NOTE: Of late, I have been getting requests for very trivial problems that many of you are facing in your day-to-day work. This blog is not to solve your "project" problems - surely not a "Support" site.
I just love to share my knowledge in my spare time and would appreciate any questions or feedback on the articles and code I have shared. I also do appreciate thought-provoking questions that would lead me to write more articles and share.
But please do not put your day-to-day trivial problems here. Even if you do, you most probably would not get a response here.

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Monday, 30 July 2012

Android and its Fragmentation

Android has been making rapid strides into the Mobile market and has become a serious contender for the top 1 position in the mobile market (and is picking up on the tablet market quite quickly).

The fact that it was anopen platform allowing for lot of innovation and choice made the developer world and the mobile OEMs vouch for it and the inroads it madeinto the market was significant – significant enough for Apple to stand up, take note and even file a law suit J

However, this very fact is now slowly turning to be a bane for the Android platform, as it has led to a huge amount of fragmentation in the market. OpenSignalMaps has done a research in 195 countries and has come up with the graphic that clearly depicts the kind of fragmentation in Android devices.

Samsung has clearly take a lion share of the market followed by HTC, Sony Ericcson and Motorola. An interesting fact is that they have spotted 3997 distinct devices!

This very fact has brought down the euphoria around Android. Another study by Appcelerator and International Data Corporation (IDC) says:

The most significant finding in the Q2 2012 Developer Survey is Apple opening a dramatic 16% lead over Google’s Android as far as which OS will win in the enterprise marketplace, with 53.2% of developers saying iOS will win vs. 37.5% saying Android will win. This is a very significant change over only three quarters: in Q3 2011, developers viewed iOS and Android in a dead heat at 44% each.
The challenges of this fragmentation are around the varied screen sizes and the many OS versions which translate to the larger effort and investment into testing on the varied combinations to keep all customers happy.
A graphic that illustrates the varied resolutions:
and the number of device models:

The above statistics sound a bit unsettling around the fragmentation aspects of Android and would probably scare away developers from investing on this platform!
But in my opinion, this is no different from the fragmentation on PC (probably better than that) where the browsers, the CPU powers, the models etc. are varied and still we have lot of gaming apps that are developed for all of them.
Probably the good news is that Android right from the beginning is learning its lessons quickly and it introduced the concept of “fragments” to scale to varied screen sizes and designs.
Android is just going through the stabilization phase of a open platform and the good news from the same study by Appelerator and IDC says:
Android has arrested its decline in developer interest. After a noticeable erosion of developer interest over the last year, developers’ Android handset “very interested” levels stabilized in Q2 2012 compared to Q1 2012, and Android tablet “very interested” levels ticked up 2.9%.

So, in my opinion, Android with all its challenges is just grown over the hype cycle and is here to stay as a strong contender to other mobile OSes and would probably win the race. However, right from the beginning, developers have to keep these variations in mind and build apps that look as seamless as possible on multiple OSes.
And testers, if you are reading, here is your chance... A lot of opportunities around device coverage, OS version coverage, screen size coverage and so on.


  1. This is an informative post. This was helped me to have an idea about the fragmentation of android.

  2. Eu mi-am luat o supertableta cu Android 4.0 si sunt extrem de incantat de el, m-a bucurat ca paginile sunt mult mai usor de navigat iar programele ruleaza mai bine decat in Android 2.3, am avut si Tableta MID 2.3 insa paginile pe unele site-uri nu imi mergeau deloc acum in schimb nu am probleme deloc, iar jocurile in Android4.0 merg mult mai bine, imi place la nebunie acest produs

  3. I am designing a Widget With A BUTTON, which has applications on it as icons.The apps are launched on being clicked.
    I want to design it in a Auto_resizable way, such that when a user re-sizes the widget, only that particular layout be loaded.
    I want to know how we can dynamically know that user has resized the widget, so that it loads the corresponding Widget.

  4. Mam, Current location project is running perfectly on emulator but not in android mobile device , help me please.i am using google API 2.2.

  5. Hello SaiGeetha,

    Thanks for the information. But the title made me to think that this is going to be a tutorial on the "Fragments concept" in Android.. :)

    1. Yes same happens with me. But Arvind if you want tutorial on Fragment in android with Action bar Tab you can refer this

  6. Mam your blog is very useful to me.I learned android recently and i have some knowledge in core javaim 2010 i want to keep experince so for keeping experience on what topics i should have more grip can u tell me and also i want smoe projects to keep in resume also can u suggest me what type projects if i keep in resme is useful to me.
    please mail to
    waiting for ur reply mam

  7. Mrs. Sai you are doing great job..You inspire me to write for other..thank you very much

  8. Hi,

    In response to your top heading for "day-to-day" problems; you could forward your visitors to I found most my problems gets solved if I post them there.


  9. Great job you people are doing with this website.

  10. Great blog with awesome article
    Nice share

    Info,tips,tutorial and all about android

  11. Thanks for all the information, it was very helpful I really like that you are providing information on android app development , being enrolled in Android application development for beginners.

  12. Hi Sai Geetha,

    I want to develop one app with view pager with cube effect.

    ScreenShot :

    Can you help me out with this ?
    I am not exactly able to crack code for this.

    You can find same effect in GoSMS app & many Launcher Apps.

  13. hi mam,
    i have problem in which i want to match stored finger print image with scan finger print by android phone and how can i change the image which i can match the image with image which is scan by android phone.

  14. hi...
    how to install the androoid in my system and how to run the android software..

  15. I agree with your article. now android does dominate the mobile market in the world, and I think they brought blacberry android

  16. Is Android doomed?

  17. This post game me information about Android Fragmentation. Thank you very much. Post was lengthy, but I loved to read it till the last word.

  18. Use this application, this is very nice application for SMS Backup and restore in android. it create backup on Sdcard and it also email your backup file, View of backup file is superb and its free, m very happy to install it.

  19. Job well done guys, quality information.check this out

  20. Very good information.

    This highlights the importance of developing device and resolution independent Android applications.
    Simple techniques like using scalable resources, creating resources for different screens etc will help a lot in this.

  21. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  22. This post game me information about Android Fragmentation. Thank you very much. Post was lengthy, but I loved to read it till the last word.

    moviles dual sim

  23. Thanks a lot..Your blog is very usefull. One help,i need a small example from your blog for a array of videos to play in youtube player by listing the array of videos in the playlist as thumbnails..

  24. Good post.
    We should definitely keep this in mind when publishing the apps.

  25. Hi
    Very nice blog post!! Thanks for the post,
    That is a really neatly written article

  26. Good people platform and news network available to the frieday post.

  27. Android is the best firmware I think, this is because I wanna to be a android developer by the advice from experts at ChatCat live chat site. Its really amazing, you may also join and leave your problem there.
    ChatCat Live Chat Support

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  28. Thanks for share nice Information. Really helpful information.

  29. Android technology is growing tremendously in the world .There is so much good things to learn in the Android universe. We have remarkable phones, lots of apps and games and the best operating system around the world .while you choosing your career in Android developer we have to learn many new things in the technology

  30. thanks for sharing the great info that i never hear about android fragmentation.