Fragmandroid: Angry Birds developer apologizes for Android fragmentation issues

FREE Shipping at MacMall.com“The developer of ‘Angry Birds,’ a top-selling iPhone game, reported that bringing the title to Android devices ended up more difficult than anticipated due to fragmentation within the open platform,” Daniel Eran Dilger reports for AppleInsider.

“According to a CNET report, the title’s developer Rovio Mobile apologized for poor performance across a variety of Android devices, explaining that, ‘despite our efforts, we were unsuccessful in delivering optimal performance,'” Dilger reports. “The company added, ‘So far, we have hesitated to create multiple versions of Angry Birds for the Android platform. But judging by the feedback we have received, we feel that by providing a lightweight solution, we are doing a favor for our fans. We are currently developing a lighter solution to run Angry Birds on lower-end Android devices.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: What a mess!

Google loves to characterize Android as ‘open’ and iOS and iPhone as ‘closed.’ We find this a bit disingenuous and clouding the real difference between our two approaches. The first thing most of us think about when we heard the word ‘open’ is Windows, which is available on a variety of devices. Unlike Windows, however, where most PCs have the same user interface and run the same apps, Android is very fragmented. Many Android OEMs including the two largest, HTC and Motorola, install proprietary user interfaces to differentiate themselves from the commodity Android experience. The user is left to figure it all out.

Compare this with iPhone, where every handset works the same. Twitter client, TwitterDeck, recently launched their app for Android. They reported that they had to contend with more than a hundred different versions of Android software on 244 different handsets. The multiple hardware and software iterations presents developers with a daunting challenge. Many Android apps work only on selected Android handsets running selected Android versions. And this is for handsets that have been shipped less than 12 months ago. Compare this with iPhone, where there are two versions of the software, the current and the most recent predecessor to test against.

In addition to Google’s own app marketplace, Amazon, Verizon, and Vodafone have all announced that they are creating their own app stores for Android. So, there will be at least four app stores on Android, which customers must search among to find the app they want and developers will need to work with to distribute their apps and get paid.

This is going to be a mess for both users and developers.Apple CEO Steve Jobs, October 18, 2010

20 Comments

  1. rest assured that the “lightweight solution” they’re coming up with to satisfy the fragmented, underpowered Droids will mean an app with less depth, fewer features, etc. Angry Birdwatchers will notice that it’s not “best of breed.”

    In other words, the watered down Android version of an iPhone app. Business as usual!

  2. Where will Android users get upgrades to apps if they buy them from four different stores? Is there some universal upgrade Mecca or something? I worry about those poor saps. Can hardly sleep because of it.

  3. Yes, Android is a mess. I went to B&N last night to look at the new Nook color. It had to be rebooted twice during their demonstration and was jerking all over the place. The salesperson had to keep repeating that it will be better once the software gets upgraded. Android is the whore of the tech world. Google pimps it out to everyone for whatever they want to use it for as long as they get to do a little spying on the side. Can’t believe people are trying to convince themselves that this thing has any class.

  4. If I were an Android user I’d be an “Angry Bird” indeed. But, I’m not, heh. Golly, Angry Bird game works just fine here. As do so many others…

    It’s funny, behind this iP4 “walled garden” all I see are calm & clear skies, an open meadow with glorious mountains & lakes. Not to mention order and serenity.

    Life is good.

  5. Even though some Android devices may be more powerful, they will have to settle for the “lowest common denominator” in terms of software, because developers will design for minimum common specs (not the maximum). That means the more cheaper low-end Android phones they sell, the worse Android software will be in general, even on a higher-end Android phone.

    Meanwhile, fragmentation is minimal for the iPhone platform, and in any given year, the latest (most powerful) model quickly becomes the most common specification for developers to use as their reference model.

  6. “Meanwhile, fragmentation is minimal for the iPhone platform, and in any given year, the latest (most powerful) model quickly becomes the most common specification for developers to use as their reference model.”

    Does that mean when the iPhone 5 comes out in 6 months none of the new Apps will work on a iPhone 4?

  7. @me

    no, it means that new apps might not work on iPhone 3.x.

    i’m still using my 1st gen iPhone and there are still continual updates to my apps. Yeah, it’s getting a bit long in the tooth, but it still gets the job done. I would expect to see app support start to wind down when the next rev of iOS comes out.

    I think owners of current iPhones will see app and OS support for a long time to come

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.