The world Android lives in is a confusing jungle.
So says Open Signal, which just released its annual report on “Android Fragmentation,” which takes a look at the complex variety of devices for which developers have to build.
“This complexity is both good and bad. If you can imagine your dream phone then someone, somewhere, will probably have built it,” notes Open Signal. “The downside, however, is that the apps you install may not be optimized for its screen size or features.”
The company said it has noted dramatic changes in the ecosystem over the past few years: a huge increase in observed devices, massive proliferation in manufacturers, and the rise of embedded physical and virtual sensors.
“We spotted a few trends that we felt were too broad to be included even under our broad ‘Fragmentation’ umbrella – so we decided to include them in this blog,” notes Open Signal. “Screens are bigger, CPUs have more cores, and mobile devices now contain more RAM than your average desktop not too long ago.”
But there are benefits.
“Devices are bigger and more powerful, and this has changed the way people use their devices, helping to make the web increasingly mobile-first,” the firm reports.
Near field communication (NFC), however, has slacked off.
“Interestingly you can see the slight tail-off in NFC growth, as a technology that was supposed to be revolutionary never completely took off, with only around 30 percent of observed Android devices being NFC capable,” reports Open Signal.”
“It will be instructive to see how technological transformations influence 21st century pocket design.”