Google Fighting Fragmentation With New Initiatives

Google Fighting Fragmentation With New Initiatives

The Google Lollipop has finally got into double figures in terms of its penetration and usage. This news coming close to a year after its launch is not very encouraging for Google, especially when compared to the iOS8 penetration enjoyed by Apple. But Google, it must be said is trying its level best to bring about standardization and is taking initiatives to reduce fragmentation of its OS.

Material Design and Android One designs

It has made the Google Play very effective by pushing a number of software functionality into it so that users can update over air and without any permission required from either the network or the handset manufacturer. The interface of the Lollipop (material design) has also been designed taking feedback into account from app manufacturers as well as other third party users.

It has also ensured that the Android One platform is continually updated with new releases well on time and without any lag. It is expected that the same would continue till the Android M is brought out.

However, while Google is going ahead with yet another iteration of its OS in the form of the Android M, it cannot overlook the fact that close to than 50% of its devices are still connecting to the Play Store through versions 4.3 and even older. The latter versions from Kit Kat onwards make up the remaining 51%.

Lollipop is making steady progress

It would appear that Lollipop penetration is making slow but steady progress but Google should be concerned about one thing. Much of this increase in percentage has come from the sale of new handsets rather than over the air updates of the OS. If more of such phones were sold, the percentage would have shown a better figure. But this trend must be worrying for Google as it seeks to move people from Android 4.3 and below to higher versions as quickly as possible to reduce fragmentation.

Numbers or letters for the OS

As opposed to Apple which has been numbering its OS updates with ascending numbers, Google has been sticking to letters and names of candies and chocolates. This also may be causing some confusion in users as to whether Lollipop is better than Kit Kat and they may not be feeling motivated to go for any upgrade. Apple with its ascending numbering system clearly tells the user that the higher the number, the more recent and better the OS.

But there are analysts who also believe Google is on the right path choosing letters over numbers. They maintain that once the physical number is removed from the equation, the perception and anticipation for something better to come is automatically reduced for the user. Be that it may, Google has to do a lot more to reduce fragmentation and bring its users as quickly as possible on par so that further updates and other software impact can be favorably expressed.