Extreme Android Fragmentation

androidfragmentation.pngMaksim Golivkin sent me a link to his useful blog post on Where does Android fragmentation hide? It describes the various types of Android fragmentation and how it’s not as bad as it sounds because the really popular devices account for majority of the market share.

My more recent Android experience has been slightly different because more recently I have taken on work on more B2B apps than consumer apps. B2B apps tend to do more innovative things, dig deeper into the platform but need to run on a smaller range of devices. However, these devices tend to be ones at the fringes of device capability as companies try to stretch what’s possible on Android. This has meant, for example, working with cheap tablets from China, rugged Android devices or as I mentioned recently devices with outstanding cameras. These types of device tend not to be non-Google experience devices because they haven’t passed Google’s compatibility test suite.

Companies need to carefully consider use of such devices. API fragmentation on these devices can be at the extreme end and considerably more development effort is sometimes required. Success of the project is often dependent on direct technical support from the hardware manufacturer.