When you compare the two leading mobile operating systems; Android and iOS, you find devs are finding things easier working on iOS apps than on Android. Reason being, Android has a big ‘Fragmentation’ problem.
The problem with Android OS, it is the device makers (the likes of Samsung, Sony, HTC…) who determines what Android version their devices get, not Google the maker of the Android. This is a big contrast to iOS, where Apple has full control on the OS’s update to all devices compatible with their latest build.
The Android market is heavily fragmented; there are numerous versions of Android out there in the market. For developers, that makes things very complicated as you can develop an app, which most or some Android devices will be incompatible with. It also presents a security risk, since some security patches released by Google may never reach some devices.
There is no doubt there are many occasions where Google build an incredibly awesome feature on their next Android version, but the device makers never get around to pushing the updates to the end users. It means, for the users to get the latest finely-baked features on new Android version, they must buy a new phone from the makers that have the most recent OS versions or can support the upgrade.
A report by Bloomberg suggests that Google is working on revamping its efforts to have device makers push out Android updates to the end users as fast as possible. They actual course of action taken by Google is arm-twisting device makers into pushing out updates.
Google is said to be working on ‘shaming’ the device makers, as a measure of last resort. Reports indicate Google plans to make public a list ranking manufacturers in order of “how up-to-date their handsets are, based on security patches and operating system versions.”
Google is planning to make the said list public, in a move to ‘shame’ the makers. This information could have a backlash on makers; users may shy away from buying devices from makers ranked lowly.