How Google Solved Android’s Fragmentation Problem

With an app, of course.

Fascinating to ponder that Google is trying to basically blow up the PC industry with Chrome (the Win 8 Chrome app runs exactly like my Chromebook and I’m betting they take that over to OSX as well) and is doing a similar thing with this decentralized Android strategy to iOS.

Rather than having the big updates come to a device via an operating system update (“yay iOS 7 is coming out with all of these great new features!” etc), with Google Play Services the table has been turned and allows for Android to stay up to date despite the actual version number that a manufacturer might ship with the hardware.

Oh my this is interesting…

This is how you beat software fragmentation. When you can update just about anything without having to push out a new Android version, you have fewer and fewer reasons to bother calling up Samsung and begging them to work on a new update. When the new version of Android brings nothing other than low-level future-proofing, users stop caring about the update.This gets even more interesting when you consider the implications for future versions of Android. What will the next version of Android have? Well, what is left for it to have? Android is now on more of a steady, continual improvement track than an all-at-once opening of the floodgates like we last saw with Android 4.1. It seems like Google has been slowly moving down this path for some time; the last three releases have all kept the name “Jelly Bean.” Huge, monolithic Android OS updates are probably over—”extinct” may be a more appropriate term.

via Balky carriers and slow OEMs step aside: Google is defragging Android | Ars Technica.

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