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Fragmentation Comes To iOS

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the all-nimbly-pimbly dept.

Android 244

dell623 writes "While the fragmentation issues in iOS are nowhere near as bad as Android, it can no longer be considered non existent. I have prepared a chart showing which features will be available on which device. While some restrictions are the result of hardware limitations, it is clear that Apple has deliberately chosen to limit some previous generation devices, and figuring this out isn't always straightforward if you're not buying the latest iPad or iPhone."

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It's pretty clear.... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41328981)

... that the submitter doesn't really understand what the word "fragmentation" means in this context.

Re:It's pretty clear.... (5, Insightful)

mrxak (727974) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329149)

Is slashdot just linking to people's random ass blogs now? This has got to be the most pointless and uninformed article I've ever seen here. Or it's a troll.

Re:It's pretty clear.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41329331)

Even worse, he basically just copied the footnotes from the bottom of Apple's official iOS 6 information page...

Re:It's pretty clear.... (1)

Desler (1608317) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329665)

And one that has blatantly wrong "facts" on it, too. timothy posting this is clearly baiting the Apple fanbois.

Re:It's pretty clear.... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41329303)

Of course. In android world, the so called fragmentation is actually "choice", while in Apple world, it's truly fragmentation.

Re:It's pretty clear.... (1)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329551)

They marked you as troll but I have to agree here. Every device listed can run the most recent iOS version with the exception of the original iPad which has only 256MB DDR Ram. Simply showing some hardware that doesn't support a feature isn't quite the same as the API fragmentation in Android where developers are limited by OS adoption (artificially so in most cases as there is no cost incentive from the handset vendors to update existing hardware to the latest OS).

All of the limitations listed there are hardware related (lack of additional noise cancellation mic's for Siri, lack of memory for things like iPhoto or the latest OS, real-time video stabilization, lack of memory for panorama shots which could be up to 28 megapixel in size, lack of GPU horsepower for 3D flyover, etc). Some items on the list are a no brainer (iPods that lack wireless cell radio's wouldn't be very useful as navigation tools).

Although it might seem easy to compare this hardware to a PC where upgrading memory or a CPU was a simple swap out, you have to remember that these smartphones were the first of their kind and pushing the limits as to what could be crammed into a phone's dimensions. Expecting upgradability on first generation hardware isn't realistic.

Fragmentation on Android is somewhat hardware related with various resolutions, graphics chipsets, etc, but a large piece of it is due to OS fragmentation. The author points this out with a fragmentation chart, but then ignores the OS in the Apple chart. Not very insightful.

Re:It's pretty clear.... (1)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329743)

Replying to my own post...

The original iPad is excluded from the navigation piece due to it's lack of GPS, and from all of the FaceTime pieces due to lack of a front facing camera, from iPhoto and Panorama due to lack of memory, and from airplay due to lack of hardware H.264 encoding. It does have primitive GPS quasi-capabilities but only in the weakest sense. It has to rely on a more primitive cell tower triangulation rather than containing a true GPS chip.

It was pretty hardware poor as far as features.

Winners (0, Troll)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 2 years ago | (#41328993)

Fragmentation and lack of choice? Sounds like a good platform decision to me. At least they get proprietary connectors and lock-in to a single software repository.

Um, new features on new devices isn't new (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41328999)

My old 286 can't run 64-bit apps, or even 32-bit apps. I guess that means PCs are fragmented. They added an extra resolution, and made the old resolution still work with new devices.

You insensitive clod! (3, Informative)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329077)

What about my Model 5150 IBM PC?

Seriously, fragmentation is an issue with current platforms. No one expects an API or UI to stand still across all but a small range of minor system releases.

Re:Um, new features on new devices isn't new (2)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329317)

I guess that means PCs are fragmented.

Yep, they always have been, that's why you have seemingly endless configuration options for different applications - most often games - where as on say a gaming console you don't need them because the platform is consistent.

PCs are fragmented (3, Informative)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329349)

My old 286 can't run 64-bit apps, or even 32-bit apps. I guess that means PCs are fragmented.

Uh, yeah. PCs are pretty much the poster boy for a fragmented platform, even within the scope of hardware that could run the most recent major operating system version (e.g., not just "286 vs. modern x86-64 system".) Wintel PC fragmentation is certainly far worse than even Android fragmentation.

That's always been one of the selling points for more tightly controlled, homogenous platforms.

Re:PCs are fragmented (5, Funny)

sunderland56 (621843) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329559)

Uh, yeah. PCs are pretty much the poster boy for a fragmented platform,

Yeah, but every PC comes with a defragment utility.

It's not the same issue. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41329009)

Fragmentation is a developer problem that affects how easy it is to roll out software for the platform.

Apple keeps the core APIs consistent across devices. Everything you have listed is unrelated to the developer's ability to build their own apps.

Those are end-user features.

Re:It's not the same issue. (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329169)

The chart in TFA is entirely useless, since it focuses on end user features that apple has or hasn't included on various models; but there is the not-so-minor matter of spec changes(TFA's chart doesn't even touch them; but 'keeping the core APIs consistent' also doesn't address them). There are some pretty significant differences in CPU and GPU power, and how quickly the OS will run out of RAM and quietly start memory-managing you, between those models.

If your 'app' is just some lousy re-implementation of a website that you really wanted to flog through the app store for some reason, it probably isn't a big deal; but anybody who really needs the punch provided by running native can't necessarily ignore that.

Re:It's not the same issue. (1)

mrxak (727974) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329221)

Some of the items in the chart aren't even currently being sold. Some of the items are imagined future products that don't exist and haven't been announced yet.

Re:It's not the same issue. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41329519)

How will developers overcome the change to the lightning adapter? My iCloud condenser app will no longer produce potable water while I drive.

Re:It's not the same issue. (1)

jaymz666 (34050) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329569)

So, when the iphone apps that are pushed for the larger screen first are unable to scale down to the smaller screen iphone, how is that not a problem?
There will be apps that are for the original screen size, the new screen size and the ipad. That seems somewhat fragmented to me.

Re:It's not the same issue. (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329641)

That fragmentation exists today. There are apps that exist only for the iPad, that won't run on any iPhone or iPod Touch. That's completely up to the developer, but it's not really any different than depending on a camera or GPS radio.

Apple cuts off older devices and technology (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41329029)

News at 11.

Re:Apple cuts off older devices and technology (1)

The Good Reverend (84440) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329473)

EVERYONE cuts off older devices and technology. Nothing new here.

oh spare me (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41329043)

what fragmentation? there are three phones supported by ios6: iphone 4, iphone 4s and iphone 5. then you have ipads. that's it. on android you have to plan for a bunch of different app stores, every kind of screen size and shape and aspect ratio, it's insane. even the windows phone is better! face it man, linux stinks up the user experience as usual! leave that crap for the data center, nobody wanna use it in real life.

Re:oh spare me (1)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329139)

that's it.

Other than the 3GS [apple.com] that is.

Re:oh spare me (1)

YukariHirai (2674609) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329193)

what fragmentation? there are three phones supported by ios6: iphone 4, iphone 4s and iphone 5. then you have ipads. that's it.

And the iPod Touch.

Re:oh spare me (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329215)

what fragmentation? there are three phones supported by ios6

Which means that there are a few tens to hundreds of millions of actively used phones that will never even run the current OS... That's sort of what 'fragmentation' is all about...

To be sure, Android is substantially more fragmented even if you only look at 'currently-sold-and-supported-by-people-you've-heard-of', since there are multiple hardware OEMs shoving handsets out; but unless you start killswitching all your products, 'fragmentation' inevitably happens whenever people don't stop using the older ones and you introduce something new.

Re:oh spare me (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41329385)

So all you have to do is tell the app store "This app requires iOS 6", just think of all the different system requirements on the sides of pc game boxes. this is nothing like that. either it's ios6 or it's not. it's not really a fragmentation issue so much as a backwards compatability issue. see...there are still android 2.2 devices being sold new right now! totally different. if i tell you your 5 year old phone is supported well too bad on you, time to upgrade. if an android developer tells you his app won't work on the shitty android 2.2 device you bought in chinatown, that's a different story. ..

Re:oh spare me (1)

FranTaylor (164577) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329347)

every kind of screen size and shape and aspect ratio, it's insane.

Yeah we've had THE EXACT SAME SITUATION ON THE DESKTOP.

FOR YEARS AND YEARS

Re:oh spare me (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41329427)

derp, what an idiot you sound like. my 2 month old daugther uses linux andhas no problems iwht. it. i put her on a windows machine and it exploded in her fucking face after a bluescreen of death. it actually killed her. M$ is an evil devil company. You are fagget.

Erroneous Info (3, Informative)

MoronGames (632186) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329045)

iPhone 4S does not have a resolution of 960x940. iPhone 4 does not have a 940x640 resolution. They are both 960x640.

Not to Developers (and your chart is flawed) (0)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329065)

The last two items on your chart (iPods) are not iOS devices.

You cannot complain about features that are meaningful only to users without noting the huge range of user available features fond across Android.

On iOS almost none of those items result in fragmentation where it matters; for DEVELOPERS.

GPS for example, all devices support Core Location. Some may not have GPS, but all will at least be able to figure something out usually from WiFi.

For resolution, you chart looks troubling but it's still really just two resolutions; iPad and iPhone.

Yes the new iPhone adds some extra height. But here's the thing, the height of the screen was already variable for developers anyway since the call indicator could shrink the available size for your app. You always had to adjust auto-resize behaviors to adapt well to changes in height.

By way of example of how little this matters, in an existing project consisting of many screens, database calls and so on - there were just TWO screens I had to tweak the auto-resize behavior on (basically telling an item to pin to the top that I had forgot to pin, and letting another element resize with the screen). Now the app runs just fine on the older iPhones and the new one.

Re:Not to Developers (and your chart is flawed) (2)

ehynes (617617) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329125)

The last two items on your chart (iPods) are not iOS devices.

iPod Touchs run iOS (how else would they be able to run most of the same apps as the iPhone?)

Re:Not to Developers (and your chart is flawed) (4, Insightful)

steelfood (895457) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329129)

Uh, what? The iPod Touch definitely [wikipedia.org] uses [wikipedia.org] iOS [engadget.com] .

Admittedly, I was expecting a rundown of what device supports what version of iOS as well as the particular features of that version, but that was just me.

Yes, correction issued... (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329293)

I thought he was referring to the new iPods that look like iOS devices. Mostly because they listed "GPS: NO" without the same kind of side-note that the iPads had that they could use WiFi for location.

The list of which devices support which version of OS would be more interesting, but in practice developers do not support iOS versions more than three versions ago (at this point nothing older than iOS 4). The 3Gs can still update to iOS6 so really it will be a target for testing for at least two years more.

Re:Yes, correction issued... (1)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329463)

in practice developers do not support iOS versions more than three versions ago (at this point nothing older than iOS 4).

The latest version of the SDK can't target anything below iOS 4.3, which ARMv6 devices can't upgrade to (the farthest they go is iOS 4.2). At this point, ARMv6 devices (anything older than an iPhone 3GS) are unsupported by Apple's developer tools. In practice though, it's very difficult to make a case for supporting anything below iOS 5 for most applications these days, people upgrade iOS devices very quickly, at least the ones that use apps on a regular basis do.

Re:Yes, correction issued... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41329613)

The note for the ipads is that the wifi only models don't have a gps but the cellular models do, but apple doesn't really publish that.

Re:Not to Developers (and your chart is flawed) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41329137)

The last two items on your chart (iPods) are not iOS devices.

You must have a strange definition of "iOS devices" then.

Re:Not to Developers (and your chart is flawed) (1)

adolf (21054) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329155)

The last two items on your chart (iPods) are not iOS devices.

Yes, they are. All generations of the iPod Touch run some incarnation of iOS, and have access to the app store and all that other sort of goodness. They more-or-less have hardware parity with their iPhone brothers, aside (sometimes) from ancillary features such as GPS, cellular radios, screen type (TN vs. IPS), and the like.

They all run the same programs, and function the same way.

(It was at this point that I stopped reading. If you can't keep your most basic facts factual, I'm not interested in whatever else you might be saying.)

Re:Not to Developers (and your chart is flawed) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41329183)

The last two items on your chart (iPods) are not iOS devices.

You're an idiot. The iPod touch does in fact run iOS. Why should anyone read any of what you've written if you get such simple facts wrong?

Re:Not to Developers (and your chart is flawed) (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329275)

I would agree with you, except that I thought he was referring to the new iPods that LOOK like iOS devices. I did issue a correction on that point.

Now you can keep reading.

Re:Not to Developers (and your chart is flawed) (1)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329187)

When it comes to developers, "fragmentation" means you can't target a single device. That you have to code for a generic lowest common denominator device. IOS developers can still safely target the IPhone 5 and include support for the IPhone 4S for new mobile apps. Supporting the same time period in Android means supporting dozens if not hundreds of phones and phablets.

Correction: Last two items are iPod touches... (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329189)

I thought you were talking about the other new iPods that look like iOS devices.

It's still the case that iPod Touches can try to locate position from WiFi signals.

Re:Not to Developers (and your chart is flawed) (1)

Pesticidal (1148911) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329195)

Only the iPod Nano isn't an iOS device. The Touches definitely are.

Re:Not to Developers (and your chart is flawed) (1)

YukariHirai (2674609) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329205)

The last two items on your chart (iPods) are not iOS devices.

The last two items are the iPod Touch, which is an iOS device.

Re:Not to Developers (and your chart is flawed) (1)

dell623 (2021586) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329251)

The iPods are not iOS devices?? Apple says they are iOS devices: http://www.apple.com/ios/whats-new/ [apple.com]

Figuring 'something' out from WiFi works only in dense urban environments, and even then isn't good enough for turn by turn navigation, which Apple claims is supported by the iPod Touch and iPad,

Re:Not to Developers (and your chart is flawed) (1)

Doc Hopper (59070) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329629)

Figuring 'something' out from WiFi works only in dense urban environments, and even then isn't good enough for turn by turn navigation, which Apple claims is supported by the iPod Touch and iPad,

Close, but not quite. I live in a rural area, and my iPad figures out locations pretty reasonably within 300 feet or so. Admittedly it will struggle with location in the middle of nowhere, but a "dense urban environment" is not required. Somewhere within line-of-sight to a house or two that has a wifi router (almost all houses in USA these days) will do.

If you amend your statement to "urban or suburban environment", I agree with you!

Re:Not to Developers (and your chart is flawed) (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329253)

iPod Touches definitely are iOS devices, just without the cellular modems and with a light dusting of contempt from Apple when it comes to adding the punchier new hardware... Estimates are that 40-ish percent of iOS devices are ipod touches.

Re:Not to Developers (and your chart is flawed) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41329291)

i prefer "iPods Touch."

Excel "typo lines" (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41329067)

Come on, he's not even able to switch off the spell checker in Excel, and he's expecting me to think he's a serious reporter?

Re:Excel "typo lines" (1)

dell623 (2021586) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329263)

I don't think I'm a serious reporter :) And so I don't get paid for writing this, and don't have time to pretti-fy it for you.

Great Job With The Chart (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41329113)

Now do one for Samsung's phones! [wikipedia.org]

Not great (5, Informative)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329143)

Most of these are things that iOS developers don't care about. For instance, Facetime over cellular: developers don't care about that, it's an Apple app, not an API, and evenif it was an API, you'd have to code for when it's unavailable anyway.

There are variations between the different models that developers have to be aware of, but they aren't covered in this chart. For instance, background modes are only available for ARMv7 devices. By and large, Apple have done a good job of shielding developers from these differences. I'm an iOS developer, and I very rarely have to even think about different device support. The two main ones are display size and display density - and Apple have only just announced the third display size ever, and they've only used two display densities ever. I can't really think of any platform outside of games consoles that are so homogenous.

totally incoherent! (0)

FranTaylor (164577) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329439)

you'd have to code for when it's unavailable anyway.

This is PRECISELY what FRAGMENTATION is ALL ABOUT!

Spending development time on stuff that SOME of your users WILL NOT BE ABLE TO USE.

Re:totally incoherent! (4, Informative)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329691)

No, you idiot. A network connection being unavailable is NOT fragmentation.

Re:totally incoherent! (0)

FranTaylor (164577) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329747)

So you say that having two groups of users, one of which has constant IP connectivity, and one that does not, that's not fragmentation?

You are saying that the mobile apps that rely on constant connectivity, will work fine in devices that don't have this feature?

Re:totally incoherent! (2)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329697)

you'd have to code for when it's unavailable anyway.

This is PRECISELY what FRAGMENTATION is ALL ABOUT!

No it's not, and stop shouting.

You have to code everything that relies on the network on mobile devices to handle cases where it is unavailable because they frequently lose connectivity. Is an iPhone going through a tunnel fragmenting the platform because it doesn't have Facetime while an iPhone that isn't going through a tunnel does have Facetime? Of course not.

Spending development time on stuff that SOME of your users WILL NOT BE ABLE TO USE.

Let me give you an example. Today, I was working on an app that had a button to make a phone call in it. Oh no! This terribly fragmented platform includes devices that can't make phone calls. What a disaster! Oh wait, no it isn't. I just hid the button when making calls is not available. A grand total of three lines of code, including one line that was nothing more than a curly brace. Took me less than five minutes to code and test.

There are probably fewer than a dozen features like this that I've ever had to handle like that in four years of developing for iOS. It's incredibly trivial.

Re:totally incoherent! (1)

FranTaylor (164577) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329759)

You have to code everything that relies on the network on mobile devices to handle cases where it is unavailable

REALLY? Last I checked, mobile browsers "rely on the network" and they have NO special code to deal with when the net is down.

Re:totally incoherent! (1)

Chrontius (654879) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329763)

Siri, GPS, front-facing camera, mic, even the freakin' speaker. (iTouch, first-gen) What else iPhones can typically be assumed to Always Have Data Access. Proximity sensor is MIA on iTouches, which was important for the Google app, at least. iTouches don't have the silence switch, either.

And we're complaining about Ah, backgrounding. That thing that requires a boatload of CPU power and RAM that the ARMv6 devices can't be counted on having.

At least complain about something really app-breakingly important, like the GPS receiver.

par for the course for apple they also lockout 64 (2, Interesting)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329145)

par for the course for apple they also lockout 64 bit only os on 64 bit hardware due to it only having 32bit EFI. But the same systems can boot 64 bit windows os.

Also the video cards don't have 64 bit drivers on the osx side but you can put in newer videos cards in them.

Also they can run the 64 bit only mac os x but you need to use the same tools that you use to run mac os x on a non apple pc.

Re:par for the course for apple they also lockout (1)

FranTaylor (164577) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329525)

You're the sucker for buying their hardware, why do you blame others for your own failures?

"I bought a Ford car and it's junk because I can't just drop my Chevy engine into it"

Re:par for the course for apple they also lockout (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329707)

You can ML on any Mac that has 64-bit support in the chipset.

Not fragmentation, jackass. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41329161)

Fragmentation happens when there are multiple incompatible (but similar) implementations being simultaneously developed and use. This splits resources and may lead to an overall weaker ecosystem because it's difficult to make these implementations work together.

You could argue that iOS devices are at least a little fragmented, as new devices introduce new features and new specifications. Some older devices stop being updated, but are still used by the public and still garner developer attention. This traditionally is not called fragmentation because it's a reasonable and natural product cycle. Apple seems to even take great pains to make sure software is compatible between newer and older devices. You don't call the windows ecosystem fragmented because XP, vista, and 7 are all in common use. (Although you might with windows 8, because the touted Metro UI apps are explicitly incompatible with everything else)

People call Andriod fragmented because there are indeed multiple devices that are fairly incompatible and very different. Strange custom UIs, carrier modifications, carrier apps, bad application portability with devices that have very wide differences in hardware. Talk to any andriod developer about how many devices they have to test against.

Not to say they don't have similar issues with different apple devices, but pretty much any software dev will say it's orders of magnitudes easier in the apple realm.

Re:Not fragmentation, jackass. (1)

FranTaylor (164577) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329627)

This traditionally is not called fragmentation

Tell us ALL ABOUT the "traditions" in this market that did not exist ten years ago.

Not really fragmentation (1)

tofubeer (1746800) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329173)

Fragmentation is really only with API calls, not things like "Face Time over Cellular" or the availability of "iPhoto"...

Screen resolution is fragmentation.

WRONG (1)

FranTaylor (164577) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329371)

"fragmentation" is when you have to tell SOME of your users "you can't do that thing that others are doing"

"fragmentation" is DIVIDING THE USERS INTO GROUPS

Which is EXACTLY what happens when some users have a feature and some don't.

Re:WRONG (1)

Maury Markowitz (452832) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329411)

"fragmentation" is when you have to tell SOME of your users "you can't do that thing that others are doing"

Indeed, and nothing on this list does that. The fact that I can't do flyover navigation on the 3GS has no effect on my solar prospecting tool.

Re:WRONG (1)

FranTaylor (164577) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329553)

If your app depends on data delivered by other apps, you SURE DO care if those other apps are functional or not.

Re:WRONG (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329733)

If you need a class of apps that depends on a hardware feature, you sure as hell better buy hardware with that feature. If you don't, you're a retarded piece of shit, and you aren't suffering from "fragmentation".

Re:WRONG (2)

Anubis IV (1279820) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329593)

"Fragmentation" is a word, and depending on the context and how it's applied, it can refer to many things. Whether you're being obtuse or are just misinformed, it's clear that you're using it to refer to user fragmentation that occurs as the result of having different feature sets on different devices. Unfortunately, that is not the type of fragmentation that is in any way relevant to conversations about fragmentation in the mobile space. User fragmentation is desirable (to an extent), since it helps to drive demand for new products.

In the context of Android vs. iOS discussions, people are talking about device fragmentation, that is, the things dividing the devices into different groups for which the developers must separately develop. In that regard, this chart does essentially nothing to address the relevant topics. Resolution or OS version would be appropriate topics for discussion, as would CPUs, since all of those might dictate what apps can exist on the phone or how developers will need to change an app to handle a specific phone's capabilities. But the question of whether a phone has flyover navigation or video stabilization is orthogonal to the question of whether or not a developer can write a specific app for the phone.

BIZZARRE!!! (1)

FranTaylor (164577) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329687)

user fragmentation that occurs as the result of having different feature sets on different devices. Unfortunately, that is not the type of fragmentation that is in any way relevant to conversations about fragmentation in the mobile space.

"in the mobile space" What a LOSER. These are JUST TINY COMPUTERS.

people are talking about device fragmentation, that is, the things dividing the devices into different groups for which the developers must separately develop.

So user fragmentation is when the devices are different, and device fragmentation is when the devices are different?

Re:BIZZARRE!!! (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329755)

"Whether you're being obtuse or are just misinformed..."

What a LOSER. These are JUST TINY COMPUTERS.

So user fragmentation is when the devices are different, and device fragmentation is when the devices are different?

Obtuse it is. Have fun trolling, kiddo.

Re:Not really fragmentation (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329403)

Screen resolution is fragmentation.

Unless Apple thought to conveniently run older apps in the original screen size via letterboxing. What? They did? Well flip my lid!

Need Page Impressions? (2)

hondo77 (324058) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329177)

What, was the bottom of this page [apple.com] unclear?

market fragmentation (1)

ccguy (1116865) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329179)

To be honest I'm much more annoyed by market (or zone, region, whatever) imposed by retards. For example you can't download Citibank usa application from Europe. You happen to have an account in a USA branch? too bad.

Re:market fragmentation (1)

ccguy (1116865) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329229)

Ah, and don't get me started on Google's super big fuck up with nexus q. So you got one in Google io but couldn't be bothered to open it until you were back in Europe? Here, your first job is figuring out how to download the app.

Re:market fragmentation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41329705)

Something that had a negative impact on tens of people hardly qualifies as a "super big fuck up".

3GS, iPad1 and iPad mini should not be on the list (2, Interesting)

rsborg (111459) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329199)

Why are the 3GS (a 3 year old design), iPad1 (2.5 years old) and iPad mini (rumored device at this moment) on the list? Why aren't things like hardware acceleration, smooth scrolling and other basic features that didn't exist for Android as of a few months ago on the features list? Hell, why isn't front/back camera on that list - no complaints that the iPod touch even have an external speaker until v2?

As it stands there are basically three screen ratios (3:2, 4:3 and now 16:9), 3 device categories (phone/ipod/tablet). A whole lot less variety and scattered than Android where this kind of list would require a large spreadsheet to make sense of.

This list is a bit of a stretch. The phones that are currently being sold (4, 4S, 5) have very similar capabilities to each other, as do the tablets.

Re:3GS, iPad1 and iPad mini should not be on the l (2)

dell623 (2021586) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329283)

The 3GS was being sold by Apple until two days ago.

The iPad 1 was the only iPad you could buy until March last year.

It's not about Android vs iOS..

He raises some serious concerns I already had... (0, Flamebait)

sottitron (923868) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329209)

My new app was going to require you to do face time video chat over cellular while displaying flyover navigation to destinations that you tell siri. The icing on the cake was suppose to be when it created a panoramic image and saved it for you to read later. Upon looking at this useful chart, I realize doing this on iOS is just a bag of hurt. I'm abandoning Apple for Android. I'm downloading the Android SDK right now and I'll see you all on the Play Store where all these features just work on 1.3 million Gingerbread devices they are activating a day.

Re:He raises some serious concerns I already had.. (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329373)

Ha! You'll make about "three fiddy" for every million users that- (Fry Squint) Ahhhhh, I see what you did there!

Re:He raises some serious concerns I already had.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41329441)

*slow clap*

Schizophrenic (1)

puddingebola (2036796) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329225)

If iOS fragments, does that make it schizoOS? Maybe you can give it thorazine and make it sedatedcrazyiOS.

Whoa. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41329307)

You apparently have never jailbroken anything before. I probably won't upgrade any hardware until they stop supporting my device with a new iOS version. I have Siri on my iPhone 4 and I barely use it. The new dock connector adapter looks like poop and I have a dash holder for my phone, so I'd really hate to downgrade aesthetically speaking.

No problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41329313)

Just port over a standard defrag app and you're good to go.

I don't get it... (4, Interesting)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329315)

Starting with the retina display, the programming API's for the iPhone took a one-way trip away from utilizing absolute pixel measurements, and referring to screen positions by resolution-independant "points", instead. In this way, coupled with the usage of floating point values for screen positions instead of integers, code would be made entirely resolution independent, without having to inquire about the phone's physical pixel resolution. All of the iPhone screens up until that time, whether retina display or not, were considered to be the same dimensions in these "point" sizes, so the same code could look and work exactly the same both on pre-retina and post-retina displays (perhaps only being of higher fidelity on the latter).

Now Apple decides it's time to make a phone with an entirely different aspect ratio. Really, what was the point of bothering with the resolution-independent screen positioning in their API's in the first place if they were just going to go and produce a completely different screen size that the programmer is going to have to write extra code to account for anyways?

Re:I don't get it... (1)

Crypto Gnome (651401) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329369)

Really, what was the point of bothering with the resolution-independent screen positioning in their API's in the first place if they were just going to go and produce a completely different screen size that the programmer is going to have to write extra code to account for anyways?

The word you're looking for here is compromise.

His Jobs-Ness was 100% absolutely against it, and such an extreme stance did seem to work well for Apple.

Re:I don't get it... (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329543)

His Jobs-Ness was 100% absolutely against it...

Um, no he wasn't. He was against making the phone bigger, not taller. He was all about it fitting comfortably in the hand.

Re:I don't get it... (1)

MassacrE (763) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329609)

The issue is that people program at a pixel ratio as if it is some measurement of minimal perceived size. If they had just quadrupled the pixels, most websites for instance would expect to scale to fill the larger size, but without any notion of whether the page was being rendered large enough to see.

Not to mention all the people who hard-coded mobile sites based on the horizontal width of the device. Which, btw, still hasn't changed even with the new dimensions.

Re:I don't get it... (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329767)

The graphics API has not changed with respect to coordinates since the first public release. It has always used points, and they've always been floating point. What's changed is that with the retina displays the ration of pixels/points is no longer 1/1. And the iPad was released prior to the first retina display, so the need to handle different aspect ratios and physical dimensions already existed.

So... (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329333)

...newer hardware can access newer features. KTHX.

If you don't have the latest devices... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41329357)

If you don't have the latest devices you don't exist. Everyone knows that is how Apple works. You buy your latest product, and it is the best. Then a year later, they release something better. But, your device is still good enough. Then 3 years later, Apple and the developers have moved on and won't program for it anymore. Then you buy the latest product and the cycle repeats.

Genius.

A feature comparison != fragmentation (3, Interesting)

Anubis IV (1279820) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329421)

Apparently the author of the "article" doesn't understand the distinction. I'm disappointed the editors let this one in.

Apple needs to support old hardware (1)

pubwvj (1045960) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329497)

Apple is disgraceful in the way that it dumps old hardware and software. There is a tremendous amount of older hardware which could easily run the new MacOS and iOS with some features turned of that is beyond the capability of the hardware. Very easy to program.

There is also a tremendous heritage of older software, particularly in the educational field, that is not being produced today that Apple should continue to support. Their abandonment of Classic, Rosetta, etc is pathetic.

They can make gobs of money of the old hardware by offering OS upgrades. It is very ungreen of them to create all this etrash.

Re:Apple needs to support old hardware (1)

bussdriver (620565) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329561)

Getting Classic ported and working on Rosetta was probably deemed to be not worth the cost involved.

Rosetta was bought from a 3rd party and Apple didn't own it. I figured the acquisition of that company by IBM (if I remember correctly) could be the reason they dropped renewing it; or the costs involved or maybe the new owners didn't want that tech being used to run PPC on Intel...

Apple is still not nice about upgrades.

Re:Apple needs to support old hardware (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329681)

I can understand your Mac complaints (to an extent...demanding Classic support at this point is just silly, especially since the machines that ran it still seem to run fine to me...I would know, since I have a Hi-Res PowerBook G4, which was the very last release before the Intel MacBook Pro), but their iOS support is pretty far beyond that of any of their competition. When I saw a chart about a year ago, every single one of their phones showed a history of having been supported through software updates and with the latest version of the OS for a significantly longer period of time than the best Android phone at the time (the G1, if memory serves). Considering the pace of advancement in the industry, I can't blame them for "forcing" people to upgrade by withholding versions of the OS that likely wouldn't run well on the older devices.

Re:Apple needs to support old hardware (1)

Desler (1608317) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329719)

Huh? The 3GS has been supported far longer than any Android phone so what the hell are you on about? I own a Samsung Vibrant that was when I bought it supposed to "imminently" receive the Android 2.2 update which it didn't for many months. Then Samsung drug their feet getting 2.3 out and by the time they did it was basically already dropped in support.

Re:Apple needs to support old hardware (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 2 years ago | (#41329785)

Wow. You're very greedy. Shame you don't also have the intelligence to turn that greed into enough wealth to get the hardware and software you want.

Different resolutions != fragmentation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41329699)

I didn't fragment Windows 7 by adding a second monitor to my desktop.

Different kind of fragmentation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41329713)

But isn't this type of fragmentation different from, say, on Android because it's transparent to the developer? That is, Apple takes care of it? I'm not a developer so I could be completely off.

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