Despite the fact that I’m pretty skeptical about the importance of updatesfor a long time the question about the main drawback of Android, I always answered the same – fragmentation. No other operating system before or after Android weren’t so hopelessly fragmented. However, a deeper dive into the topic allowed me to understand how wrong I was. After all, fragmentation is not a disadvantage, and competitive advantage of Android over iOS and HarmonyOS.
What is fragmentation? Many interpret this term in a narrow sense, believing that, with respect to Android it means the simultaneous coexistence of updatable and non-updatable smartphones. However, in a broader sense, the fragmentation means dividing something into many disparate fragments. In the case of Android fragmentation – a consequence of using the operating system by different manufacturers that cover her own shells, unlike the development of other. This is the power of the platform.
Few people understand that it is due to the fragmentation of our smartphones equipped with those functions that are not in a pure version of Android. Take the opportunity to take screenshots of the entire page. According to Google developers, this function is unrealizable in the stock OS, but third-party manufacturers do not think so. They just took it and implemented it into their shells, not considering the opinion of the search giant.
Fragmentation allows producers not only to reflect the views of Google while developing software, but to create such a device, she will get a very long time. A great example of foldable smartphones. Stock version of Android by default does not support devices with foldable design. However, the developers Samsung and Huawei managed without modifying the operating system kernel, to add support for flexible displays with the ability to change orientation.
Due to the existence of different skins based on Android, Google learns from the experience of competing manufacturers and makes Google Pixel as we know it. The developers of the search giant continuously analyze the features that exist in third-party firmware and often adapt them for Pixel Launcher. Don’t be Google example Samsung, Huawei or Xiaomi are likely stock Android would be much less interesting and sophisticated than they are today.
To some it may seem ridiculous, but the existence of different versions of the OS running on different firmware, is the root cause for the lack of a universal hacking tool for Android. The fact that different manufacturers in different ways to improve the security of their devices, making life harder for hackers. The latest banal is not possible to design a single procedure jailbreak or bypass the password, as in the case of iOS, which would circumvent the protection of any smartphone on Android.
In my opinion, it is clear that fragmentation is a benefit that Android can brag to iOS and other platforms. Indeed, precisely because the fragmentation of the operating system is alive and, as we can see, is thriving. And this, surprisingly, she didn’t even need the new version.