You guys are right, I'm wrong.
There will always be "some" fragmentation in ALL the Mobile and traditional computing operating systems. I think that RIM is well positioned to deal with it because the fragmentation from BlackBerry OS 5.0 all the way to BlackBerry 7.1 was actually bearable, it wasn't a huge difference, yes some apps didn't work but the vast majority did.
Well, developers complain about the fragmentation of Android, but it seems that the power of Android lies on the side of... fragmentation. Yes, I'm completely serious. ;-)
The fragmentation is the Android's biggest defect and advantage. Defect for developers - it is for sure. But an advantage for fighting with competition. They (Apple, Microsoft) were certain that because of the fragmentation Android will be dead by now. But everybody can see that the current market share reports show something quite different. This is a huge mistery of Google: how - despite the fragmentation - they have won the first place on the market...
As a developer and a consumer I see this in two ways. One is that Android is so fragmented in terms of operating systems. Two, the more common fragmentation argument, the multiple devices and many variables in hardware. For instance if you go out and buy an iPhone or a BlackBerry you KNOW that it will be supported for a good while, heck even BlackBerry OS 5.0 is still receiving new features, new OS updates and so forth. The problem with Android fragmentation is not exactly the device, screen size etc and making all of that fit, because no matter how bad anyone hates "scaling" it's done a damn good job, Android apps are often the ones which scale best when I use the Dev Alpha and PlayBook for testing. Why? Because they are designed for multiple screen sizes and a variety of devices. The real issue is in what an OS update can bring and even if you'll get an OS update.
Originally Posted by xdev
A new OS can bring some pretty neat features. For example, with BlackBerry 6 we got universal search, webkit based browser, redesigned user interface yada yada yada :P
I'm not sure if BlackBerry 6 launched with BlackBerry Messenger 6.0 (can't remember if it did) but something like BBM 6.0 was available on any BlackBerry running BlackBerry OS 5.0 and BBM 6.0 brought some neat features like app integration. So that would be a case of backwards compatibility with previous operating systems. Which many apps already do on Android because you want to make sure your apps work on as many devices as possible, also as the software engineers at Google want to make sure backwards compatibility is as good as possible because you don't want to have consumers complain none of their apps work if every time you release an update it breaks all the third party apps.
So after a long winded post and explanation I think the real problem is not just there's too many devices and too many hardware variables, that's already a known issue and an entire problem on its own, what I'm also hinting at is that there is this side of fragmentation which is less explored, which is the OS.
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