Android Fragmentation? No Worries

A new study found that 73 percent of Android handsets use the same OS version, Gingerbread, suggesting that Android fragmentation isn’t as big a problem as it’s perceived to be.

Android fragmentation is often cited as the biggest challenge with Google’s mobile OS for both developers and users. There are a variety of Android builds in use, including Froyo (2.2), Gingerbread (2.3), Honeycomb (3.0), and now Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0), not to mention differing device screen sizes.

All this variety can make it difficult for developers—which OS version and screen size should be targeted?—as well as for consumers, some of whom find the various Android versions confusing.

For its study, Localytics looked at the Android devices using its analytics software. Gingerbread was the most prevalent OS version, at 73 percent,  followed by Froyo, with 23 percent.

“Between the two, Android developers can be confident that they only need to actively target two Android OS builds in order to achieve 96% compatibility with the Android ecosystem,” according to Localytics.

The study also finds that 41 percent of all Localytics sessions came from Androids with a 4.3-inch screen. The most widely used screen resolution was 800 x 480 pixels at 62 percent.

Interestingly, 74 percent of all Android tablet usage came from devices with 7-inch screens and 1024 x 600 resolution. The most widely used Android tablets were Amazon’s Kindle Fire, Barnes and Noble’s Nook, and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab.


Android, fragmentation, Localytics