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I'm happy with fragmentation. It means we as customers and as developers have choice. We can have tiny devices or huge devices or devices with really weird screen resolutions or unusual hardware features. We can have built-in hardware keyboards if we want them, or not. We can have giant batteries, or not. We can use SD cards if we want. We can use Android on a TV in our living room or in a car computer for navigation and media or in our phones or our watches or anything else we want. We don't need permission. We won't be sued for using Android the way we want. As a customer, you can buy an Android device in nearly any configuration you'd like. As a developer, you can take Android and turn it into something beautiful for your customers. As a hardware engineer, you can put Android in your creations and do something no one has ever done before. It doesn't matter that Google runs the Android project; we all own the GPL/Apache-licensed code and can do anything we want. Even if Google turned evil, we can just fork the code and keep going forward. Even if Samsung or HTC or Motorola turned stupid, we can just get our hardware from someone else without losing our software investment. Even if every manufacturer on the planet stopped supporting Android, we can support Android ourselves. There is nothing to stop us from doing what we want, how we want, where we want. This is why I love Android, Linux, and open source software. And this is why I'll never use a proprietary operating system on any device I own ever again.
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+Dorian Trent It really isn't that hard to use something like the Fragments API to handle a bunch of screen resolutions. People that write desktop applications and websites already have to deal with screen resolutions and such and phones/tablets/TVs/etc really aren't a big difference. And if they can't afford to support everything from the start, they can start with the popular devices and work forward from there. It's not an all or nothing situation.
 
I totally agree and am tired of hearing that fragmentation is inherently bad. I think it is good to have standards you can use for orientation and concentrate on but there should be always the freedom to do something differently which Android provides.

BTW, Android is licensed under the Apache License, not GPL. (besides the Linux kernel obviously).

+Dorian Trent In my opinion, customers lose out when they do not even have a chance to run the software they want because they don't want or are unable to get a specific device. The worst case is with Apple where any software for Mac/Iphone/Ipods are useless on virtually all computers because they have the wrong brand. However, also on more "open" operating systems like Windows you are restricted by the licensing fees and dependency on the developer/manufacturer (in the case of the mobile versions).
 
I am myself an iOS/Android developer, and I just gave my opinion on your comment.. You were not targeted at all!
 
+Dorian Trent I read that when it was published. I'll reply to each one of them for your entertainment. And before you say "this was someone else's opinion", know that you are the one sharing the link and saying "I'm not the only person saying this". I am treating this as if it were your opinion directly considering you seem to be submitting this exactly for that reason. If not, then provide your own distinct opinion. Now that I hope that's cleared up, I'll proceed.

1: Android has API Levels. If you want to use the newest stuff, you will exclude older OS versions. This isn't something specific to Android. In any system that uses a system API (like Windows, for example), you can't just use the newest thing unless you want to exclude older versions. Windows upgrades come through much slower, but Windows has also been around for much longer. But that doesn't change the fact that there are a ton of Windows XP users even though XP is bordering on ancient. Windows Vista and Windows 7 introduced a ton of new APIs that won't work in XP. It's not an Android-specific problem.

2: Yes, there are a ton of hardware configurations. Desktop computers have a ton of hardware configurations, too. Web clients (phones, desktops, laptops, tablets) have this too. If your app needs a camera, then obviously your app won't work right if the device doesn't have one. If a laptop doesn't have a camera, it'll fail in quite the same way. This isn't an Android-specific problem. And the fact that there can be so many configurations is a good thing for end users, no matter how much you think otherwise.

3: Why is this a problem? No app controls those buttons nor do they need to know which button is which. And with new devices running ICS, those buttons are removed altogether and are drawn on the screen instead by the OS. I reject this as anything to even consider as a problem.

4: I hate that device manufacturers and carriers make changes to the stock OS build, but I'm glad that they have freedom to do so. I'd rather them make changes than for them to come out with their own OS each. But with that aside, I don't see an example of how this is a problem for developers. Are they removing or altering the available APIs? Or do they just make the UI different? If it's UI-only, then this isn't anything of interest.

5: They're more strict now. They issued UI guidelines and a good number of developers are following them. The biggest offenders these days are folks porting from iOS and keeping the iOS UI guidelines which makes their apps look like they belong on an iPhone not on an Android device. I do prefer that Google keeps their hands out of actually approving applications, though. If someone wants a controlled store, they can go shop in the Amazon Appstore or some other vetted store I don't already know about. Or if they want to be nannied, they can buy an iPhone. The way Google runs their shop right now is a good balance of developer and end user freedom.

6: I don't see examples of actual malware with regard to breaking through security, though there are apps that claim that they do one thing while they do something else. This is no less secure than any desktop or laptop out there. The user must approve the app's list of requested permissions before they are able to install the app and they must approve the permissions again if those permissions are changed in a future app update. If the user wants to install a game but it wants access to the user's contact list, the user shouldn't approve it. If they approve it anyway, they have little right to complain. Yes we live in a world where most users just click "ok" to everything. I'm okay with it biting them in the ass once in a while. Most of us are adults here and we can pay attention to what's going on. For the few apps that claim to do something legit with the permissions requested but then do something different, that's a different problem. You still need to be able to trust the app developer and their intentions. If you don't trust them, don't install. This is the same as any other computing platform, even the iPhone. Users should be reading reviews and reading the permissions list before they install. Android is not Fisher-Price and I will be very angry if it becomes it.

7: What? If you're just looking for stats, there are plenty of sources. Why is this an Android problem?

8: Apple has been attacked for patent issues just the same as Android-using manufacturers. I refuse to pay any attention to this until a real patent issue arises that will affect anyone that isn't a manufacturer directly. Bringing up patent issues are nearly always just FUD and this time is no exception.

9: Apps written for Android phones run on Android tablets too. If the developer is following recommended guidelines (which do exist), a problem with tablet-specific development is reduced greatly. Or simply don't even worry about Android tablets. If you are going to exclude Android altogether only because iPad is more popular than other tablets then I think you're making a decision based on a strange metric. But if that's how you do business, then by all means just go cater to the folks you want to cater to. But the fact that iPad is popular being a reason for a person to not like developing for Android seems like an excuse, not a reason.

10: This is much better now. The old market wasn't nearly as usable as the new Google Play Store (I haven't warmed up to the weird name yet) is. And the play.google.com website is also very usable. And no iTunes required. And you can choose to remote install an app via the web browser without even having the device in-hand. I'd say that this issue doesn't exist anymore at all.
 
You insisted on this debate and now you've just quit like that, eh? I'm disappointed. You are using old references as backup and I never said "idiot". I also never said there are only pros. I said that it's better this way.
 
I am devoloping a few lines of codes that display some informations about public local services in my country.

These few lines of codes are working :-) 100% on these 3,000 different Android devices.
I wrote the same code on iOS for 6 devices and i am not even sure that will pass some tests where I may be blocked because screenshots are not totally accurate.

Please tell me why I should prefer the 27% market share device compared to 51% market share and growing really faster then your iStuff?
 
+Dorian Trent By now I've lost what the point is. All I've gained from this conversation is that you "see" both sides, which I don't know quite what you mean by that. You say there are pros and there are cons. But what I don't understand is if you're saying this because you believe the cons are more weighty than the pros as to recommend avoiding Android or if you're saying something different. I don't understand what your actual goal is for this conversation.
 
I read that just now and I know what you're saying, but there really isn't anything to say in response. There are pros and there are cons. But in the end, I do believe that in the case with Android the pros outweigh the cons by quite a large margin. If developers have a problem supporting a non-homogenized ecosystem then they can happily go support an ecosystem that is owned and controlled by a single company. But that ecosystem will not be sustainable in the long run. I'm not aware of any proprietary system that has so many customers (which means airplanes don't count) that has survived as a closed proprietary system like Apple requires. Eventually the control will be broken up due to customer demand, governmental demand, or successful competition. Maybe there is success right now in that system, but I promise that it will not continue indefinitely.
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