Google Updates Android to End Fragmentation

Google plans to push an Android update, dubbed “Ice Cream Sandwich,” to developers to ensure their apps across smartphones and tablets, in an attempt to end fragmentation and even the score with Apple.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based company posted upgrade instructions on its Android blog for developers, promising all future updates being engineered to support “big screens, small screens, and everything in between.”

Google aims to end fragmentation issues plaguing the platform. The more apps that take advantage of the update, the more impact the software will have when it hits in October or November.

The Internet giant also wants developers to work on revising Honeycomb apps. Programs once only available on tablets will be usable on smartphones if developers make Honeycomb apps Ice Cream Sandwich compatible.

Some developers may choose not to take Google’s advice because they feel a smaller screen will ruin the user’s experience, but many will likely take advantage and may benefit from the change, expanding their potential customer base to the millions of users with Android handsets but not Android tablets.

In addition, Google will likely see increased sales from the growing volume of apps in its store.

Google has been successful against Apple and its ecosystem of iOS products like the iPhone and iPad, but analysts have pointed to fragmentation among Android products as one the biggest things holding the platform back. Ice Cream Sandwich is set to fix Google’s part in problem of fragmentation, but it’s now up to developers on exactly how long it will take for the issue to truly become a thing of the past.

Google’s continuing developer push toward Ice Cream Sandwich may help the company plug one of the main holes in its mobile platform.

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