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Rumour: Google to split-up Android to conquer fragmentation

Google Maps model to set example

Rumour: Google to split-up Android to conquer fragmentation
It's no secret that one of Android's biggest weaknesses are the fragmentation issues that have blighted both developers and consumers alike since Google began updating its mobile OS.

While Apple has made delivering a unified experience across its admittedly limited range of iPhone and iPod touch handsets its signature, the four versions of Android have split the format's consumer base.

As a result, many people who own handsets that run older versions of the OS are unable to tap into the latest version of Android Market and, most crucially, the new apps it sells.

Beautiful break-up

Google's solution to such problems would appear to be a fairly novel one.

According to a report from Engadget, the company plans to rid Android of fragmentation issues by splitting the various flavours of its OS apart.

Essentially, Engadget claims Android will follow the recent example set by Google Maps. As such, the firm will divorce many of Android's apps from the platform's core, instead making updates downloadable through Android Market.

Getting better with age

"This way, just because Google rolls out an awesome new browser doesn't mean you need to wait for HTC, Samsung, or whomever made your phone to roll it into a firmware update, and for your carrier to approve it," the site says.

"Almost all of the juicy user-facing stuff will happen through the Market."

Engadget believes this process will kick off with the next version of Android – named Froyo – continuing on through to its successor Gingerbread.

The site also states that updates should become few and far between following Froyo's launch, the OS finally having reached a state of maturity.

[source: Engadget]

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.

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