Motorola Mobility addresses Android fragmentation worries

Despite developer concerns, the company sees variation as a benefit because it allows for customization of devices

Motorola Mobility, which has made the Google Android platform the centerpiece of its mobile technology strategy, has heard developer and customer concerns about Android fragmentation and systems not all behaving the same. But the company sees variation as beneficial rather than a hindrance, a Motorola Mobility official said on Tuesday.

Variation is seen as a value of Android products, said Christy Wyatt, corporate vice president at Motorola Mobility, at the AnDevCon Android developer conference in San Mateo, Calif. Some customers, for example, love the features Motorola puts in the Droid smartphone family. But she acknowledged developer concerns. "Managing differentiation against fragmentation is kind of a delicate balance," Wyatt said.

[ InfoWorld columnist Galen Gruman asks, can Motorola's Atrix 4G smartphone become your next PC? | Learn how to manage iPhones, Androids, BlackBerrys, and other smartphones in InfoWorld's 20-page Mobile Management Deep Dive PDF special report. ]

An example of differentiation developers face in Motorola Mobility's systems involves the Xoom tablet and Atrix 4G. Released within a week of each other early this year, the systems use different interfaces for common features such as setting up email.

Testing and certification programs do a good job of keeping APIs and implementations consistent, Wyatt said. Except for Google Experience Devices, such as the Xoom, Motorola's devices launched beginning late last year have the same baseline of features, but there are some UI changes and customization from telecommunications operators, Wyatt said. She encouraged developers to test applications across devices, although she added Android is "smarter" about rendering on different screens.

A developer at AnDevCon acknowledged differentiation in Android systems. "Different device manufacturers are modifying the Android operating system to their liking," making such changes as modifying the UI, said Marek Szany, developer with Eset, in Slovakia. Android itself features version 2.4, for mobile devices, and 3.0, or Honeycomb, for tablets, he said. "We have to deal [with fragmentation]. We have no choice," he said. Eset develops security applications for Android systems, Szany said.

Motorola Mobility also does not see commoditization of Android systems as a problem, Wyatt said. There is variation between Motorola Mobility Android systems and those of other vendors, she said.

Wyatt stressed Motorola Mobility's commitment to Android, with the company basing its entire smartphone platform on Android. "You don't enter into an ecosystem like Android unless you are confident of your ability to compete," she said. But Android still needs work as far as the ability to monetize applications. Developers have said Android needs improvements in functions like discovery and single-touch transactions, she said.

Also at the conference, Black Duck Software announced availability of Android Fast Start, a bundled software and service offering intended to help developers simplify the operational challenges of managing Android projects. With Fast Start, Black Duck manages governance and compliance for Android development. Android is an open source project comprised of more than 165 components, 80,000 files, and 2GB of code under 19 licenses, Black Duck said.

This article, "Motorola Mobility addresses Android fragmentation worries," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in business technology news and get a digest of the key stories each day in the InfoWorld Daily newsletter. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

Read more about application development in InfoWorld's Application Development Channel.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags MotorolaMobile Developmentapplication developmentmobile technologyconsumer electronicsGooglePhonesAndroidsoftware

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Paul Krill

InfoWorld
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?