Here’s What Steve Jobs Meant When He Said That Android Is Fragmented

Here’s What Steve Jobs Meant When He Said That Android Is Fragmented

So much Android....

You see that giant table of smartphones and tablets? Those are all of the Android devices app development firm Animoca uses to test its apps. You see, when you have dozens of manufacturers cranking out phones, tablets and phablets running different versions of Android, you run into a development issue. How do you make sure your app will work on the majority of Android devices? For Animoca, you test your apps on 400 different Android devices.

That’s what Steve Jobs meant when he said that Android was “fragmented.”

Here’s what it looks like to develop on iOS:

Here’s What Steve Jobs Meant When He Said That Android Is Fragmented

A little simpler, if you ask us.

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  • Sdreed91

    dont forget the iPod touch. But I guess it doesn’t matter since it also has the 3.5 screen

  • drblank

    The PC mentality is come up with a design and put it on the market and flood the market with so much product that it downright confuses the customers.  That’ll teach customers.

  • urandom

    So with Android I have any device for my taste and with iOS i have… oh, go to hell iOS!

  • CultOfCrap
    So what he’s saying he said is that choice is bad, and everybody should be a nice little ultra-conformist Apple drone? Too bad he’s not around to see Androids 60% market share prove him utterly wrong.
  • seng0138

    I think you forgot a really critical quote in your shitty ass “journalism”  

    Siu stated that “We like fragmentation as users prefer choice. We are not big believers that one size fits all.”

    Read through the whole article before you start bashing “fragmentation” of Android
  • Wicked4u2c

    Yes, we should all drive Ford cars so that aftermarket companies can easily make parts for one vehicle.  No thanks, sorry but Apples one size fits all solution is not for everyone. I’m very happy with my Galaxy Nexus phone and new iPad.  I’m glad we have a choice, and that table clearly shows the choice consumers have.  It’s too bad people have to be closed minded.  I love technology and use what works for me, Android or Apple it’s too bad people feel like they have to pick a side.

    Next week I will post why iPad is the best tablet.

    http://youtu.be/NMiY1kSTHZw

  • Ryan Owens

    It’s good to have choice and diversity in any market but if I were a developer I would sure hate to test an app on 400+ phones and multiple tablets lol. This article is misleading because the iPhones range from 3GS-4S as far as testing goes, but still much easier haha. But hey, choose the phone that’s right for you and be happy with it.

  • Tallest_Skil

    iPod touch, guys, come on… And you have to take into account the iPhone 3GS’s screen (at least for five more months) and iPad/2, as their resolutions and hardware are yet different.

  • chris9313

    im sorry however wrote this is clearly not know anything about android and is a apple fanboy and i dont know how they let him/her post this articles. clearly he or she doesnt know anything about android…. ignorent people i love my imac but that doesnt mean i have to have a iphone cause i dont like it.

  • kptkarl

    If the developers have to have that many Android phones that would explain Androids 60% market share. Most are developer phones! ;)

  • thisoneguy

    I test mobile software for a living. The only thing that picture proves is animeca’s r&d budget.

  • Nick Hansen
    So what he’s saying he said is that choice is bad, and everybody should be a nice little ultra-conformist Apple drone? Too bad he’s not around to see Androids 60% market share prove him utterly wrong.

    No. he simply said android is harder for developers to work with, not that everyone should buy apple because there is a small number of products.

  • imajoebob


  • Phill

    Android… Imagine going into McDonalds, Burger King, Carl’s Jr. Red Robin, Sonic and looking at the menu and guess what, It’s all the same. Sure, maybe Sonic might be a little bit faster, and maybe Carl’s Jr. might have the burger in a nice wrap but ultimately, IT’S ALL THE SAME. So, what is the point here? Fragmented operating systems leave shit for the manufactures. There is no competition other than oh this is a little faster, or oh look at that one it’s thinner… wake up. If your going to get a phone, get a well made phone, not something a desperate phone company slapped together because they didn’t know how to make their own products right. 

  • ApplePr0n

    I do look at it as one size fits all, i look at it as i get updates and apps about 8 months before fandroids if it’s announced at the same time as Androids updates

  • zed

    Ya its much better as a software developer to pin all your financial success on one platform…….

  • hic9582

    And no one ever asked you to develop for or use an android device so what exactly is your gripe?

  • baby_Twitty

    Sucks to be an android fan-cow, i guess.

    Just look at all the top-notch apps and games launched on the awesome iOS Appstore this month alone!
    N.O.V.A. 3, Lost Winds 2, Marvel Vs Capcom 2, Vanity Fair, Vogue, King Of Fighters-i 2012, Adobe Photoshop touch (updated with 2048 x2048 capability and 10 layers) etc… etc.. the list goes on and ON!
    What do you get in android markets? junks.
    A quick check on my friend’s Galaxy note shows that lots of popular apps that are available on normal android phones are NOT even available for download on the Galaxy Note. 
    Android is fragmented as hell.
  • Crashnoww

    you android fangirls just don’t get it. yes choice is good, but too much meaningless choice is bad.

    if you don’t get the most popular models of phones, and instead you get a 3rd rate cheap one (which adds to the marketshare), the intended android experience will suck as hell.
    and i’ll even give you an example. we are not talking about some “who’s that” brand from china, we are talking about a popular brand, about HTC.
    take the Evo for example: very popular, all the software works, has enough power to run anything, has a large user community support etc. but is expensive.
    and take the Wildfire: not popular, half the software works, doesn’t have the power to run anything, poor user community support, not so many features etc. but is very cheap (adds to the market share).
    the Evo user will be happy, but the Wildfire one will not be so much. sure the Wildfire user got a cheap android phone, but the android intended experience will not work for him.
    you can test this by going to the android market, choosing a tweak and reading the comments. you’ll find out it is a 50/50 usability of that tweak. and this goes for many things.
    apple doesn’t compromises, they will let you buy only the popular model lol. sure the choice is very limited, but every single ios user will get the intended experience.
    got it?
  • javien727

    Everybdy different… most people like to express themself differently…that what android give you, freedom to choose and personalize… iOS under dictatorship, gotta follow under iOS…who want that when you can be your own person

  • Javier Norambuena

    at least i don’t HAVE to buy a new gadget every 6 months, or every time the mac-gods tell me

  • Javier Norambuena

    at least i don’t HAVE to buy a new gadget every 6 months, or every time the mac-gods tell me

    yeah, i know, i’m trolling

  • HerbalEd

    Personally I do not at all feel limited by the iPhone or iPad. They both do virtually anything I need from a smart phone and tablet, and the huge amount of Apps available leave very little to desire. I may be an Apple fan boy, but I don’t evangelize. Actually I couldn’t care less about what other people choose to buy and use.  

  • ankgooner87

    I prefer Mac to windows so you dont need to dismiss my comment without reading it please.  Although the apps for ios may be better (not really though.. a profile manager that can go on silent or any profile imaginable according to what is set on the calender, for example college classes.. hello? thats a smartphone), the experience of using android from 2-3 years back is so much better than ios today. I mean, things update themselves on android, and if thats such a battery waster according to apple then why is it ok for icloud to update photographs? Hypocritical in my view..  I switched to iphone 4s this year and although i dont think the lack of widgets is such a big deal because you cant really do anything with them anyway (pressing any button on a widget generally opens the app anyway) using android is way more fun in almost any other sense, for example if you prefer something like sugarsync that works across platforms, it will update automaticcaly without needing to open the app. Im going back to android asap. As long as mac remains open as it is today, i will not be switching back to windows. I much prefer the “fragmented” experience of mobile phones using android… i wouldnt call it fragmented as much as competitive. if i was making an app, i would prioritise making sure it works on the best reviewed phones anyway. 

  • ankgooner87

    The PC mentality is come up with a design and put it on the market and flood the market with so much product that it downright confuses the customers.  That’ll teach customers.

    What will teach customers? Whos confused? having  a direct hdmi connection is confusing?

  • ankgooner87

    The PC mentality is come up with a design and put it on the market and flood the market with so much product that it downright confuses the customers.  That’ll teach customers.

    sorry im quoting you again.. if youre confused, maybe you should move to china.. last i heard they only had one political party, lot less confusing…

  • Demonstr8r

    Ya its much better as a software developer to pin all your financial success on one platform…….

    I suppose you are referring to iOS in terms of “pinning your financial success on one platform.” Android is an alternative platform, but adding hundreds of cloned phones doesn’t add more platforms. As the author of this article wrote, it is seriously fragmenting the Android platform. For example, many Android phones are running older versions of Android, thus significantly impacting the adoption rate of the latest version, and preventing Android users from experiencing new features and bug fixes. Meanwhile, look at Amazon in the Android tablet space, they have a custom version of Android, which is very likely to diverge significantly from the core Android experience, potentially to the point of incompatibility in a few years time.

    Bottom line, it is not about being a fanboy, choosing an Apple iPhone or iPad is about quality, style and ease of use. The iPhone and iPad don’t look or feel like a cheap knock-off made by a company desperate to remain relevant. Even a friend of mine that works at Amazon said this when he purchased a Kindle Fire “It’s definitely no iPad, but I gotta drink the Amazon Kool-Aid.” The best and only compliment he had after using the Kindle Fire for a few weeks was “Look, it fits in my pocket!”

  • Buster

    So with Android I have any device for my taste and with iOS i have… oh, go to hell iOS!

    well you can’t have the lumia 900 or the iPhone, which are the two best smartphones on the market…but sure, you can have all the other crappy ones if that’s what you want. 

  • Tim Lanfair

    as a cell phone repair person, i can say that android is fragmented to the point where the end user is the only one really suffering,,, i regularly stock iPhone and other idevice parts in house, but if someone comes in with an android that needs parts, i have to order them individually. Most iphone users that come in can get there phone fixed and be on there way in an hour or so,,, android person has to leave there phone for at least 3 days,, to allow time to order parts,,, so whos suffering,, google? phone maker? no the end user…this google/motorola mobility thing should be the answer, stop licencing the software to everyone and make phones in house,, so you can service them,, and support them,,, there are tablets and phones out there that should have had ICS months ago, but because of the touch wizes and the phone makers tweeks this process takes litterally months!

  • Carlos G Casias

    So when is Apple gonna stop being lazy and make more devices and start testing apps on different devices? Fragmentation baby!

  • Joppie Tjoa

    let see.. on developer side.. when you have an application developed for samsung smart phone, how do you make this application available for HTC smart phone? you change a lil bit of configuration of the app and recompile.. minor adjustment.
    let say you have an iphone application and you want to make this application available for HTC smart phone, how do you do it? go and recode the whole thing.
    well you see, android is the winner in this comparison.
    because of android can support so many brands, this makes you confuse when comparing. you should compare iOS to samsung android, or iOS to HTC android, not iOS to both samsung and htc.
    and then  you need to compare the device range too. similar to comparing ipod touch to iPhone 3 and to iPhone 4. well can you really play iOS 5 games with gyroscope in iOS 3? well.. i guess not..can you play retina resolution game in iPhone 3? well.. i guess not..
    how do you make application for iPhone 3 to support iPhone 4? well.. adjust and re-compile.
    doesnt this sounds similar to what I mentioned above with android device? its just android supports more brand not just one.
    so, who is better? in the OS dynamics Android is ahead of iOS by far. in the beauty of the UI and user experience iOS is ahead of Android.

  • benandarchie

    People just go for windows phone, no confusing android. And no boring iOS. It’s a winner!!

  • Farrukh

    Do your research before you post. You don’t need to test on those many devices to make sure it works or not, you need to test on the OS version you’re developing and that’s same for iOS. I’ve been developing for both platforms. I like iPhone and iPad because it’s easy use for people who even don’t know how to operate a computer (which is fine) but Android is for advanced users people who have more technical knowledge and the best thing I love in an Android tablet is the concept of useful widgets. I can easily have 3 to 4 widgets on my tablet (Email, FB, Twitter and News) to have overview of all without going inside each application. Can you suggest any alternative if Google blocks iOS device access to their Maps? Stay happy with whatever you are without writing worthless post.

  • Andrew John

    Do your research before you post. You don’t need to test on those many devices to make sure it works or not, you need to test on the OS version you’re developing and that’s same for iOS. I’ve been developing for both platforms. I like iPhone and iPad because it’s easy use for people who even don’t know how to operate a computer (which is fine) but Android is for advanced users people who have more technical knowledge and the best thing I love in an Android tablet is the concept of useful widgets. I can easily have 3 to 4 widgets on my tablet (Email, FB, Twitter and News) to have overview of all without going inside each application. Can you suggest any alternative if Google blocks iOS device access to their Maps? Stay happy with whatever you are without writing worthless post.

    Perhaps you should read more than android blogs. Apple have been working on different map sources for some time. Apple Moving to In-House Mapping Service with 3D Views in iOS 6?
    As for android development, you do need to take in to account the different screen sizes and resolutions of each device. Then there are the different API’s. Perhaps you just dropped in to troll. Fragmentation will be the downfall of android in the long run, make no mistake about that.
  • Andrew John

    let see.. on developer side.. when you have an application developed for samsung smart phone, how do you make this application available for HTC smart phone? you change a lil bit of configuration of the app and recompile.. minor adjustment.
    let say you have an iphone application and you want to make this application available for HTC smart phone, how do you do it? go and recode the whole thing.
    well you see, android is the winner in this comparison.
    because of android can support so many brands, this makes you confuse when comparing. you should compare iOS to samsung android, or iOS to HTC android, not iOS to both samsung and htc.
    and then  you need to compare the device range too. similar to comparing ipod touch to iPhone 3 and to iPhone 4. well can you really play iOS 5 games with gyroscope in iOS 3? well.. i guess not..can you play retina resolution game in iPhone 3? well.. i guess not..
    how do you make application for iPhone 3 to support iPhone 4? well.. adjust and re-compile.
    doesnt this sounds similar to what I mentioned above with android device? its just android supports more brand not just one.
    so, who is better? in the OS dynamics Android is ahead of iOS by far. in the beauty of the UI and user experience iOS is ahead of Android.

    Theres far less “tweaking” with iOS than Android. Why are you talking about iOS 3? (Less than 5% of devices run it) Every 3 year old device that was built for iOS 3, can be upgraded to iOS 5. 3Gs anyone? Can you upgrade any of your 3 year old android device to the latest version as simply as iOS? No, didn’t think so. There’s your fragmentation failure right there. Android developers either have to choose to code for all platforms and all versions, or just the latest one. (Big waste of time and resources) Thats why android app development takes longer than iOS. Your argument makes no sense. You say its easier to develop for over a hundred different devices (lil bit of this, lil bit of that, dozens of times over) than just one or two with iOS? Sure, sure. I bet you have a bridge you’d like to sell me too.

  • Andrew John

    at least i don’t HAVE to buy a new gadget every 6 months, or every time the mac-gods tell me

    No, but you will need to buy the latest android device just to get updated versions. Between device manufacturers and telcos, you’re lucky to see an update 12 months after being released. Enjoy your fragmented crap. (FYI, iPhones are released annually)

  • jlauer12

    You can get Zipwhip for Android and not for the iPhone though.

  • AlexGierrapa

    pfff better have less games than be an ibitch
    android is way better because you can fully custumize it
    the only thing you can change in ios is the background which is just ridiculous
    you can install custom roms and push the max out from the phone
    and dont think that im just an android fanboy or troll , i was a former user of an iphone 2g,3g,3gs

  • bgeorge

    There’s an interesting response to this article by the app developers who took this photo.

  • drblank
    The PC mentality is come up with a design and put it on the market and flood the market with so much product that it downright confuses the customers.  That’ll teach customers.

    What will teach customers? Whos confused? having  a direct hdmi connection is confusing?

    HDMI connection?  Did I mention HDMI connection?  No.  Then why are you bringing it up?  It sounds like you’re the one that’s confused by bringing up something that wasn’t mentioned or implied.

  • extra_medium

    Simpler for simple minds? Since about .74 of the people commenting as if the article means anything to them has even considered actually developing an app for either platform, I fail to see how this is a rallying cry for the average consumer. Lolol android suxx, developers need to test on multiple products! When a developer made my app it was simple for them in the testing phase, therefore my life is better.

  • ApplePr0n

    Here’s the problems I have with Android. Just bought the _____ which is the newest and best Android phone.
    1- In 1-2 months it will be old news
    2- Won’t see the latest Android version for 6-8 months
    3- Go to the Play Store to download the latest game/app and it doesn’t support the newest device because it’s a Samsung and they only support HTC and Motorola with their apps.

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath has been a staff writer at Cult of Mac for over two years. He is also a co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by places like the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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