The F Word

Posted May 16, 2012 at 7:43 am in Threads > Opinions

The mainstream tech blogs are buzzing again about Android being ‘fragmented’. OpenSignalMaps has a graphic out today that shows the various model numbers (3997 of them) reported back to them from their app. ( and the other day TechCrunch ran a story about Animoca, a dev studio that uses around 300 actual devices, that they keep in a safe, to do QA on their apps. (

This is absurd and sensational reporting. There are infinitely more permutations of Windows PCs when you consider the huge number of combinations of processor, RAM, video card, monitor, etc.

The plus side of this ‘fragmentation’ is that the end user get choices. Which manufacturer, which model and on which carrier. We as Android fans need to call out those who keep saying ‘fragmention’ is bad.

Which is why we need a new name for it. I propose ‘coherence’. It talks of different units (Android devices) coming together (a bit like Voltron) to make a whole (the Android ecosystem). Thoughts?

  • Ironzey Lewis

    I hate that word. I’m not a developer so I can’t talk about the development side of things. As a user/consumer this doesn’t mean much. As with everything there are compromises, of I opt to get an outdated device then so be it.
    If I bought a pair of Nike’s and the next Nike starts selling a pair that will make me run faster should I expect to be upgraded to those shoes?
    The fragmentation thing is something ios fans dreamt up to combat choice. In reality Android is a different model all together. As with pretty much everything else more options mean more complexity.

  • Joel

    Choice – Its what makes us human (hehe, corny S3 reference) Anyway, Ironzey does have a pretty good point, and you, Eric, as well..but this is how I see it.

    Android is fragmented – Period. There are dozens on dozens of devices and on several different platforms (1.6-4.0.3.) So yes I have a choice to pick whatever device I want, but do I have the means or money to keep up? Not everyone does. The majority of us are still waiting for ICS – and here theres already talk about JB.

    And as regards the less savvy public – as you can clearly see, Android/Carriers dont advertise their platform versions…So again the people cant choose if they dont know froyo from ICS..makes sense? And lets not even get started on UIs.

    I love android though – but they need to start educating the general public a bit more.

  • Dr.Carpy

    I, agree with Ironzey as well. I think that the F word as Eric has eloquently put it (fragmentation feels like a curse word doesn’t it?!) My thing is fragmentation is a lack of functionality. Windows has several office suites and Operating systems. Linux suffers from the same thing, however nobody considers that fragmentation which it is. IOS be darned, they have several OS’s floating around out there depending on handset or iPod. They should correct that before worry about Android. Joel, I also agree that not everyone has the financial resources to keep up with tech. This is where as long as apps work across the several flavors of Android, then I have no problem. Android is gaining in popularity due to it’s inclusiveness.