– an open community project


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This presentation is about an open community project called which aims at becoming a central imformation hub for specific fragmentation related device information.

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  1. Android Fragmentation .com The Open Android Device Knowledge Base
  2. What is this all about? <ul><li>Android is a great platform. But its growing fragmentation destroys value for developers, consumers and carriers. </li></ul><ul><li>This presentation introduces a community effort that enables developers to share knowledge about device specifics and address the problems before their apps hit the market </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Open Source project android analyzer </li></ul></ul>
  3. Friendly Reminder <ul><li>Fragmentation isn‘t evil, it‘s the natural result of an open market place and diverse demand. </li></ul><ul><li>No reason to get emotional about it (like many people do)! </li></ul><ul><li>No reason to blame anyone. </li></ul><ul><li>No reason to deny its existance. </li></ul>
  4. The Problem Photo by Brantano Shoe City
  5. The Problem Theory:
  6. The Problem Theory: Practice:
  7. The Problem <ul><li>The Android platform is fragmented </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Different Android OS versions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Different form factors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Different UIs (and other OEM specifics) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Different device categories (mobiles, tablets, cars…) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… </li></ul></ul>
  8. The Problem <ul><li>Android apps don’t run on all devices </li></ul><ul><li>Higher development cost for developers </li></ul><ul><li>Possible reach goes down </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Less “platform value” for end consumers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Less revenue for developers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Less selling points for carriers & OEMs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Higher customer care expenditures </li></ul>
  9. Fragmentation Examples <ul><li>… our developer spent ~1hr on implementing a progress animation in a home screen widget, and another ~4hrs porting it and making it consistent across Archos 5IT, Google Nexus One, HTC Hero and G1 </li></ul><ul><li>Blinkendroid project: Works fine on all phones except the Motorola Milestone. Some UDP related problem. </li></ul><ul><li>DroidSpray: Problems with touch events on GL surface over camera view. Device specific re-ordering of views required … </li></ul>
  10. Fragmentation Examples <ul><li>Android platform API increments: basic APIs like Bluetooth added continuously to the platform </li></ul><ul><li>API behavior inconsistency: bug #4961 (File.getCanonicalPath throws exception) introduced in 2.x, but the same method works in previous versions </li></ul><ul><li>Screen size and resolution: apps should provide special layouts and drawables for different sizes/resolution combinations. </li></ul>
  11. Fragmentation Examples <ul><li>OEM specifics: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>receiving multicast messages over WiFi is disabled in the Linux kernel for most HTC devices, but is enabled on Archos 5IT </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Supported file types and formats: Droid can record raw .aac audio files, but most Android phones don’t support this file type, although they support the codec (based on specs) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Devices come with different themes, which always eat a pixel here and there </li></ul></ul>
  12. Fragmentation Examples <ul><li>Issue 4739: 2.0 SDK breaks older contact apps. summary: 2.0 seems to require apps to set a newly defined field when adding a contact programmatically. thus, old apps that don't set it won't work properly </li></ul><ul><li>… </li></ul>What‘s your favorite example?
  13. Facts and Figures
  14. Android OS Lifeline 2008 2009 2010 2011 October ‘08: Android OSS Project, v1.0 launch, G1 on sale February ’09: v1.1 April ‘09: v1.5 September ‘09: v1.6 October ‘09: v2.0 December ‘09: v2.0.1 January ‘10: v2.1 May ‘10: v2.2 Q4 ‘10: v3.0
  15. Device Launches per OEM * Source: ** Source: Total: 194 Devices (as of July)
  16. Device Distribution per OS Version * Source: ** Source:
  17. Device Distribution per Screen Size * Source: ** Source:
  18. Device Distribution per Resolution * Source: ** Source:
  19. Device Types and Markets Mobile Phone TV Internet Tablet Telematics and Navigation Set-top Box
  20. Highlights <ul><li>Huge amount of devices launched: 194 models in 23 months </li></ul><ul><li>Active OS versions & APIs on the market: 6 (out of 8) </li></ul><ul><li>On average, new OS release announced every ~ 4 months </li></ul><ul><li>Over 8 screen resolutions on the market, excluding orientation and resolution families </li></ul><ul><li>At least 20 different screen sizes , that affect the DPI </li></ul><ul><li>Variety of vertical markets with own specifics </li></ul>
  21. Bottom Line <ul><li>Will fragmentation go away? No! </li></ul><ul><li>What can we do about it? Embrace it! </li></ul><ul><li>Let’s engage as a community and create a knowledge base about this problem! </li></ul>
  22. Solution?
  23. <ul><li>Free hub for fragmentation knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Purpose: discuss, learn, compare, share </li></ul><ul><li>Contents: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Database with device- and firmware-specific information, APIs, hardware & software capabilities, etc. (coming soon) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>News Feed & Forum </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Device search and comparison (coming soon) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Database fed by a client app developed by the sister project Android Analyzer hosted on Google Code </li></ul>
  24. Device Capability DB Web Server Website Webservice Tools Analyzer
  25. Enter
  26. Device Capability Database Preview
  27. Android Analyzer App <ul><li>Open source client-side project on Google Code: </li></ul><ul><li>Collects data and sends to the server </li></ul><ul><li>Users can extend the report with their own findings </li></ul><ul><li>Will evolve as Android OS evolves </li></ul><ul><li>Will be published on the Market </li></ul><ul><li>!!! Everyone welcome to contribute !!! </li></ul>
  28. Android Analyzer App
  29. Android Analyzer: Plugins
  30. Coming Soon <ul><li> Roadmap: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Q3/2010 : Forum, device database, reports, comparison, advanced search </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Q4/2010 : UI enhancements, web-based data edit and comments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Idea: Ecplise plugin for auto validation of APIs used in your project </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Idea: Open APIs for access to device capability database </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Android Analyzer App Roadmap: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Q3/2010 : analyzer core, pluggable architecture, data collection based on available Android APIs, reporting to backend, user comments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Q4/2010 : enhanced user interface and reporting on the device, fine-grained data edit and comments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Q1/2011 : advanced capability detection, auto-testing (e.g. media formats), support for OEM-specific extensions </li></ul></ul>
  31. Your Feedback Needed! <ul><li>PLEASE tell us what you think! </li></ul><ul><li>Send us your suggestions about how to improve the site and what services to offer! </li></ul><ul><li>Any feedback is very much appreciated! </li></ul><ul><li>Feedback can be sent through web site or to </li></ul><ul><li>email address </li></ul>
  32. [email_address] Thanks Android Stammtisch Rheinland 15.09. Köln