This fragmentation stuff is a non-issue.

Story: Android fragmentation: something to fear?Total Replies: 14
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Jun 09, 2010
1:25 PM EDT

This is my humble opinion: none of this cr@p matters to anyone but developers and technical journalists. The Android is for the most part, from what I see, unstoppable. It has recently taken the mobile operating system space by storm, spawning multiple products from multiple vendors.

It will continue to do so, despite any kind of stupid fear, uncertainty or doubt. Here are the reasons why:

1. Android phones work acceptably for the vast majority of smart phone users. 2. Unlike the strategic mistake that Apple made -- the Google android operating system is available from a host of carriers. 3. Unlike Apple, the android store is far more open to developers. 4. The operating system and the underlying development components are transparent. They are truly open in most respects compared to Apple.

Sure, developing for a moving target of device capabilities, APIs and "fragmented" operating system versions is going to suck. Sure, the interface is no where near as smooth and polished as Apple's. Sure sure sure, lot's of things compared to other proprietary vendors.

At the end of the day, the decisions that Apple made will continue to make their product the Cadillac of phones. The Droid will be the Chevy.

And the real reason it will continue to sell will be obvious to the end users: Most times, all you need is a Chevy.

Those of us in the Free/Open Source community will wax onward about why people should choose freedom over tyranny and all that important stuff that's right -- and I wish that these things mattered to a lot of people. Sadly, most people haven't a clue. At the end of the day, Apple will still have a huge market share -- but over time, I'm willing to bet that Linux (Android) will take a large or similar percentage.

More carriers, a good product, more choices, less cost. It's a simple equation. It reminds one of the bad choices Apple made in the 1980's to single-source their own hardware and sue the cr@p out of anyone that tried to establish anything close to a competing hardware platform. I'm not saying that mobile devices will be exactly the same as that territory -- the devices are replaced much faster and cost far less. But it sure is similar.

Fragmentation though? No one on the receiving end will really care all that much. The market physics pretty much dictate the outcome -- Android will march on, more or less unstoppably, regardless of any kind of FUD around the platform.

Because, most times, at the end of the day, you just need a decent phone that works at a reasonable price. Android definitely delivers that.

Jun 09, 2010
2:05 PM EDT
PaulFerris said:

And the real reason it will continue to sell will be obvious to the end users: Most times, all you need is a Chevy.

And I replied:

Or, all you can afford is a Chevy (he says, raising his hand).

Jun 09, 2010
3:18 PM EDT
> Most times, all you need is a Chevy.

And don't overlook the value of being able to put Playboy bunny decals on your Chevy, which the Cadillac won't allow. :) Steve's anti-porn crusade is definitely going to be a factor.

Jun 09, 2010
4:15 PM EDT
Quoting:And don't overlook the value of being able to put Playboy bunny decals on your Chevy, which the Cadillac won't allow. :)
Unless you're in the inner city, where it would make perfect sense.

Jun 09, 2010
4:46 PM EDT
I'd like to add, iPhones don't like being dropped on concrete, Androids, at least the one I bought after my iPhone died, don't seem to mind.

Jun 12, 2010
5:25 PM EDT
I will use Android when there is Chromium-droid and not requiring a Google account to use.

Jun 12, 2010
7:28 PM EDT
Am I the only one here who finds the fact that you can buy Android phones with a keyboard to be a big win over iPhone?

I'm presently developing an app that is used by office types and field techs alike, delivered via rails over the web.

The field guys have taken to using their Blackberries (but they could as easily be Droids) because it's a ton easier than lugging a small computer up to a rooftop.

The application hasn't really been mobile-optimized yet (Rails MVC architecture helps mightily, btw, in maintaining separate faces for mobile and desktop users), but, even if it were, an actual keyboard with keys you can feel beats the living cr@p out of a virtual keyboard for data entry (like describing the repair you just did).

Jun 14, 2010
12:17 PM EDT
dino: I have the motorola droid -- it's got a keyboard.

My feelings about it are mixed -- it's about as usable as the keypad on one of those old calculator/watches. I've used it very infrequently for this reason.

But maybe the app above will prove to be an exception.

FWIW, the old blackberry keyboard I had was only marginally better, and mainly because it was the only way to get text into the thing.


Jun 14, 2010
5:32 PM EDT
HTC makes some very good keyboard phones, so just wait till they release one for Android. I'm sure its in their plan to release one, but probably a top end one.

I have grown used to typing on touchscreen though. The Evo has capacitive and 4.3" screen so it should be easy to type using on screen keyboard, compared to iPhone's 3.5" screen.

As for me, I'm waiting till they come out with a dualcore ARM cpu phone.

Jun 14, 2010
6:31 PM EDT
@tmx then this link might interest you.

Jun 15, 2010
11:41 AM EDT
tmx -

The big disadvantage of a touchscreen keyboard is that it's not tactile. Little buttons provide sight-free feedback of key location once you get the hang of them.

People using the old Psion PDAs could get a very servicable wpm rate with two-thumb typing on the little keyboards. I hear that Blackberry users can do the same.

Jun 15, 2010
5:27 PM EDT
Hmm... so we need force-feedback touchscreens then :-D

Jun 15, 2010
6:16 PM EDT
Sander --

If I could figure out how to send a **BOINK** over the internet...

Jun 15, 2010
6:24 PM EDT

Jun 15, 2010
7:10 PM EDT
gus3 --

Yeah, that's the spirit!

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