Having developed mobile apps for over 5 years we have an enormous amount of good and bad experience from different platforms and fragmentation. So can there actually be good things about fragmentation?
* Working within standardisation is a slow and complicated process. To innovate, technology companies must sometimes divert from the standard
* The agreed standard is not always the simplest or smartest way to do something. Therefore platform developers constantly strive to improve the future standards by implementing them as proprietary components before the standard has been established
* Proprietary technology creates de facto standards – Microsoft Windows, iPhone OS and Adobe Flash are great examples of this
* Differentiation is good – we want different screen sizes, keyboard inputs, sizes and colours. Not everyone wants a black or white iPhone
* Applications have to be tested on all different variations of e.g. the Android or Symbian OS, display resolutions, user input methods (Touchscreen, QWERTY, etc) and hardware configurations
* The cost of optimising and testing the applications is substantially higher for Android, Symbian, Web Runtime and J2ME due to fragmentation
* The development phase is longer due to the time consuming additional device optimisation and testing that is required
At Golden Gekko we constantly work on improving our platforms and tools to get around these challenges and instead leverage the positive differentiation of fragmentation.
But the title of the blog was the beauty of fragmentation and not pros and cons or how to battle fragmentation. The following graph from Tweetdeck illustrates the enormous variety of Android devices now being used to download and use apps from the Android Market. Beauty or Beast? You be the judge.