Google Modifies Android SDK to Combat Fragmentation

In an effort to decrease consumer and developer frustration regarding the fragmentation of its Android platform, Google is aiming to put a stop to it.

The search engine giant recently modified its legal agreement with developers creating Android apps, subsequently preventing them from any action that could lead to further fragmentation of the mobile operating system.

The new clause is the first major update since the 2009 terms, which did not discuss the issues surrounding fragmentation. The clause has now been added to the Android SDK licensing terms and conditions; developers must accept it should they wish to create applications for the platform.

"You agree that you will not take any actions that may cause or result in the fragmentation of Android, including but not limited to distributing, participating in the creation of, or promoting in any way a software development kit derived from the SDK," reads section 3.4 of Google's updated terms.

Fragmentation leads to apps being prevented from running properly on all Android devices, leading to the platform becoming more costly and complex for developers.

According to Google statistics, more than 54 percent of Android devices are running Android 2.3, which was the version that launched in 2010. One of the more recent version, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, only runs on 2.4 percent of smartphones.


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  • Yeah, good luck with that. Since it is open source that can be mostly ignored.
  • Gotta love having a 2 year old version of Gingerbread on my phone (which had its support dropped a mere year later). Guess which OS I won't be getting next around? Yeah, Android. Considering Windows Phone more and more since there's no fragmentation issues and the OS is a lot more stable than android.
  • Still waiting on Jelly Bean for AT&T Galaxy SIII. What a joke.