July 21, 2010 | by Chris Smith
It’s always good news to see the latest Android version numbers, especially when one version holds the majority of the entire distribution. According to the official Android Developers site, over 55% of all Android phones are now running Android version 2.1 with only 18.9% and 22.1% running version 1.5 and 1.6 respectively.
We have heard the negative remarks and comments on how Android is fragmented and how it is going to destroy the mobile OS, but with more folks buying Android based devices everyday it shows that fragmentation is more of a nuisance than a curse. You will hear this debate from the iFanboys out there that you can’t have a “unified experience” with many different versions of the “same” OS in existence. There is some sense to this point, but the fact remains that most every mobile OS or OS in general is fragmented, even the dear iOS. There are of course ways around this.
Mashable points out that the Android OS is forwards compatible meaning that if you program for 1.5 all versions after will be able to handle the app. Of course you won’t be able to take advantages of the latest OS, but at the very least you know that your app will be compatible with all platforms with very little changes involved. Also, the Android SDK allows for different images resolutions to be used with higher or lower spec’d devices to account for different screen sizes.
All-in-all this is great news that Android finally has a version that is “ahead of the pack”. That is until the new 2.2 devices start funneling into the system and we descend into fragmentation hell again. You’ve go to love open source.