One Developer's Experience With Android Fragmentation

There has been much hand-wringing over recent years on the idea of cross-platform app development for smartphones. With two dominant players in the market (participation ribbon for Windows Phone), developers must decide whether simultaneously maintaining both an Android and iOS app is worth the trade-off in capital. One of the biggest factors to consider in all this is the reality of the Android device market, which, due to the sheer number of manufacturers and configuration options, has resulted in a market flooded with different devices. As opposed to Apple’s opinionated design, with Android there is almost literally a device to suit whatever preferences that a buyer has over screen size, number of cameras, price point, etc.

OpenSignal, developer of an application that shows the strength of cellular signal for popular carriers in any given area, recently released a report that throws into relief how many devices must ultimately be considered when creating an application for the Android market.

We have seen 18,769 distinct devices download our app in the past few months. In our report last year we saw 11,868.

Compare that to the 8 different iPhones released by Apple since the device’s introduction in 2007, and all of a sudden it’s easy to see the perspective of articles such as Semil Shah’s “iOS First. Android Much, Much Later”.

OpenSignal - Android Fragmentation Visualized