May 15 AT 3:27 PM Dustin Earley 45 Comments

Google updating Android without updating Android is the biggest news out of I/O 2013

android-magazine-spread Image via: lett -/\= with Creative Commons

Google used this year’s developer conference to announce a ton of new features and services available now and coming soon for Android. There is a new Maps experience; Google Play has been updated; Google Now is set to include more information; Google game services will enhance your gaming experience across phones, tablets and platforms; Google Play Music All Access will completely change how music works on your Android device. And yet, there was no new version of Android announced. That’s no coincidence.

Google’s answer to fragmentation has been fully realized at Google I/O 2013. Google has developed around the vastly different configurations of Android, breaking down the various walls keeping Google from updating core apps and services that really shape your Android experience. If you were to break down the most important aspects of Android that dictate user experience, you could easily include everything Google updated today, without having to actually update Android. That means that not only will Nexus users experience Android the way Google wants you to, but HTC One, Samsung Galaxy S4, Sony Xperia Z and Oppo Find 5 users will as well.

Yes, the way text messages, certain aspects of notifications, the lock screen and home screen may be entirely different on various devices, but that’s not fragmentation — that’s choice. When every Android user, despite what phone or tablet they use, can enjoy the same Google Play store, the same Maps app, the same music services, the same Gmail experience and the same robust Google Search features, there’s no way you can say Android has a fragmentation problem. In the past there has been system compatibility problems, keeping some users on older versions of Android from accessing certain features, but that is getting better every day. And Google has set up a system that will get rid of that problem in the future.

In order to implement the changes to Android that Google wanted to today, they didn’t have to update Android. That, in itself, is the most important piece of news to come out of Google I/O 2013. To see how far Android has come in the last year, you don’t need to look further than that.

Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

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  • redraider133

    I was impressed with what google announced. Yes there wasn’t any new devices or new version of android but they released/updated their current services to make them even better. I am excited to see the new maps this summer and also how hangouts turns out and if it can be another success for google. Plus that stock s4 I am hoping will able to be easily ported to all the versions for the stock google experience.

    • tomyjone1k

      Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

  • dcdttu

    …but how do they fix the fact that all Nexus 4′s on wifi have a driver bug that keeps them from receiving notifications when they come in, and waiting up to 15 minutes to actually notify you? (ARP-offload driver bug)

    This phone needs updating regardless of a new Android version.

    • lolo

      My nexus 4 suffers from no such Wi-Fi bug. So it can’t possibly be all nexus 4′s. I have only heard of a hand full of people with the notification bug on XDA.

      • whyzor

        You probably have an app that keeps a wifi wakelock, which prevents it from going into low power state as intended to save battery, thus working around the bug. But it’s not the way it’s supposed to work.

    • JRock

      Mine suffers BADLY from this defect, and I was hoping for an update for just this reason.

      The actual bug report on Google Code is HUGE and was first reported on November 20th, 2012 and they STILL haven’t fixed it (Qualcomm).

      https://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=40065

      Google ignored it for a LONG time, and then finally marked it “Future Release”. Future when? KLP this Fall w/ the new Nexus devices? That’ll be a year since launch, and the phone can be unusable on WiFi depending on your router. That’s called a DEFECT. Infuriating

    • questgraves

      Yes the phone needs an update, but a bigfix doesn’t need to be an OS version change. How many windows updates will a PC get during the same windows version to address similar issues? enough to call it a service pack and maybe not even just once? Mac OSX too for that matter

  • o.j. simpson, live statement from jail

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    • Tim Linde

      Numbers doensn’t mean a better product.

    • Chris

      That has got to be one of the dumbest statements I’ve ever heard.

      • http://droidsamurai.blogspot.com DroidSamurai

        Look at the name of the poster — do you expect any smarter statement from someone who pick such name?

    • Pagrate

      They are already the market leader. Crawl back under your rock troll.

    • ds098

      To say seriously, are you a primary kid ?

    • SGB101

      Wow does this the xbox360 is 357 revisions newer than the PS3!

    • Ray

      Waste of sperm

  • http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/JO7b1Ck47aQEDj18KITtDo-UqYBOLeP6nzuQmVQDO8o?feat=directlink Gomez

    Another Google app that needs to work with all androids should be Google wallet! Once you use it, it becomes very useful.i really do miss using it at Walgreen’s everytime I go in to pay. And hopefully with the stock Android rom coming to the s4 it should make it easier.

    • phor11

      And Google Now, and swipe typing keyboard, and lockscreen widgets, etc… etc…
      They aren’t going to end fragmentation simply by separating a few key services into standalone apps.

    • DA GOPHER STATE

      Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

      • SGB101

        I must of watched a different game.

        You posted that after the full time whistle!!! It was 2-1 to Chelsea!

    • Steve

      It was just released on the overnight for s4 and note 2. I am very happy!

  • Nate B.

    I was impressed at what Google announced today. It was fun and exciting. They can have a great impact without even updating Android as a whole. They did it professionally and with quality. Class indeed. I can’t imagine what will be said when the next version of Android comes, or even the device itself.

    • epps720

      I think Google did a really smart thing here. By not updating the Android version they give the OEMs a chance to update their phones and minimize the fragmentation just in time for Key Lime Pie in the fall.

  • http://droidsamurai.blogspot.com DroidSamurai

    That’s exactly what I have in mind, too. The Google service is now the new Android — things that OEM cannot get rid of.

  • Sere83

    Yeah I see what Google has done and there were some nice additions but to be honest for the aspects of android im interested in it was a bit disappointing.

    Like My nexus 7 is pretty laggy all round and the bounce back bug is a real pain that clearly wont be getting a fix for a while. Was hoping for some project butter improvements too

    Then the Neuxs 4, I could live without LTE but no 32GB…. disappointing given the size of android games/apps and Hd media and such these days. Would have bought a Nexus 4 for sure if we had seen a 32gb edition but now im not so sure. S4 upgrade was nice but way out my price range.

    Not that impressed really

  • http://www.typhonrt.org/ Mike Leahy

    “there’s no way you can say Android has a fragmentation problem”

    Uh, yes there is a fragmentation problem… I’ve been a broken record on what real fragmentation is and almost every time the blog / media outlets confuse the matter and simply spread fud. In general while things are getting seemingly better in the QA department for new Android OS releases fragmentation is not going away anytime soon; human error always has a pesky way of inserting itself at the most inopportune moments… Like just before an OS release.. ;P

    I honestly don’t see how this is the biggest news from I/O.. Updating core apps while they provide a nexus, heh, of user experience has nothing, _absolutely nothing_, to do with fixing fragmentation. Real fragmentation are the bugs and critical differences between OS versions that are hard locked to the firmware. Issues like what “dcdttu” brought up in the 3rd comment. These are matters that can not simply be avoided by updating app experiences.

    • free2bejc

      I sincerely hope you were not at your full mental capacity when writing that comment.
      It is incoherent and fails to elaborate on any points raised.

      Reciting dcdttu’s comment is hardly insightful.

    • pjamies

      The issues with the Nexus4 are issues with the Manufacturers drivers and not
      anything to do with Android itself, or all recent phones would have the same issues.
      If you want to scream at some one look no farther than LG.

      Com’on guy, you cannot be that stupid right ??

      • http://www.typhonrt.org/ Mike Leahy

        Given that A&M is a good blog, but full of punters these days in the comments I’m guessing I’m probably a lot smarter than both of you, but that is neither here nor there. SO now perhaps we can get past the ticklish ad hominem attacks…

        pjamies — Indeed that particular issue may likely be an driver issue via LG. As things go in the larger scope of things as developers it doesn’t matter where the fragmentation comes from whether Google or the manufacturer. Something that makes apps break makes apps break.

        free2bejc — Fair enough… I’m not interested in posting a ton of details every time a blogger wrongly associates something on the Android platform with the end of fragmentation. I’ve already done it enough times yet the posts continue.

        Here is a link to a recent write up on another well known Android blog that made the same mistake where I did go into specific details…

        https://plus.google.com/117904596907381647757/posts/VF7sCNwo4Xy

        All this cracks me up because I love Android, but do hate misinformation when it comes to saying fragmentation is no longer a problem. It’s just FUD. Fragmentation will end when human error ceases to exist or development mechanisms of Android are changed where the SDK can be updated transparently separate of being hard locked of firmware. IE just like the core Google apps. Until then fragmentation is alive and well..

        • OnIn2

          If I call a dog’s tail a leg, how many legs does he have ? 4 of course. Updating some apps does not end fragmentation. My G2x can’t see all these new wonderful apps.

          The world is full of fragmentation.

          • free2bejc

            Erm no. Your statement suggests that you would be calling a dog’s tail as a leg and would not be wrong to do so. The statement also implies a Dog’s anatomy would not change. In which case all you have done is switched the names. It would therefore have 1 leg and 4 tails.

            Your logic from each sentence does not follow. My reply is merely debating semantics, but I believe your semantics to be entirely false.

            The world is full of fragmentation, making as many people on the same version of something as possible reduces this easily. Especially when many people may be using different versions of android. How anyone cannot see this is beyond me.

            The only solution you appear to want is to have software that could never make use of new advances, the concept of future-proof is erroneous. It is only future-proof as far as their own developments go.

            Basically what Google is doing > Apple’s attempts (they’d rather force you to buy a new version).

            (Elaborating on the Apple point, it has been known that some iOS updates cause older models to work slower due to extra processes. Effectively slowing your phone until it becomes unusable or it is so far gone they stop bothering altogether.)

        • free2bejc

          With no true technological definition of fragmentation all of these arguments are semantic.

          If you wish for your opinions to be respected then you should stop act as if you’re preaching. Get off your high horse.

          The authors misappropriation is likely down to the attitude that most people have towards the word ‘fragmentation’. He is attempting to quash Android fans fears of any growing divides among android devices. I believe this is foolish as fragmentation is actually a core strength of Android devices. The mere fact that Android is an operating system that is loaded onto millions of phones with entirely different specifications is important. It allows devices to be individualist and tailored to the consumer and their price point. This is not a coincidence as Google has always catered to the masses rather than the few. Yes this makes it more difficult for the developer, and that needs to be adressed in some manner. A tiering of devices would be useful, however, this a problem caused by manufacturers not Google and would require their subscription for this, the only possible way to do this would be Nexus certification etc (they have to get something out of it too).

          Fragmentation will continue to exist, not because of human error, but because of human progression. Something made years ago, is no longer as efficient or well designed as now because we know better. Equally Google acts with a democratic mindset rather than Apple’s more autocratic direction. This means Google wants to be all things to all people, Apple can be headfirst and unilateral.

          On a side note, I also find that anyone who brings the word intelligence into a debate, usually has the least. (And whilst I mean this as a joke because of the arbitrary nature of the word, I fully expect you to come back with your pejorative tone.)

        • free2bejc

          With no true technological definition of fragmentation all of these arguments are semantic.

          If you wish for your opinions to be respected then you should stop act as if you’re preaching. Get off your high horse.

          The authors misappropriation is likely down to the attitude that most people have towards the word ‘fragmentation’. He is attempting to quash Android fans fears of any growing divides among android devices. I believe this is foolish as fragmentation is actually a core strength of Android devices. The mere fact that Android is an operating system that is loaded onto millions of phones with entirely different specifications is important. It allows devices to be individualist and tailored to the consumer and their price point. This is not a coincidence as Google has always catered to the masses rather than the few. Yes this makes it more difficult for the developer, and that needs to be adressed in some manner. A tiering of devices would be useful, however, this a problem caused by manufacturers not Google and would require their subscription for this, the only possible way to do this would be Nexus certification etc (they have to get something out of it too).

          Fragmentation will continue to exist, not because of human error, but because of human progression. Something made years ago, is no longer as efficient or well designed as now because we know better. Equally Google acts with a democratic mindset rather than Apple’s more autocratic direction. This means Google wants to be all things to all people, Apple can be headfirst and unilateral.

          On a side note, I also find that anyone who brings the word intelligence into a debate, usually has the least. (And whilst I mean this as a joke because of the arbitrary nature of the word, I fully expect you to come back with your pejorative tone.)

          • http://www.typhonrt.org/ Mike Leahy

            >With no true technological definition of fragmentation all of these arguments are semantic.

            Huh, that is what I’m trying to clearly talk about here… There is a very precise tech definition of what constitutes fragmentation!

            **
            Fragmentation is what happens when OS and device differentiation fails to honor standards and contracts of developer APIs.
            **

            This applies mostly to the SDK layer of Android that 3rd party app developers use to create apps. When there are bugs introduced in developer APIs between versions of the SDK which is hard locked to the firmware / OS version then apps don’t always run correctly across the larger ecosystem. Fragmentation has been created by Google and ODMs over the progression of OS and new device releases.

            What the most bloggers / media folks really should be substituting most usage of “fragmentation” with is “(OS and device) differentiation”. That is a perfectly fine thing and for the most part Android provides adequate manners for 3rd party developers to respond to different OS and SDK API levels and device differentiation.


            It’s perfectly valid to say that since Google is now making an effort to update core Google services and apps across the larger ecosystem that differentiation for the (user level) Android experience is more cohesive.

            To say that fragmentation has been solved or is no longer a problem is misleading, but probably not intentionally so by the original author.

            >If you wish for your opinions to be respected then you should stop act as if you’re preaching. Get off your high horse.

            I am not sharing an opinion and there is nothing tangled up in semantics about fragmentation other than the misappropriation of the term where it should mostly be replaced with “(OS and device) differentiation”. Facts speak louder than hot air… :: gets pin to poke free2bejc and release the pressure :: I didn’t ruffle my feathers until I was called a retard by yourself and stupid by another punter.

            There is a reason I no longer comment on A&M except on the most egregious misappropriations of terminology that pop up from time to time… And yes the misuse and particularly misleading blog / media posts that say is the end of “fragmentation” on Android still pushes that button for me..

            >Fragmentation will continue to exist, not because of human error, but because of human progression.

            Replace fragmentation with “differentiation” and your sentence above makes sense.

            However fragmentation, real fragmentation, will continue to persist with Android due to human error given the inflexible way that the Android SDK is hard locked / fixed to firmware and specific OS versions. As I mentioned if this layer of Android could be updated transparently just like apps backed by Google services being pushed to the widest amount of devices as possible then one could make the case that fragmentation is finally mitigated or moving toward mitigation.

            >Equally Google acts with a democratic mindset rather than Apple’s more autocratic direction.

            I’m pretty sure both want to extract the most amount of money out of consumers. Google conceivably could be called more democratic insofar as to offer lower cost alternatives in a general attempt to get the masses to see their mobile ads and when possible share as much personal data as possible to be packaged up for ad targeting. Nothing is free… TANSTAAFL and all that…

            >On a side note, I also find that anyone who brings the word intelligence into a debate, usually has the least.

            You have yet to demonstrate you know what you are talking about.

            >And whilst I mean this as a joke because of the arbitrary nature of the word, I fully expect you to come back with your pejorative tone.

            Back at you… It is indeed you who started down the pejorative road in your initial response calling me a retard without addressing the points I made. Indeed I was on topic with my first post… As things go though unless you have something factual to say or comment on then well we’re probably done here.. :)

  • jonstle

    Google had a pretty good keynote today. I was impressed with many of the re-done products from maps to plus. But I am really excited about the new developer features for android, making it easier for people to write apps that can do amazing things with Googles data centers powering them. Like they said over and over technology is here to make the things you have to do fast and easy so you can do the things you want to do.

  • thymeless

    The changes are largely privacy problems is the sad thing. More ways to hit you with subscriptions–you paying Google to refine their data profile of you. More ways to unify their collected data about you in games, G+ and more. The maps changes have some user potential at least.

    I don’t see most of this as benefiting Android so much as benefiting Google.

  • jamal adam

    I think that Google did an amazing job today and they have brought a lot of important and awesome features that will make Android even better. I was wowed with all the goods and especially the dedication to developers, gaming, improved music app as well as subscription service, hangouts, maps etc. They brought the house down and they did it in style.

  • Paul Atreide

    I hope developers really take advantage of this and follow Google’s lead. Today has me excited to see what’s coming next from that bunch. Google didn’t emphasize the number of downloads for nothing. By the Fall, I believe it might be some interesting toys to play with taking advantage of these new services and redesigns. Hoping developers really turn it up a notch or two.

  • KC

    No hardware announcements (no Nexus-5, no Motorola-X ) and no OS Updates – a big disappointment!

    The apps’ updates are important but only secondary to those interested in getting new devices. When we wanna buy a car or anything physical, we wanna see its design ( beauty, specs, etc.).

    Software will run on any normal device, even ugly and old ones.

    Thus far, Google I/O, from all the kind and polite reports, is IMHO, a BIG DISAPPOINTMENT and a FAILURE !

    • Lee

      Your comment is probably the wrong way round for most people. Hardware is there to support software. It is the software that keeps the user engaged and the software that takes advantage of the hardware. Google unveiled a raft of software upgrades and revamps that, although are less high profile than a shiny new piece of hardware, are more relevant to the end user.

      Also, don’t forget that IO is a dev event first and foremost. That much was made clear by the length, tone and content of the keynote. And if that isn’t clear enough, then just check out the schedule of workshops and seminars planned in. Unless you’re a dev, this isn’t aimed squarely at you (although there were still plenty of bones for consumers to chew on). I’m sure we’ll see a separate event later in the year with plenty of new hardware to show off, and I’m sure it will be pretty clearly aimed at consumers – which you should find more personally satisfying.

  • Kilgore Trout

    I still wish Google would update my XOOM…

  • donger

    This is great for older versions of android.But it could/ would be a problem for older/ outdated hardware.

  • Mgerm

    Even with the updates that google announced, there is still a fragmentation problem. Too many screen sizes, carrier skins, manufacturer skins, and processor speeds all contribute to fragmentation. The fragmentation issue isn’t just about is versions. It’s much, much more

  • Aluzeros

    Same experience my )&@@)!

    Have at&t htc one, no new hangouts, still separate messenger and talk apps, and no ability uninstall and install new hangouts app on stock OS. So sorry fragmentation still big in Android.

  • Fifth313ment

    Anyone else have issues with the new Google Play Services? Ever since I got the newer version it’s been using up a ton of battery. When I check the Running Apps in my settings the “Google Services” named “GoogleLocationService” is always running and using 7-10MB of RAM. Not to mention the new Google Play Music has a new service which also always runs called “MusicPlaybackService” and takes up 10-15MB of RAM. Google maps has been getting bigger and bigger and now runs 24-7 and uses up 20-40MB of RAM even when it’s in the back ground and was never started! The play store does something similar! What the heck are they doing? As they are trying to separate Android from itself they are killing users memory it seems. People with older phones with 1GB or memory of less can sometimes have their phones almost be unusable due to RAM and file sizes of Google apps! Google apps are killing not only my RAM but battery too!

    5th

  1. I was impressed with what google announced. Yes there wasn’t any new devices or new version of android but they released/updated their current services to make them even better. I am excited to see the new maps this summer and also how hangouts turns out and if it can be another success for google. Plus that stock s4 I am hoping will able to be easily ported to all the versions for the stock google experience.

    • tomyjone1kGuest 2 years ago

      Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

  2. dcdttuGuest 2 years ago

    …but how do they fix the fact that all Nexus 4′s on wifi have a driver bug that keeps them from receiving notifications when they come in, and waiting up to 15 minutes to actually notify you? (ARP-offload driver bug)

    This phone needs updating regardless of a new Android version.

    • loloGuest 2 years ago

      My nexus 4 suffers from no such Wi-Fi bug. So it can’t possibly be all nexus 4′s. I have only heard of a hand full of people with the notification bug on XDA.

      • whyzorGuest 2 years ago

        You probably have an app that keeps a wifi wakelock, which prevents it from going into low power state as intended to save battery, thus working around the bug. But it’s not the way it’s supposed to work.

    • JRockGuest 2 years ago

      Mine suffers BADLY from this defect, and I was hoping for an update for just this reason.

      The actual bug report on Google Code is HUGE and was first reported on November 20th, 2012 and they STILL haven’t fixed it (Qualcomm).

      https://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=40065

      Google ignored it for a LONG time, and then finally marked it “Future Release”. Future when? KLP this Fall w/ the new Nexus devices? That’ll be a year since launch, and the phone can be unusable on WiFi depending on your router. That’s called a DEFECT. Infuriating

    • questgravesGuest 2 years ago

      Yes the phone needs an update, but a bigfix doesn’t need to be an OS version change. How many windows updates will a PC get during the same windows version to address similar issues? enough to call it a service pack and maybe not even just once? Mac OSX too for that matter

  3. o.j. simpson, live statement from jailGuest 2 years ago

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

  4. Another Google app that needs to work with all androids should be Google wallet! Once you use it, it becomes very useful.i really do miss using it at Walgreen’s everytime I go in to pay. And hopefully with the stock Android rom coming to the s4 it should make it easier.

  5. I was impressed at what Google announced today. It was fun and exciting. They can have a great impact without even updating Android as a whole. They did it professionally and with quality. Class indeed. I can’t imagine what will be said when the next version of Android comes, or even the device itself.

    • I think Google did a really smart thing here. By not updating the Android version they give the OEMs a chance to update their phones and minimize the fragmentation just in time for Key Lime Pie in the fall.

  6. That’s exactly what I have in mind, too. The Google service is now the new Android — things that OEM cannot get rid of.

  7. Sere83Guest 2 years ago

    Yeah I see what Google has done and there were some nice additions but to be honest for the aspects of android im interested in it was a bit disappointing.

    Like My nexus 7 is pretty laggy all round and the bounce back bug is a real pain that clearly wont be getting a fix for a while. Was hoping for some project butter improvements too

    Then the Neuxs 4, I could live without LTE but no 32GB…. disappointing given the size of android games/apps and Hd media and such these days. Would have bought a Nexus 4 for sure if we had seen a 32gb edition but now im not so sure. S4 upgrade was nice but way out my price range.

    Not that impressed really

  8. “there’s no way you can say Android has a fragmentation problem”

    Uh, yes there is a fragmentation problem… I’ve been a broken record on what real fragmentation is and almost every time the blog / media outlets confuse the matter and simply spread fud. In general while things are getting seemingly better in the QA department for new Android OS releases fragmentation is not going away anytime soon; human error always has a pesky way of inserting itself at the most inopportune moments… Like just before an OS release.. ;P

    I honestly don’t see how this is the biggest news from I/O.. Updating core apps while they provide a nexus, heh, of user experience has nothing, _absolutely nothing_, to do with fixing fragmentation. Real fragmentation are the bugs and critical differences between OS versions that are hard locked to the firmware. Issues like what “dcdttu” brought up in the 3rd comment. These are matters that can not simply be avoided by updating app experiences.

    • I sincerely hope you were not at your full mental capacity when writing that comment.
      It is incoherent and fails to elaborate on any points raised.

      Reciting dcdttu’s comment is hardly insightful.

    • The issues with the Nexus4 are issues with the Manufacturers drivers and not
      anything to do with Android itself, or all recent phones would have the same issues.
      If you want to scream at some one look no farther than LG.

      Com’on guy, you cannot be that stupid right ??

      • Given that A&M is a good blog, but full of punters these days in the comments I’m guessing I’m probably a lot smarter than both of you, but that is neither here nor there. SO now perhaps we can get past the ticklish ad hominem attacks…

        pjamies — Indeed that particular issue may likely be an driver issue via LG. As things go in the larger scope of things as developers it doesn’t matter where the fragmentation comes from whether Google or the manufacturer. Something that makes apps break makes apps break.

        free2bejc — Fair enough… I’m not interested in posting a ton of details every time a blogger wrongly associates something on the Android platform with the end of fragmentation. I’ve already done it enough times yet the posts continue.

        Here is a link to a recent write up on another well known Android blog that made the same mistake where I did go into specific details…

        https://plus.google.com/117904596907381647757/posts/VF7sCNwo4Xy

        All this cracks me up because I love Android, but do hate misinformation when it comes to saying fragmentation is no longer a problem. It’s just FUD. Fragmentation will end when human error ceases to exist or development mechanisms of Android are changed where the SDK can be updated transparently separate of being hard locked of firmware. IE just like the core Google apps. Until then fragmentation is alive and well..

        • If I call a dog’s tail a leg, how many legs does he have ? 4 of course. Updating some apps does not end fragmentation. My G2x can’t see all these new wonderful apps.

          The world is full of fragmentation.

          • Erm no. Your statement suggests that you would be calling a dog’s tail as a leg and would not be wrong to do so. The statement also implies a Dog’s anatomy would not change. In which case all you have done is switched the names. It would therefore have 1 leg and 4 tails.

            Your logic from each sentence does not follow. My reply is merely debating semantics, but I believe your semantics to be entirely false.

            The world is full of fragmentation, making as many people on the same version of something as possible reduces this easily. Especially when many people may be using different versions of android. How anyone cannot see this is beyond me.

            The only solution you appear to want is to have software that could never make use of new advances, the concept of future-proof is erroneous. It is only future-proof as far as their own developments go.

            Basically what Google is doing > Apple’s attempts (they’d rather force you to buy a new version).

            (Elaborating on the Apple point, it has been known that some iOS updates cause older models to work slower due to extra processes. Effectively slowing your phone until it becomes unusable or it is so far gone they stop bothering altogether.)

        • With no true technological definition of fragmentation all of these arguments are semantic.

          If you wish for your opinions to be respected then you should stop act as if you’re preaching. Get off your high horse.

          The authors misappropriation is likely down to the attitude that most people have towards the word ‘fragmentation’. He is attempting to quash Android fans fears of any growing divides among android devices. I believe this is foolish as fragmentation is actually a core strength of Android devices. The mere fact that Android is an operating system that is loaded onto millions of phones with entirely different specifications is important. It allows devices to be individualist and tailored to the consumer and their price point. This is not a coincidence as Google has always catered to the masses rather than the few. Yes this makes it more difficult for the developer, and that needs to be adressed in some manner. A tiering of devices would be useful, however, this a problem caused by manufacturers not Google and would require their subscription for this, the only possible way to do this would be Nexus certification etc (they have to get something out of it too).

          Fragmentation will continue to exist, not because of human error, but because of human progression. Something made years ago, is no longer as efficient or well designed as now because we know better. Equally Google acts with a democratic mindset rather than Apple’s more autocratic direction. This means Google wants to be all things to all people, Apple can be headfirst and unilateral.

          On a side note, I also find that anyone who brings the word intelligence into a debate, usually has the least. (And whilst I mean this as a joke because of the arbitrary nature of the word, I fully expect you to come back with your pejorative tone.)

        • With no true technological definition of fragmentation all of these arguments are semantic.

          If you wish for your opinions to be respected then you should stop act as if you’re preaching. Get off your high horse.

          The authors misappropriation is likely down to the attitude that most people have towards the word ‘fragmentation’. He is attempting to quash Android fans fears of any growing divides among android devices. I believe this is foolish as fragmentation is actually a core strength of Android devices. The mere fact that Android is an operating system that is loaded onto millions of phones with entirely different specifications is important. It allows devices to be individualist and tailored to the consumer and their price point. This is not a coincidence as Google has always catered to the masses rather than the few. Yes this makes it more difficult for the developer, and that needs to be adressed in some manner. A tiering of devices would be useful, however, this a problem caused by manufacturers not Google and would require their subscription for this, the only possible way to do this would be Nexus certification etc (they have to get something out of it too).

          Fragmentation will continue to exist, not because of human error, but because of human progression. Something made years ago, is no longer as efficient or well designed as now because we know better. Equally Google acts with a democratic mindset rather than Apple’s more autocratic direction. This means Google wants to be all things to all people, Apple can be headfirst and unilateral.

          On a side note, I also find that anyone who brings the word intelligence into a debate, usually has the least. (And whilst I mean this as a joke because of the arbitrary nature of the word, I fully expect you to come back with your pejorative tone.)

          • >With no true technological definition of fragmentation all of these arguments are semantic.

            Huh, that is what I’m trying to clearly talk about here… There is a very precise tech definition of what constitutes fragmentation!

            **
            Fragmentation is what happens when OS and device differentiation fails to honor standards and contracts of developer APIs.
            **

            This applies mostly to the SDK layer of Android that 3rd party app developers use to create apps. When there are bugs introduced in developer APIs between versions of the SDK which is hard locked to the firmware / OS version then apps don’t always run correctly across the larger ecosystem. Fragmentation has been created by Google and ODMs over the progression of OS and new device releases.

            What the most bloggers / media folks really should be substituting most usage of “fragmentation” with is “(OS and device) differentiation”. That is a perfectly fine thing and for the most part Android provides adequate manners for 3rd party developers to respond to different OS and SDK API levels and device differentiation.


            It’s perfectly valid to say that since Google is now making an effort to update core Google services and apps across the larger ecosystem that differentiation for the (user level) Android experience is more cohesive.

            To say that fragmentation has been solved or is no longer a problem is misleading, but probably not intentionally so by the original author.

            >If you wish for your opinions to be respected then you should stop act as if you’re preaching. Get off your high horse.

            I am not sharing an opinion and there is nothing tangled up in semantics about fragmentation other than the misappropriation of the term where it should mostly be replaced with “(OS and device) differentiation”. Facts speak louder than hot air… :: gets pin to poke free2bejc and release the pressure :: I didn’t ruffle my feathers until I was called a retard by yourself and stupid by another punter.

            There is a reason I no longer comment on A&M except on the most egregious misappropriations of terminology that pop up from time to time… And yes the misuse and particularly misleading blog / media posts that say is the end of “fragmentation” on Android still pushes that button for me..

            >Fragmentation will continue to exist, not because of human error, but because of human progression.

            Replace fragmentation with “differentiation” and your sentence above makes sense.

            However fragmentation, real fragmentation, will continue to persist with Android due to human error given the inflexible way that the Android SDK is hard locked / fixed to firmware and specific OS versions. As I mentioned if this layer of Android could be updated transparently just like apps backed by Google services being pushed to the widest amount of devices as possible then one could make the case that fragmentation is finally mitigated or moving toward mitigation.

            >Equally Google acts with a democratic mindset rather than Apple’s more autocratic direction.

            I’m pretty sure both want to extract the most amount of money out of consumers. Google conceivably could be called more democratic insofar as to offer lower cost alternatives in a general attempt to get the masses to see their mobile ads and when possible share as much personal data as possible to be packaged up for ad targeting. Nothing is free… TANSTAAFL and all that…

            >On a side note, I also find that anyone who brings the word intelligence into a debate, usually has the least.

            You have yet to demonstrate you know what you are talking about.

            >And whilst I mean this as a joke because of the arbitrary nature of the word, I fully expect you to come back with your pejorative tone.

            Back at you… It is indeed you who started down the pejorative road in your initial response calling me a retard without addressing the points I made. Indeed I was on topic with my first post… As things go though unless you have something factual to say or comment on then well we’re probably done here.. :)

  9. Google had a pretty good keynote today. I was impressed with many of the re-done products from maps to plus. But I am really excited about the new developer features for android, making it easier for people to write apps that can do amazing things with Googles data centers powering them. Like they said over and over technology is here to make the things you have to do fast and easy so you can do the things you want to do.

  10. The changes are largely privacy problems is the sad thing. More ways to hit you with subscriptions–you paying Google to refine their data profile of you. More ways to unify their collected data about you in games, G+ and more. The maps changes have some user potential at least.

    I don’t see most of this as benefiting Android so much as benefiting Google.

  11. I think that Google did an amazing job today and they have brought a lot of important and awesome features that will make Android even better. I was wowed with all the goods and especially the dedication to developers, gaming, improved music app as well as subscription service, hangouts, maps etc. They brought the house down and they did it in style.

  12. Paul AtreideGuest 2 years ago

    I hope developers really take advantage of this and follow Google’s lead. Today has me excited to see what’s coming next from that bunch. Google didn’t emphasize the number of downloads for nothing. By the Fall, I believe it might be some interesting toys to play with taking advantage of these new services and redesigns. Hoping developers really turn it up a notch or two.

  13. KCGuest 2 years ago

    No hardware announcements (no Nexus-5, no Motorola-X ) and no OS Updates – a big disappointment!

    The apps’ updates are important but only secondary to those interested in getting new devices. When we wanna buy a car or anything physical, we wanna see its design ( beauty, specs, etc.).

    Software will run on any normal device, even ugly and old ones.

    Thus far, Google I/O, from all the kind and polite reports, is IMHO, a BIG DISAPPOINTMENT and a FAILURE !

    • LeeGuest 2 years ago

      Your comment is probably the wrong way round for most people. Hardware is there to support software. It is the software that keeps the user engaged and the software that takes advantage of the hardware. Google unveiled a raft of software upgrades and revamps that, although are less high profile than a shiny new piece of hardware, are more relevant to the end user.

      Also, don’t forget that IO is a dev event first and foremost. That much was made clear by the length, tone and content of the keynote. And if that isn’t clear enough, then just check out the schedule of workshops and seminars planned in. Unless you’re a dev, this isn’t aimed squarely at you (although there were still plenty of bones for consumers to chew on). I’m sure we’ll see a separate event later in the year with plenty of new hardware to show off, and I’m sure it will be pretty clearly aimed at consumers – which you should find more personally satisfying.

  14. I still wish Google would update my XOOM…

  15. This is great for older versions of android.But it could/ would be a problem for older/ outdated hardware.

  16. MgermGuest 2 years ago

    Even with the updates that google announced, there is still a fragmentation problem. Too many screen sizes, carrier skins, manufacturer skins, and processor speeds all contribute to fragmentation. The fragmentation issue isn’t just about is versions. It’s much, much more

  17. AluzerosGuest 2 years ago

    Same experience my )&@@)!

    Have at&t htc one, no new hangouts, still separate messenger and talk apps, and no ability uninstall and install new hangouts app on stock OS. So sorry fragmentation still big in Android.

  18. Anyone else have issues with the new Google Play Services? Ever since I got the newer version it’s been using up a ton of battery. When I check the Running Apps in my settings the “Google Services” named “GoogleLocationService” is always running and using 7-10MB of RAM. Not to mention the new Google Play Music has a new service which also always runs called “MusicPlaybackService” and takes up 10-15MB of RAM. Google maps has been getting bigger and bigger and now runs 24-7 and uses up 20-40MB of RAM even when it’s in the back ground and was never started! The play store does something similar! What the heck are they doing? As they are trying to separate Android from itself they are killing users memory it seems. People with older phones with 1GB or memory of less can sometimes have their phones almost be unusable due to RAM and file sizes of Google apps! Google apps are killing not only my RAM but battery too!

    5th