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Google amends Android SDK to Tackle Fragmentation Issues

Fragmentation is perhaps the most precarious and repugnant problems Android platform faces. The issue not only frustrates the developers, but the users are also pretty irked by the multiple flavours of Android.

In an attempt to stop the fraudulent fragmentation issues, Google has modified its legal agreement with developers, which now includes an anti-fragmentation clause. The developers who wish to put their apps on Play Store have to compulsorily agree to the modified terms and conditions.

This is what Section 3.4 of Google’s new terms for developers reads:

“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.”

This is the first time Google has modified it’s terms since 2009. Previously, there was no written clause which asserted anything about anti-fragmentation.

Though the move is not sufficient, it certainly kicks off Google’s anti-fragmentation campaign. Google already knows how fragmentation creates mayhem, for both- users and developers. Due to fragmentation, developers are not able to create universal, bug-free apps. Also, it becomes more costly to develop and test apps, as multiple versions of Android require different coding standards. Moreover, the app needs to be tested on a number of devices, which adds to the testing expenses.

By giving out OTA updates, handset makers and wireless carriers can work together to assure that everyone is running a uniform version of Android. Of course, it’s impossible to port the latest versions of Android to older devices due to hardware constraints, but attempts can be made to reach to a uniform platform. According to Google’s statistics, more than 54% of Android devices run Android 2.3, which was released almost 2 years ago.

Though Google has released lots of scoops of different flavours till now, but to make things sweeter and better, it’s better now to make it a Sundae. And this is perhaps the first step towards that!