Google clamps down on Android fragmentation

Google clamps down on Android fragmentation
According to multiple sources, Google is planning a crackdown on fragmentation of their booming Android OS. Specifically, they want to limit the UI tweaks which OEMs have been placing on their Android devices. They also want to eliminate the willy-nilly collaborations between OEMs and their Android partners.

DigiTimes reports that Google is aiming to heavily standardize the Android 3.0 operating system, in an effort to reduce the drawbacks of the unique tablet format. While there are about 250,000 applications in the Android Market, few of them work optimally on tablets. So Google is hoping to limit further fragmentation down the line.

Also, Google will negotiate with ARM to make ARM-type processors the standard for all future Android devices. This would reduce the difficulty of updating the vast number of Android devices on the market, and reduce the time it takes to bring OS updates to the consumer.

Sources are comparing Google's changing strategy to that of Microsoft, and we're not sure if that's a compliment or criticism. But the sources do say that this standardization will make them even more competitive (overall) with the Redmond giant.

Bloomberg's BusinessWeek says that Google's recent run-ins with OEMs like LG, Toshiba, Samsung and Facebook, have prompted filings with the U.S. Department of Justice. But Google insists that their enforcement is only for the sake of quality control and user satisfaction.

source: DigiTimes and Bloomberg



28. Dze unregistered

It's about time Google standalized their OS, hope that open platform still there.

27. Gerard unregistered

Wish this would come about sooner. Maybe this would help the release of apps like Netflix. And I wish these carriers/device manufacturers would stop with the damn BLOATWARE. There should be a law for this, if their going to pre-install fine, but give the consumer a chance to unistall if not wanted. It takes up much internal space that could be used for something useful, especially if a user NEVER uses an app (BITBOP) I dont even know what the heck that is nor am I interested in it. (Just one of the many)

23. CynicalGeek unregistered

You want open platform? Look at Linux. After 2 decades, it's still an OS for geeks and will remain so. I'm not really for closed platforms either cuz you tend to get garbage along the way. Remember Vista? Redmond hopes you wont. The choices are many different versions of the platform or pay out money for stability. Money is the only thing Google or Redmond or Apple or other smartphone platform competitors are interested in, not doing what's best for the consumer world.

19. solejah01 unregistered

I am extremely glad to read this because IMO this is one thing Apple has over Android. Granted Apple only has the iPhone and Android has probably thousands of phones but i think if the devices can get the updates when they come out it will make for a better experience. They are talking IceCream and i'm still on Froyo with my Droid Inc. and Gingerbread has been out for almost 4 months. Now i know the Droid Inc is getting up there in age but it is still considered a decent high end smartphone. Good job Google for finally coming to terms with this... we also have to cut Google some slack with this because the Android system as a whole is still pretty young so i understand making changes as we go along.

18. Daemon

Posts: 19; Member since: Mar 07, 2011

Best phone I ever tested was the Google Nexus S sin all the carrier and device manufacturer "bloatware". It was nice to use a device bare bones and functional.

20. luis_lopez_351

Posts: 951; Member since: Nov 18, 2010

and the nexus One :)

17. ThreeFourSeven unregistered

I agree with this change. Before people were always crying about fragmentation. Now that Google is cracking down on it. People cry foul. SMH!!

16. luis_lopez_351

Posts: 951; Member since: Nov 18, 2010

Android finally becoming stable ;) im so proud of them...but for now... android your a you piece of sh*t

25. cc unregistered

Good one.

11. Goldeneye

Posts: 419; Member since: Jan 22, 2011

Well yeah all of this sounds very good but, fragmentation is not just manufacturers and carriers fault, Google itself is responsible, they need to slowdown the evolution of their OS a little, just like Rubin said not long ago, I mean a lot of handsets haven't received froyo just yet!, and we are hearing about ice cream already seriously?, they should update android maybe like this: release froyo, gingerbread, and maybe honeycomb in one major update every year, they need to remember that most of Android and cell phone users in general buy subsidized devices every 1 or 2 years at least here in the US, that will give plenty of time to carriers and consumers to get ready for updates and upgrades respectively.

9. CRICKETownz

Posts: 980; Member since: Oct 24, 2009

I think this a good move on Google's part. You have so many different versions of the software out there, especially when you have manufacturers putting their own style on the stocks versions. Sense UI or MotoBlur should be a setting that the user has the option of selecting/deselecting & not forced on as an overlay.

12. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

5. JeffdaBeat unregistered

I still think you can have an open platform, but have some stardardization to it. Microsoft has it right on. I think if you have certain hardware standards (screen resolution, processor power, camera resolution, memory), but leave the software to be manipulated, I think it'd work fine. Or, as one poster here said, make it so you can turn off SenseUI and MotoBLUR, I think it would work amazingly well. Consumers won't have to worry about Motorola, Samsung, and HTC issuing updates because it could come directly from Google. And manufacturers can still make Android devices in different form factors. I think even the tiered Android devices that the same poster suggest would work well too. Lower-end that would be like the HTC FreeStyle and then High-end as well...

7. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

so glad to hear we may see some standard on future android versions on order to make it more compatible and stable, Good to hear they are trying to do the trick, yes android can be an open platform while delivering a better user experience, and selling cheap phones if the official market and other Google features are allowed, only on certain devices that are to have the ''With Google'' Logo on them. while lower end phones with a limited number of apps and functionality can continue to have android as their OS and be called ''Android powered'' with little updates and little promises so people get what they pay for and people is aware that they are either buying a ''feature Smartphone'' or a real smartphone... Hope thats my mail they are listening to

13. JeffdaBeat unregistered

So it was you that had that idea...When you posted it, I thought it was the perfect solution.

14. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

I may not be the best solution but I think it could get the job done for a while and still give people 'choice' and their choice will in the end affect how their device will perform and the amount of apps they hold. Its dumb when i see someone thumb down a good app just because it doesn't work on a phone they bought for 59.99 or demanding updates from such devices... that way companies can focus on real android smartphones and timely updates

4. 530gemini

Posts: 2198; Member since: Sep 09, 2010


3. jskrenes

Posts: 209; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

You can't really have it both ways. People complained that it took forever to deliver firmware updates to their Moto Droids last year, but they'll complain just the same if Google wants more standardization.

2. Thump3rDX17

Posts: 2160; Member since: May 10, 2010

looks like they're starting to close the book on the "open platform" chapter.

6. saiki unregistered

no it's coexistence of both worlds(open&closed) for better quality

10. IHatePhones

Posts: 99; Member since: Aug 12, 2009

It'll still be wide open for developers to program for, just not as open for the phone manufacturers to modify to the point of not being able to update in a timely manner (ahem cough.. Samsungcough..). That's all they're trying to do; To quell the fragmentation that is their achilles heel to being an even more widely accepted platform.

15. Thump3rDX17

Posts: 2160; Member since: May 10, 2010

i didn't say that it's not going to be open anymore when they eliminate fragmentation, i'm saying it's the beginning of Google not allowing other manufacturers to change things about the platform that don't meet THEIR standards, originally being able to enhance the Android experience to your liking was what the platform was all about and now that's starting to change because of certain manufacturers, not naming any names here (ahem cough.. Samsungcough) abusing the platform and taking their sweet time keeping up with Google.

1. Misanthropos

Posts: 56; Member since: Aug 03, 2010

about time they put their almost non existant quality control team to work.

8. derp unregistered

dont get your hopes up...

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless