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Meet KitKat

November 2nd, 2013 - 2:14 pm

A smart Android move by Google:

One primary benefit of Android 4.4 KitKat, which was unveiled Thursday, is its ability to run on both low- and high-end hardware. The idea is that manufacturers don’t have to choose between different versions of Android to suit the specifications of their phone, whether it costs $100 or $600.

The move is an attempt by Google to provide a more consistent experience across the universe of Android smartphones. While flagship smartphones such as the Galaxy S4 or HTC One have been able to employ newer versions of Android, more affordable phones running on 1- or 2-year-old processors must make do with an older iteration of the operating system.

Love it or hate it, it’s great for customers and developers alike that Apple’s new iOS 7 will run anything newer than a first-gen 2010 iPad or a 2009 iPhone 3GS. And already something like two-thirds of all eligible devices have been upgraded. Users can use the latest-and-greatest on all but their oldest equipment, and developers know just how big the install base is for the latest features and APIs.

Compare that to the Android world, which is seriously fragmented — and getting worse.


(Click to Embiggen)

Anything Google can do to clean up this mess, shy of threatening carriers with violence, is a good idea.

Actually? I know some Android owners who wouldn’t mind some violence, if it would give them a path to upgrade their OS.

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All Comments   (2)
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When the announcement date was pushed back, I was miffed.

Then announcement day came and part of the announcement was that my phone, which was a first strike against fragmentation, will get the update "in the next few weeks." Now I'm disgruntled (for a few weeks).

If I had a Samsung Galaxy Nexus though? Yeah. Violence. "WHY DID YOU PUT THAT PROCESSOR IN MY PHONE!?"
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Remember that Android is a loss leader, which exists mostly to keep Apple from having a hammerlock on the smartphone market. Grotesque fragmentation of commodity handsets is exactly why Android was created in the first place. (I suspect the OS fragmentation is much less bad, for what it's worth)
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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