Originally Posted by Menno
An overwhelming majority of apps can run across multiple devices. And by that I mean approaching 90% or more (at least of the popular ones) Not to mention that even cheaper devices are running off of snapdragon/TI chipsets now, so there's not anywhere near the hardware fragmentation their used to be.
Of those that can't (Netflix, Tegra only, etc) It's not because the other hardware can't run it. Take Netflix. It apparently "Can't run" on my Galaxy tab, but if I pull the file from my Incredible and install it on my tab (without touching the coding AT ALL) it works flawlessly. Whatever it is "checking" for it obviously finds in my Tab, so it plays. Yet Netflix decided not to offer it in the market.
For tegra games, all you need to do is have a rooted non-tegra device and you can get a file that will say that the phone is running a tegra chipset, and the games will play. The file of the game itself is again not altered. Yes, these games require dual core still, but most of them have single core versions as well.
I don't doubt that Apple's tighter integration of hardware and software allows for easier compatability across models, I'm just saying that the "Fragmentation" issue tends to get blown out of proportion. It does exist, but it's not the major issue people claim it is unless THEY make it so, or in very specific use-cases.
(People like to mention Angry birds not running on older devices. Angry birds ran fine on older devices, it was the ads that messed it up)
Not saying this to offend you, but you really come off as being in denial about Android fragmentation, and that way failing to recognize the real reasons why Netflix isn't on your Galaxy Tab or why you have to root some devices to run Tegra games.
The point is: fragmentation is not just about what the hardware and software *can* do, but also what people companies and *actually do with it*. Like someone before me pointed out, Netflix has contracts that require them to warrant a certain level of security, and this takes time and money for each OS and each piece of hardware, so they decide to support only a few. Nvidia wants to promote their own hardware, so they decide to make deals with game companies to have their games only run on Tegra, even though other chips would work just fine. Amazon wants to have you buy everything through Amazon, so they leave out competing offerings and make their own app store. Companies like Epic and Id have products that are so expensive to develop and maintain, and are so critically dependent on hardware features, that they don't want to take a gamble investing too much into the Android platform. Developers and content providers who want to sell stuff do not want to have to deal with 20 different app stores and payment systems, so they pick one or two and leave the others out. I can go on for hours.
None of these examples are about hardware, but about logistics, cost-benefit analysis, risk, corporate politics, promoting own products, etc. If you can't see how this kind of fragmentation decreases value for the end-user, you are either blind or in denial.
Then, after all of this, comes the hardware fragmentation, which is also a pretty big issue for many types of applications. Not for a Twitter client, but definitely for a game studio. The Angry Birds example you linked is pretty ironic, seeing that shortly after that statement, Rovio actually apologized about how shitty their Android port ran on many handsets, and promised to create simplified version of it. It doesn't matter if it ran shitty because of ads, because if Rovio thought they could offer the game on Android without ads and still make good money, they wouldn't have to include ads in the first place. The same thinking goes for many other Android applications by the way: they need to include ads, because there are simply too many Android users who cannot buy the ad-free version, or simply don't want to because they are trained to think applications have to be 'free'. It's a real issue that is keeping AAA titles away from Android, even with the largest marketshare, there are thousands of AAA apps that are exclusively on iOS, yet there are virtually none that are exclusive on Android.