Android fragmentation is 'rich and vibrant like multicultural diversity', says Animoca

Android fragmentation is 'rich and vibrant like multicultural diversity', says Animoca
Android publisher Animoca has responded to claims Google's OS is saddled by fragmentation by talking up the benefits of the range of handsets that support the platform.

Speaking in reply to the furore the firm itself created – TechCrunch having leapt upon an image Animoca posted of the number of devices the firm QA tests on – the publisher claimed it 'embraces the diversity of the Android ecosystem'.

In Animoca's view, the pain developers endure supporting multiple devices is balanced out by Android's status as an open, and largely welcoming ecosystem.

Embrace it

"Android fragmentation is a bit like multicultural diversity: it may cause friction from time to time but a community that embraces it ought to be richer and more vibrant," said Animoca on its blog.

"No other mainstream mobile operating system provides the extensive functionality and potential of Android at such a variety of price points.

"That's why we embrace the diversity of the Android ecosystem."

Indeed, Animoca said too many developers simply target the glossy high-end Android devices while ignoring the often forgetten low-end handsets.

This, the firm believes, is a mistake.

"In a previous post, we listed the most popular devices used to play our games; a glance through that list will reveal that half of the top 10 models turned out to be low-end devices like the Galaxy Ace or the HTC Wildfire," Animoca added.

"At Animoca, monetisation of Android apps provides yearly revenues in the double-digit millions – something that we are not alone in experiencing. We have to wonder if the low monetisation some sources have reported for Android may be partially due to problems of product compatibility."

An eye on Asia

Embracing the wealth of Android devices means looking beyond those at the top of the charts in the US and Europe, the company adds.

The majority of Animoca's audience are actually based in Asia, meaning handsets exclusive to that market should also be considered.

"So consider South Korea: everyone knows Samsung and LG, but few know of Pantech, which is the second largest handset maker in the country (ahead of LG)," concluded Animoca.

"We have a few Pantech Android phones and some of them are really quite good.

"Deciding to exclude Pantech devices because they are not well known outside of Korea would be like refusing to test for Motorola's Droid Razr or the Xoom: we would probably regret it later."

Reasons to be cheerful

Animoca's defence of Google's platform – which is by no means its first – comes as OpenSignalMaps has published an image highlighting the number of devices that have downloaded the firm's networking monitoring app.

In all, 3,997 distinct devices have been monitored by the firm, though again, the company claims Android's fragmentation isn't all bad news.

"One of the joys of developing for Android is you have no idea who'll end up using your app," the company detailed on its blog.

"With many devices under $100 unsubsidised, Android phones and tablets are able to reach a market that can't afford netbooks. For the majority of the world's population smartphones - and not computers - will be the must-have devices."

[source: Animoca]

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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George Bing
I think I'm going to buy myself an Android phone now :-)
John Harrington, Jr.
Certainly there are aspects of fragmentation that users should embrace, but be wary: not all Android OS versions support encryption, which can be a mobile device security red flag once these devices access corporate resources. Learn more here:
Asia Game Review
nice perspective and for once a positive argument for Androids F situation that is plausible.