Google updated its developer agreement earlier this week and included a clause that addresses fragmentation. The new paragraph added to the terms and conditions for Google’s Android SDK says,
“You agree that you will not take any actions that may cause or result in the fragmentation of Android, including but not limited to distributing, participating in the creation of, or promoting in any way a software development kit derived from the SDK.”
As written, the terms prohibit developers from creating their own fork of Android that’ll compete with the versions of Android sold on phones, a situation that could possibly confuse consumers. This new condition does not address the bigger problem of fragmentation, which is created by Android handset manufacturers and wireless carriers.
According to Avi Greengart who was quoted by PC World, “It [fragmentation] continues to be a problem, both on smartphones and tablets. Google has talked about multiple initiatives for dealing with it, but none of them have successfully addressed it.” Greengart cites the new Droid DNA from HTC that has high-end specifications, but ships with Android 4.1 and not the latest 4.2 version of the Android OS.
[Via PC World]