In a recent article in ‘Search Consumerization’, Margaret Jones gives a great description for those unfamiliar with device fragmentation and why it exists. She also covers why it has become a headache for IT organizations in addition to mobile app developers and QA managers to support.
As the market continues to grow and the number of devices continues to escalate, especially on the Android iOS, we see no sign of letting up or consolidation.
To begin, we must first understand what fragmentation is and why it is important when supporting the Android marketplace. In the article Jones writes “a mobile operating system becomes fragmented when there are several different OS versions in use at the same time. Fragmentation is usually associated with Android because wireless carriers and device manufacturers, not OS developers, are the ones who control when OS updates are sent out to different devices.”
While Apple is in control of the updates of their OS, there is still a level of fragmentation based on screen sizes (i.e. iPad, iPad mini, iPhone, and coming soon, the iWatch).
Jones continues “additionally, fragmentation is the result of different device manufacturers adapting a mobile OS for their own devices, as is the case with Android. For example, the version of Android that runs on some Samsung devices has been modified to work closely with Samsung's hardware. It is not the same version of Android that runs on other manufacturer's devices, even if the name of the OS version is the same.”
To read more follow our blog and catch our next installment as we continue this conversation in a 4 part series.
Also, register now for the upcoming AnDevCon in San Francisco, CA, Nov 12 – 15, 2013. Be sure to visit our booth #303 to experience our real device testing platform for anyone developing, testing, or supporting mobile apps and websites.