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To Battle Android Fragmentation Google now 'Less Open' with New SDK Modification

Discussion in 'Android News' started by dgstorm, Nov 16, 2012.

  1. dgstorm
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    dgstorm Editor in Chief Staff Member Premium Member

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    It's a fine line to walk. How can you remain as open as possible, yet still create enough cohesion and structure to avoid fragmentation? It almost sounds like a dilemma question on a college philosophy test doesn't it? Unfortunately it is precisely this razor's edge that Google must walk with Android everyday, and today's news suggests they made the choice to stray across to the "less open" side of things.

    Google has updated their Android SDK licensing terms and agreements to help keep things more focused and reduce fragmentation. Here's a quote with the details,

    In many ways this is good news. Addressing the fragmentation problem will benefit Android greatly. It helps consumers avoid obsolescence a bit longer with their devices, and greatly helps developers from having to create extra versions of their apps to be compatible with the various Android versions. Still, Google always strives to "not be evil." While this new "control mechanism" helps to keep fragmentation reduced, it also bends Google toward a more rigid and "Apple-like" way of doing things. Share your perspective on the subject.

    Source: CNET
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2012
  2. Vepaot
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    Vepaot Active Member

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    It's a joke to think that any single entity, whether it's one man or an entire corporation, can rise to such gross levels of power without putting down some rules and regulations. Without structure and cohesion, things fall into primitive chaos.

    Honestly I believe, all things considered, Google must be willing to make a few sacrifices here and there to improve on the quality of their product. And I'm okay with this. They've got a long way to go before they become the iron-fisted rule that Apple is known for. There may be some cause for concern the day they start removing 3rd party apps from the Play Store that perform the same functions as their stock applications. *Cough cough*
  3. djspy
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    djspy Member

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    Google has been going Apple-like too much. Not supporting flash and going HTML 5 only, basically (Like Apple) calling their users idiots as to why the decision to not allow external storage on their Nexus devices (people get confused) making people try to live in their "play" ecosystem and cloud storage just like Apple. Tell me who are they to talk about fragmentation when they themselves fragment Android the most? Exhibit A Google Now only for JellyBean and above. Exhibit B. New Gmail only for 4.2 and above should I go on? I've seen Google become more and more apple like this past year.
  4. johnomaz
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    johnomaz Well-Known Member

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    you can't live in a world of backwards compatibility. If you do, you never innovate. Look at Microsoft. They lived in that world and suffered for it. They finally decided to stop being so backwards compatible and good things happened. For Android, my old DroidX isn't capable of running JellyBean in any kind of efficient way. If Google Now requires a completely redone framework to work, its never going to happen. Google has found a great process of giving great devices and being able to deliver the newest OS on every one of their devices the day of its launch with 18 months of updates. The dev community also helps with that too. Why can't Moto, HTC, Samsung and all the rest do the same thing? No, they don't get the new OS updates earlier than anyone else, but why does it take them months and months to update? Hire some god damned programmers to get the updates going. My S3 was released just after the announcement of 4.1 and look, I still don't have the update and 4.2 is out already. Its like they have one monkey doing the updates or something. You're telling me they can't hire 5 people to work on their flagship phone for updates? If the handset makers wouldn't dick around so much and not do what we, their customers pay them to do (ya, we pay them by buying their phones), how is it Google's fault.

    That pie chart is also flawed too. Apple is in control of their devices. Any maker can make an Android device. Go on MetroPCS and you will see a ton of low powered crappy phones that can't run anything higher than Gingerbread. You have users like my dad that will use a phone for years before upgrading. My dad finally retired his Razr flip phone a few months ago. He got the Galaxy Note and I have a feeling will have it until it dies. I however get a phone every two years minimum and rarely, if ever, have the stock firmware on it. I don't think a phone manufacturer should keep putting updates on a phone for more than 18 months, but at the same time, I think they should do it as soon as possible.
  5. djspy
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    djspy Member

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    How come iOS users are enjoying Google Now and Google Voice search and I'm not? I've been a Android supporter since 2009 with the OG DROID. Next thing you know if they get an Maps app out on iOS it's going to have features I can't enjoy because I'm not on the correct OS version.
  6. johnomaz
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    johnomaz Well-Known Member

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    I'm not a dev, but I bet it has to do with voice input ability built into iOS where the capabilities are somewhat limited on older versions of Android. I'm not a fan of iOS, but it is more advanced than Froyo and GB on Android. It has been shown that Google Now can work on ICS so I'm not sure why its not on ICS yet.
  7. jroc
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    jroc Well-Known Member

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    Ok...I'm one of the few that actually like the different manufacture UI's. That said....stock Android has come a long way. Every time I look new features, UI features are getting added. I started with 2.0.1 on my Droid 1. Where stock Android is now is simpy amazing.

    IMO.....before Honeycomb...stock Android was too plain, boring. Where it is now.....there might be no need to alter and add to it too much.

    Ppl, companies adapt to change. Thats all Google is doing. They are not trying to rest on on their accomplishments. Dont like the no sd card thing the Nexus phones are pushing. Dont like that Flash is being done away with. That said....Android is still my fav mobile OS.
  8. Xplorer4x4
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    Xplorer4x4 New Member

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    Wow, Google makes one little change and suddenly an Apple reference is thrown in?

    How does Adobe discontinuing flash get blamed on Google? Does Google now own Adobe or develop flash? Am I missing something here. I thought Adobe pretty much abandoned flash across ALL platforms, not just Android. Plus HTML5 is a better alternative to flash anyways.

    Now I have not heard anything with regards to the Nexus devices so no comment.

    As for the "play" ecosystem, how is this a bad thing at all? We have a one stop shop for music, movies, books,and apps. However, unlike apple we have many alternative sources for apps and google even allows us to side load apps. Knowing apple, I am surprised they do have not kicked Amazon out of offering services via iOS. Google, on the other hand, strives to "Not be evil" so I can't say I see them kicking competing services out of the Play Store.

    Last but not least, Gmail and Google Now is disappointing, and indeed a bit apple like. However, this is hardly a play from Apple's play book.



    Now as it stands, Android is foss, but OEMs must sign an agreement with Google to use Android I believe. They need to include some sort of requirement that the device will receive all Android updates with in 2 years of launch, assuming a device meets *reasonable* minimum specs, since most customers choose to subsidize the cost via a 2 year contract. Because of this, customers are unable to buy a new subsidized phone for 2 years, so why not make the OEM provide updates with in some degree?
  9. jroc
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    jroc Well-Known Member

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    I read something elsewhere that this isnt exactly what we think it is...

    Another article mentioned this is in relation to something about Acer and Aliyun? Aliyun is listed as another separate OS when reading up on it....but its derived, forked from Android.