Tuesday, June 12, 2012

And you complain about Android fragmentation?

Something very special and unique exists about Android - it operates on many different
types of screens, devices, and even operating system versions.  Android is a uniquely fascinating ecosystem
that I can never get enough of.  That said, I program Android applications as a student developer for my
University.  Nothing infuriates me more, however, than the constant accusation that programming for android
is hard due to fragmentation.

You couldn't be more wrong.

While I
have yet to suffer the "a new version of android just came out, better test!" scenario, I've successfully
programmed on a two person team for two apps that work on 2.1 and up using 4.0-like features.  Is that
surprising?  It shouldn't be.  The fact of the matter is, Android is built so that differences between
hardware, OS, & al shouldn't matter in the slightest.

That said, I couldn't
help but chuckle a little when we installed iOS6 on one of the test devices in the lab.  (My coworker does
the iOS side of things, so we have native apps for both Android and iOS).  For our little news application,
a drawing thing with the way we were doing the titlebar broke.  Not a big issue (broke for maps too).  For
our maps app... everything broke.  No map.  No pulling up the native application for directions (launched in
safari instead).  Nothing.  With iOS6, Apple went ahead and BROKE apps relying on the maps application.

this is probably because they've moved to their own framework, and this is in the early stages of the OS -
but still - entire app. broken.  One iOS update.

And you complain about Android