Colorful Chart Details Android Fragmentation

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Whatever your thoughts on fragmentation in the Android ecosystem, it is an issue that persists today and will more than likely continue in the future. On one hand, the ability to use multiple versions of Android on various devices has helped the ecosystem grow by leaps and bounds. On the other, fragmentation leads to a disorganized Android experience, with certain apps and features only available on select devices. An image from OpenSignal visualizes fragmentation on Android devices, using data gathered from 4,000 Android devices in 2012.

The visualization is compiled of device brands and Android versions, with each square representing a brand, with the squares and rectangles inside representing certain devices. The size and color of the squares corresponds to the version of Android said device is running on.

With more and more Android devices being released at a frequent clip, especially in the low to mid-range market, fragmentation is not going away any time soon. While the most recent Android developers report shows the most recent version of Android, Jelly Bean as running on 37.9% of Android handsets, 34.1% still are running on Android 2.3, Gingerbread. The upcoming Android Key Lime Pie could help things out however, as it is rumored to be used on devices with lower spec sheets.

[Via: Phandroid]

  • Nick V

    I have been using Android for a few years now, and I do not think that fragmentation is a big an issue as everyone is making it out to be. With most carriers renewing every two years, we are starting to see a bump, even in low end phones, of the Android OS, which last year was not happening.

    Even with iOS, older phones, such as the 4 and 4S aren’t able to use certain app updates and even the OSes features with each new update. Fragmentation is setup to make people buy new devices, and it isn’t a bad thing either.

    In Android’s world, you have the Nexus phones/tablets from Google, but you also have the same from Samsung, LG, HTC and others, which all bring new and different features to the market. I am not sure I would buy a Google Play Edition phone, when I know that all the great features (YMMV) will be stripped out of the device.

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