Android is an open platform, the operating system used by hundreds of millions of smartphones worldwide. With its OEMs, open the Android as a pair of wings to help them fly away, flying high on the smartphone market, but with the father of it, Google, Android is open seemingly makes this U.S. technology group felt worried, and would really matter if they have not solved a very difficult problem: the fragmentation of Android. And this is also the key topics to be brought up for discussion in many talks between Google engineers and developers all over the world at the conference Google I / O 2013, with the common goal of limiting multi-fragmentation as well as the solution of this problem.
What is Fragmentation? The cause of fragmentation in Android
First of all we need to have a general concept of the term "fragmentation of Android". First, it should be understood that "Fragmentation = Classification into pieces", so, in the Android fragmentation is caused by two main factors:
The constant updates are released in a short time, while the old equipment could not upgrade to Android soon before;
Too many companies involved in manufacturing OEMs phone, Android tablet -> dozens of devices with sufficient size, screen resolution running Android -> fragmentation from within Android.
Effects of fragmentation so what? Apparently Android fragmentation will cause a lot of trouble, especially for application developers and OEMs to major carriers. Let's try an example for clarity:
Difficulties app: The app developer wants to sell, they have to make good the app is compatible with Android models being sold, or popular Android devices. So, when Samsung launches Galaxy S4 screen 5 ", Full HD resolution, they (developer) to modify your app to fit the screen resolution to 1920 x 1080 pixels unbroken while they maintain the app development for those with HD resolution, or the resolution of computer screen is lower.
Difficulties updates: There is a real easy to see that Google is constantly launching Android updates in a very short time. Going back to when Android has two versions: one for smartphones (Android 2.3 Gingerbread from younger), and one for tablets (Android 3.0 Honeycomb), Android 2.3 when it was started in vogue and many machines still is in the process of upgrading, then Google decided to merge Android and launched version 4.0 and later no longer is 4.1, 4.2. The Android update to the new version so quickly has caused many problems for small firms OEMs, they will be embarking on editing interface, start the process of updating Android 4.0, 4.1 for medium and high-end models level (a new machine only to Android 2.3 a few days), and then the result is: long users wait to share the latest Android or accept money to buy the new smartphone comes pre-installed Android 4.1 or 4.2.
Of course, the members of the development team of Google Android was aware of the problem, but it is limited to a "talking is easy but difficult to practice." During his talk with the developers, representatives of Google Android division, said Dave Burke, said obviously very difficult to balance support for older hardware devices and continuous threads innovative solutions for Android to meet user needs. Burke is entirely reasonable to say this, as we know, the new Android version always includes a variety of new features, more creative, more unique, and increasingly more complete, but when Google as trying to make Android becomes more perfect with the constant updates, then they inadvertently "upset" of smartphone users older generation - which is the hardware configuration does not respond well, or not wait a few months to get the new Android upgrade.
In fact, Google made a bid to limit the worsening fragmentation of Android, which was launched Android version 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (Android version is compatible with most of the tablet and smartphone). The purpose of the creation of ICS that helps developers do not have to create two versions of the same app (one for tablets and one for phones), from which the app was launched and upgraded more quickly. Unfortunately, since the advent ICS, more developers to give users Android OS 2.3 or less, and only released the app required to run ICS or more machines. Perhaps before Google released ICS had anticipated this, but they think that the sacrifice of people using Android 2.3, 2.2 to completely change the Android platform will be a wise strategic move, particularly considering the future of Android.
Solution named "Nexus"
Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is Google's first attempt to slow the fragmentation of Android, so the company's second attempt is: is the Nexus series. Before talking about the Nexus devices, Burke did not forget to mention a very sensitive issue, he said that the issue "Android fragmentation" basically caused by the machines running the Android version is not pure. Burke went on to suggest that the main interface, the third-party app, its effect from the OEMs, the network is what makes the series even though the high-end smartphone, but still can not update the Android version last time. So whenever Google launches new Android version, OEMs and network operators to begin to develop the theme, install app for their devices - resulting in time and cost more money - along with capture the user to wait for fatigue.
So the best solution to combat fragmentation, to be able to experience the Android OS a "pure" one, which is the use of the Google Nexus series. Take a look at the Galaxy Nexus or Nexus 4, we always get the latest Android version immediately without having to wait for months, because they both use the original Android interface, without any intervention by the firm OEMs or carriers. Because of the great benefits of the original Android, so recently we've seen Samsung and Google have partnered together to launch the Android powered Galaxy S4 Net: user interface such as the Nexus series - this can be considered is a smart move by both Google and Samsung. Samsung will give customers more choice, while Google to go a long way in the campaign to limit the fragmentation of Android.
We can see, Android is now divided into two arrays: one that harkened back to the original Android Nexus, Android has passed both the editing, customization by OEMs or carriers. In particular, if the Android in the second array will be for those who prefer sophisticated, like the spectacular effects, like the complexity and interface features such as Samsung's TouchWiz or HTC's HTC Sense, the Android in the third Most seem to be a long-term plan of Google more. It is a unified plan Android, minimize fragmentation, and bring the Android experience "purest" to the consumer.
Android OS smartphone with many appearing in all segments, from low level to high level, but this will make the problem of Android fragmentation increasingly more serious. Burke said the most viable solution Google is now reducing the amount of updates and simplifies the hardware requirements, but whether it is effective? Is pressure from competitors such as iOS, Windows Phone, or BlackBerry will cause Google to accept the development of Android updates around the low-level flow? The answer is probably never, have to accept the fact that the focus on high-end models will help Google increase competition in the market, but instead they will have to give smartphone users the Android low level. Google can lower the amount of updated packages, hoping to bring the latest Android smartphone to the old, but they can not take the good features which only run on 4 cores on a smartphone handset single core or dual core.
Nexus is a great solution to thwart Google fragmented, but that is not enough. Google needs to do much more with Android, they should release the minor update, focusing on the important new features, instead of making such a leap to upgrade Android 2.3 to Android 4.0. Consequently, after a long time launch Android 4.0, a very large number of Android devices on the market remains stagnant Android 2.3 Gingerbread or Android 2.2 Froyo. The focus on features instead of the platform interface, OEMs will help the company update their devices quickly and easily.
Hopefully, with a solution called Nexus and optimize Android updates, Google will quickly achieve "unity Android", and then users would not have hesitated thinking: do not know the Android phones that have been updated to Android 4.2.2 in the future, or the purchase of new and abandoned!