When Android came out a couple of years ago, Matt Lewis of Rethink Wireless saw it as an opportunity to avoid the fragmentation that open source projects are prone to:
Google is not a handset OS company. Android is simply a means to an end – the end being to create a vast new expanse of real estate which Google can beam its advertising inventory to. This demands a level of consistency and interpretability from Android so that, regardless of who implements the platform on whichever device, application compatibility is maintained.
Alas, Matt was over-optimistic (or under-cynical). Here’s what Rethink said this week about Android:
As for Android developers, many are angry that there is no SDK as yet for Nexus One. This, in turn, has highlighted the issue of fragmentation, with different OS releases and even different devices requiring different SDKs, with limited compatibility between apps written for the various versions. Until there is an SDK for Android 2.1, the latest OS upgrade, which so far runs only on Nexus One, programmers cannot be sure their apps will work properly with the new handset.