87 percent of Android developers worried about fragmentation, survey says

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  • Reply 21 of 86
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    AI: Please put a bit more elan into your stories, a la DED. Take a stand? Thanks.



    Why should Apple Insider take a stand on an Android issue?
  • Reply 22 of 86
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hill60 View Post


    Especially outside the US, like here in Australia:-



    http://gs.statcounter.com/#mobile_os...-201101-201103




    Apple has smashed it in australia, i was in Sydney recently, walking Cafe districts counting phone types on tables. It was obvious.



    The change in 3yrs also. I go to get my iPhone update same time each release 10am launch day. I use it to gauge change. 1yr 1st, 2yr 30th, 3yr wait 3-4 weeks sold out.
  • Reply 23 of 86
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 5,043member
    I am surprised it took Android developers this long to realize this whole business model was going to be a huge issue for them.



    I will give you a another good example of this issue with Android platforms.



    I just went from an original first gen android phone (work phone) to the most recent high end android phone which has a nice big high resolution display. Well some of the apps do not take advantage of the bigger display. A number of apps only use a portion of lager display. It appears it does not know what the display size is and scales according. There other features this phone has that the apps are not aware of so they do not use them or take advantage of them.



    Hardware manufactures obviously can not and will not tell developer what they are up to so developer can make the necessary code changes to their apps. Apple does not have this issue they tell developer how to write apps so no matter what app does in the future the apples will work great.



    There is no programing bible for android platform as exist on the ISO and OSX plateforms. so developer are left guessing what is next.
  • Reply 24 of 86
    newbeenewbee Posts: 2,055member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iedsri View Post


    Of course this is not surprising news, but if it's true that most developers prefer iOS to Android, why do significantly more of them now develop for Android than for iOS -- especially when by all accounts they stand to make more profit writing Apple coded apps? Puzzling.



    I don't think it's all that puzzling. I think what we're seeing is that the developers that don't have confidence in what they produce would rather try and be a "big fish in a small pond" rather than the other way around. It's not the way I would do it ... but hey .... to each their own.
  • Reply 25 of 86
    djmikeodjmikeo Posts: 180member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iedsri View Post


    Of course this is not surprising news, but if it's true that most developers prefer iOS to Android, why do significantly more of them now develop for Android than for iOS -- especially when by all accounts they stand to make more profit writing Apple coded apps? Puzzling.



    Not really. These are the developers that are writing apps that are not allowed on iOS devices, ie. Porn Apps, Racial Slurs, Homophobic, or just useless wallpaper apps.
  • Reply 26 of 86
    newbeenewbee Posts: 2,055member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post


    And as fragmented as android gets, it still produces market share numbers Apple is losing to. It doesn't matter if it's BOGO or very very cheap, you just can't beat the numbers. Yes Apple takes profits android can only dream of, but whatever floats your boat. I use an iPhone BTW.



    I'll let my competition "win marketshare" everytime ..... as long as I keep on winning the profit battle. As I always say .... try depositing marketshare in your bank.
  • Reply 27 of 86
    shardshard Posts: 96member
    My company gave up Android development long ago. Right from the start, we realized that we needed a development team many times the size of the iOS team and not meaning to generalize but from experience, iOS users are more willing to pay.



    For iOS, the hard part is writing an app that Apple will approve. But if you follow the rules and guidelines, your testing team can be very small since you are only testing against, the iPhone, iPad and iPhone. Lets say 3 generations of each device, 2 types of iPhone 4 (Verizon) and same for the original iPad (WiFi and 3G) and 3 types of iPad 2 (WiFi, 3G and Verizon).



    Now look at Android, you have tons of manufacturers with tons of different products, anything from phones to tablets to eReaders. Each release has different hardware and different Android versions. 2 different devices from the same manufacturer can be vastly different. Different manufacturers will have different UI optimizations. A manufacturer will release a product and abandon it in 6 months and release something new. In other words, there are so many hardware and software permutations that there is no possible way for us to have enough testers to make it worth our while.



    In the end we took the easy way out, develop for a potentially smaller market but a market that is more willing to pay and gives better ROI because our team size is alot smaller.
  • Reply 28 of 86
    al_bundyal_bundy Posts: 1,525member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by shard View Post


    My company gave up Android development long ago. Right from the start, we realized that we needed a development team many times the size of the iOS team and not meaning to generalize but from experience, iOS users are more willing to pay.



    For iOS, the hard part is writing an app that Apple will approve. But if you follow the rules and guidelines, your testing team can be very small since you are only testing against, the iPhone, iPad and iPhone. Lets say 3 generations of each device, 2 types of iPhone 4 (Verizon) and same for the original iPad (WiFi and 3G) and 3 types of iPad 2 (WiFi, 3G and Verizon).



    Now look at Android, you have tons of manufacturers with tons of different products, anything from phones to tablets to eReaders. Each release has different hardware and different Android versions. 2 different devices from the same manufacturer can be vastly different. Different manufacturers will have different UI optimizations. A manufacturer will release a product and abandon it in 6 months and release something new. In other words, there are so many hardware and software permutations that there is no possible way for us to have enough testers to make it worth our while.



    In the end we took the easy way out, develop for a potentially smaller market but a market that is more willing to pay and gives better ROI because our team size is alot smaller.



    it's not that bad



    HTC has 3 screen sizes and they mix and match different parts every few months. the Inspire is a HSPA+ radio but last year's CPU/GPU. Thunderbolt is all new hardware inside. and they use the same parts from the same manufacturers over and over again. just change the name of the phone.



    the Evo/Inspire are pretty much the exact same phone



    iOS is the same way. the verizon iphone4 is very different than the AT&T iphone 4
  • Reply 29 of 86
    al_bundyal_bundy Posts: 1,525member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post


    I am surprised it took Android developers this long to realize this whole business model was going to be a huge issue for them.



    I will give you a another good example of this issue with Android platforms.



    I just went from an original first gen android phone (work phone) to the most recent high end android phone which has a nice big high resolution display. Well some of the apps do not take advantage of the bigger display. A number of apps only use a portion of lager display. It appears it does not know what the display size is and scales according. There other features this phone has that the apps are not aware of so they do not use them or take advantage of them.



    Hardware manufactures obviously can not and will not tell developer what they are up to so developer can make the necessary code changes to their apps. Apple does not have this issue they tell developer how to write apps so no matter what app does in the future the apples will work great.



    There is no programing bible for android platform as exist on the ISO and OSX plateforms. so developer are left guessing what is next.





    ok, some of my iphone apps look so sensational on my ipad 2 stretched out or with a huge black border around them.



    yet on MS Windows different resolutions have been standard for years and years and apps have magically adjusted and looked as good. except with LCD's where the monitor has one native resolution. but buying a better LCD will not make your apps look like crap



    why are iOS and android having such issues with this?did MS patent it back in the day and no one can do it?
  • Reply 30 of 86
    shardshard Posts: 96member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post


    it's not that bad



    HTC has 3 screen sizes and they mix and match different parts every few months. the Inspire is a HSPA+ radio but last year's CPU/GPU. Thunderbolt is all new hardware inside. and they use the same parts from the same manufacturers over and over again. just change the name of the phone.



    the Evo/Inspire are pretty much the exact same phone



    iOS is the same way. the verizon iphone4 is very different than the AT&T iphone 4



    You listed a handful of devices from a few manufacturers. There are tons more. Also we develop for the international market and not just the US, that means the number of devices goes up again.



    Edit.



    In case anyone is interested, here is a list of Android devices, there are hundreds and possibly thousands if you include different Android versions and I am pretty sure the list is not complete.



    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compari...ndroid_devices
  • Reply 31 of 86
    alandailalandail Posts: 757member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hill60 View Post


    Especially outside the US, like here in Australia:-



    http://gs.statcounter.com/#mobile_os...-201101-201103



    Moving on, Google released details of Android platform versions, Honeycomb makes up 0.2%



    http://developer.android.com/resourc...-versions.html



    That indicates low sales numbers, no wonder no one is developing programs for the Xoom.



    it also indicates fragmentation. why are 27.2% of android users still on v2.1 and just 2.5% on the latest 2.3.x. Could it be because there is no upgrade path short of buying a new phone?
  • Reply 32 of 86
    shardshard Posts: 96member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post


    ok, some of my iphone apps look so sensational on my ipad 2 stretched out or with a huge black border around them.



    yet on MS Windows different resolutions have been standard for years and years and apps have magically adjusted and looked as good. except with LCD's where the monitor has one native resolution. but buying a better LCD will not make your apps look like crap



    why are iOS and android having such issues with this?did MS patent it back in the day and no one can do it?



    I could be completely wrong and someone please correct me if I am.



    The problem has to do with the number of pixels on LCDs. Unlike old CRTs that just stretch or shrink an image to size provided the ratio is the same, LCDs have something called DPI (dots per inch). The same problem happens with desktop LCDs if you don't use the native resolution.



    The first apps were written to take advantage of the exact number of dots on the iPhone and iPod Touch, when the iPad was released things changed, more dots, different ratio (?) and while most apps could be stretched to take up most of the additional real estate it is not pretty. Some apps now come with both iPhone and iPad graphics in 1 version meaning a bigger app but it is optimized for both screens. Others to make more money sell 2 versions, an iPhone version and an iPad HD version.
  • Reply 33 of 86
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post




    iOS is the same way. the verizon iphone4 is very different than the AT&T iphone 4



    I don't understand what you mean in this case, the only difference is a slight shift in the positioning of the antenna and the use of CDMA chipset instead of GSM chipset. The rest of the hardware is the same, the OS is the same and the apps run exactly the same way as they have on the ATT iPhone 4. How is the VZN iPhone 4 "very different"?
  • Reply 34 of 86
    xsuxsu Posts: 401member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iedsri View Post


    Of course this is not surprising news, but if it's true that most developers prefer iOS to Android, why do significantly more of them now develop for Android than for iOS -- especially when by all accounts they stand to make more profit writing Apple coded apps? Puzzling.



    There's less standard for Android apps, so of course those that unwilling or unable to meet Apple's standard will gravitate toward Android.
  • Reply 35 of 86
    shardshard Posts: 96member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by alandail View Post


    it also indicates fragmentation. why are 27.2% of android users still on v2.1 and just 2.5% on the latest 2.3.x. Could it be because there is no upgrade path short of buying a new phone?



    Another sore point. Most Android devices to date are not upgradable to the latest version of Android, they are stuck at the release version or at most one or two versions up.



    This is not the fault of Google and the Android team but rather the phone manufacturers abandoning their users in as little as 6 months to focus on newer devices and forcing users to upgrade. This is one of the main causes of Android's fragmentation.



    iOS on the other hand supports devices up to 2 to 3 years. Increasing a developers target audience while making it easier and cheaper to develop for.
  • Reply 36 of 86
    shardshard Posts: 96member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iedsri View Post


    Of course this is not surprising news, but if it's true that most developers prefer iOS to Android, why do significantly more of them now develop for Android than for iOS -- especially when by all accounts they stand to make more profit writing Apple coded apps? Puzzling.



    Any body can be a developer for Android, there are no fees involved, but how many have really written an app? Apple requires developers to pay and register. It weeds out the posers



    Just look at the number of apps for iOS and that for Android and you will have an idea.
  • Reply 37 of 86
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,992member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by alandail View Post


    it also indicates fragmentation. why are 27.2% of android users still on v2.1 and just 2.5% on the latest 2.3.x. Could it be because there is no upgrade path short of buying a new phone?



    Here's an example of the upgrade path for one model, the HTC Legend, on one carrier Vodafone Australia.



    Quote:

    HTC Legend Android 2.2 (Froyo) update take 2

    Friday, April 1, 2011 in Exclusives, News





    UPDATE: Friday, 1 April 2011, 5:20PM AEDST:



    Hi everyone,



    Firstly, apologies regarding the FroYo update for those of you that are using the HTC Legend. Since my last update, we?ve been working with HTC to sort this problem that some of you were having in updating your Legend to Android 2.2



    The cause of the problem is that some have the older version of software which will either:



    Not enable you to see a new update (Device with version 2.1 says not update available) or,

    Receive the initial prompt to update will not come thru.

    To Help I have included a Summary of the software we have delivered to date



    RC Éclair 2.1 (Version 2.02.178.3).

    QMR Éclair 2.1 (Version 2.10.178.1.)

    MR FroYo 2.2 (version 3.15.178.3)

    Basically you can?t update your phone direct from RC Éclair 2.1 to MR FroYo 2.2 and must follow the instructions below



    Go into your settings and manually pull the software update

    Run the 1st upgrade : From 2.02.178.3 (RC Eclair) to 2.10.178.1 (QMR Eclair) ? about 19MB

    Once you?ve done that you can now update to FroYo



    Go into your settings and manually pull the software update

    Run the 2nd upgrade: From 2.10.178.1 (QMR Eclair) to 3.15.178.3 (MR FroYo) ? about 80MB

    Regards,



    AT



    Source
  • Reply 38 of 86
    see flatsee flat Posts: 145member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iedsri View Post


    ... if it's true that most developers prefer iOS to Android, why do significantly more of them now develop for Android than for iOS -- especially when by all accounts they stand to make more profit writing Apple coded apps? Puzzling.





    That would be the same reason that some developers kept developing for the Mac platform when they stood to make more profit writing windows coded apps.
  • Reply 39 of 86
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 3,346member
    The thing about this fragmentation issue is that while Google might be able to fix it for future devices, there's no undoing the fragmentation for everything that's on the market right now. That means that users and developers will be contending with the impact of fragmentation for a long time. So even if Google brings the hammer down tomorrow and switches to a MS WP7 model, it will still take years to heal their ecosystem.



    It's this fact more than anything else that makes me think Google's "open" approach to android was naive ideology run amuck, not a sinister bait-and-switch scheme.
  • Reply 40 of 86
    al_bundyal_bundy Posts: 1,525member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by shard View Post


    You listed a handful of devices from a few manufacturers. There are tons more. Also we develop for the international market and not just the US, that means the number of devices goes up again.



    Edit.



    In case anyone is interested, here is a list of Android devices, there are hundreds and possibly thousands if you include different Android versions and I am pretty sure the list is not complete.



    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compari...ndroid_devices



    and they all use ARM based CPU's with wifi or GSM for network hardware and the same few resolutions. it's not like Windows NT/2000 had separate versions for x86/MIPS/DEC Alpha and i forgot what else.



    the biggest PITA seems to be the manufacturer "optimization"



    and i tend to read the release notes for my app updates and i always see stuff like fixing bugs for iOS 3 devices or an app would crash on iphone 4 or 3G or 3GS
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