy. Although Samsung have been slightly better with updates, the last update I applied (4.0.3) had a couple of dozen serious bugs and has put me off applying future updates, including the most recent 4.1.2 JB release, which I already know has T-Mobile aren't helping matters either - whilst many telcos are deploying changeset 1211311 of 4.1.2, T-Mobile's update is much older - changeset 889555 from February. Five and half months to "test" and release! And they still miss aforementioned bug 37199! And a bunch of security vulnerabilities that have been discovered since February! Give me strength!

To be honest, I don't really care too much about new firmware updates providing new functionality. But I really, really would appreciate timely backported bugfixes and security updates.

If I stay with Android now, it'll be with a Nexus device (unlikely, unless they change their minds about SD card slots and removable batteries) or a Google Play Edition device (not yet available outside the US). I'm seriously considering Windows Phone. That's deeply weird for someone immersed in FOSS for the last 18 years!


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