Google’s Android platform is a killer success. So much so that now all and sundry are gunning for them, and detractors love nothing more that wheeling out the “Android is fragmented” argument. Oh dear.
The world’s media has covered Google’s Eric Schmidt speech during the Le Web tech powow in Paris, where it was revealed that “Android is ahead of iPhone now”. This apparently caused an element of consternation amongst the iPhone touting audience.
Detractors poked at the apprently low quality of some of the Android Market’s apps to which Schmidt replied “six months from now, you’ll say the opposite. Ultimately, application vendors are driven by volume. The volume is favoured by the open approach Google is taking. Whether you like ICS or not, you will want to develop for that platform, perhaps even first.” He is undoubtedly correct on that point and if developers want to be known and make money, they will go with the platforms that shift the most volume.
Make no mistake, there is some utter drivel on the Android Market. Some apps of such low quality that it makes you owner why the “programmer” went through the trouble of submitting it. While Apple would kick those offerings out, Google’s approach is more of a free for all.
Make no mistake, there is some utter drivel on the Android Market. Some apps of such low quality that it makes you owner why the “programmer” went through the trouble of submitting it.
Architecturally, there are few substantial differences between Android 2.2 and 2.3. There are few, if any apps which do not run on both platforms that the main stream user would be interested in and so it is disingenuous to say that users running 2.2 will hit problems. It is simply an non-issue. If nearly 86% of devices run both versions, that is hardly a fragmented platform.
Android 4.0 is merely days old. The Samsung Galaxy Nexus on which it resides is very new, and to even mention that is hardly helping. Reference it, fine, but to crow about that being the new version and expect current device manufacturers to rush out updates is not feasible. Android is developed by Google and then released/open sourced accordingly. It is up to the manufacturers and phone networks to decide how and when to upgrade. History has shown that you cannot expect a new Android release to reach parity in the user base for several months.
We will not see Ice Cream Sandwich updates for the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S II, HTC Sensation or Sony’s Xperia range until Q1/Q2 2012 even though manufacturers are keen to mention that they are working on it. And that is absolutely fine because, most simply, there is very little wrong with Gingerbread. Or Froyo for that matter. It’s doing just fine as it is, and while it could do with getting spruced up, it is still able to do anything an iPhone can. Apart from maybe talk back at you.
At least Information Week points something nice out:
“At this point, there are still more iOS devices out there than Android devices, but that probably won’t hold true for long. Apple’s daily activation rates are far lower than Android’s. Android’s momentum, mind share, and opportunity are clear. ”
The full interview with Eric Schmidt is below:
Via Information Week