Google and Its Good Enough Method for Android Fragmentation

September 7, 2011

I avoid cabbage and I dodged it at dinner tonight. To celebrate, I did some quick headline scanning and found this enticing item, crisp and tasty like cabbage: “How Android’s Fragmentation Issue Is Slowly Receding.” I found the analysis interesting, and I noted this passage:

The only way to eliminate the problem is for Google to either cease licensing the platform and build its own devices, like Apple, or for the Android-maker to be very specific in terms of hardware requirements, like Microsoft. I don’t expect either of those things to happen. And that’s OK, because the fragmentation issue is less of a problem than it was 18 months ago.

Call me old fashioned, but I don’t get it. There are multiple versions of Androids. Developers have to pick one and then figure out how to support the app on various Android platforms. I am probably wrong, but Android is growing fast and imposes some different types of friction from Apple’s in or out approach and Windows 7 “no users yet” methods.

The point I thought important was swerved around the way I dodge cabbage. Amazon, I thought I heard, was creating what I call “Bezos-Droid” or “An-Zos.” So now we have to support the Amazon variant. What happens if certain Google partners take open source Android and go a different direction? These possibilities seem to add some spin to the Google Android fragmentation management task. Will developers avoid certain Android variants the way I avoid cabbage?

I also think the notion of “less of a problem” is a facet of Google’s “good enough” approach. I am not sure “good enough” will pass muster in the present business climate. I have to keep reminding myself that South Korea’s alleged police action, the US government’s hit and miss scrutiny of Google, and the EC’s stack of legal actions involving Google could make “good enough” management show even more stress fractures.

Fragmentation may be less of an issue that forks and fractures.

Stephen E Arnold, September 8, 2011

Sponsored by


Comments are closed.

  • Archives

  • Recent Posts

  • Meta