As Google’s Android OS continues to grow in market share, it appears to show growing concerns among majority of the developers who participated in a survey conducted by analyst William Powers of Baird Research.
According to the survey results reported by Fortune, 87% of Android developers view fragmentation as a growing concern for the mobile platform. It’s no secret that iOS developers have played a huge role in making Apple’s platform a huge success. Apple provides its developers a unified, single store experience which allows them to focus on developing great apps while customers know exactly where to go to discover their apps.
Android is considered a “open platform” which gives users and developers lots of options. However, now the same options and alternatives have become a concern for the developers. If you were to find Android app you could look up the Android Market on your phone, search Amazon store or even browse GetJar. So, this may leave the end user thinking that the default Market is not an exhaustive list of apps and force then to look for alternatives. This in turn makes things increasingly difficult for developers as they try to fight ‘app discoverability’ in more and more online stores.
Even though Apple’s App Store has been widely criticized for not being ‘open’ it offers a great experience for both, the end user and the developer.
Google recently also went against the concept of being ‘open’ when they ‘closed’ the source code to its Android 3.0 Honeycomb platform for the tablets to prevent use on smartphones.
Google has been trying to restrict its handset partners from making too many modifications to the Android OS and discouraged them from such practices in an effort to counter the fragmentation issue.
It will be interesting to see how Google tries to keep the developers happy and offer solutions which makes developing for the platform easier.