Android 4.0 Could Solve Fragmentation Problem

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2011-11-21 Print this article Print


5. The future is social

Google has finally acknowledged that being social is the future. With a new People app, Ice Cream Sandwich lets users see basic contact information, like phone numbers and email addresses, as well as status updates and other information on social networks. Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 was really the first platform to acknowledge the importance of integrating social features into mobile operating systems, but Google is the company to take it to another level.

6. Google has already bet big on it

Why shouldn't consumers bet big on an operating system that its creator has already bet big on itself? Make no mistake, Ice Cream Sandwich is a major risk for Google. It's such a departure from previous versions that some current Android customers might be surprised by what they find. Those who are used to iOS will feel lost at first with Ice Cream Sandwich. But Google has faith in the operating system-and consumers should too.

7. Camera improvements

Over the last several years, an increasing number of consumers are turning to their smartphone to snap photos. For the most part, in the mobile space, the iOS camera application has proved best at helping to take those shots. But in Ice Cream Sandwich, a host of camera improvements have arrived, including built-in "panorama" support and a series of "effects" that let users modify pictures however they see fit. There's also a full suite of image-editing tools built into the operating system. All that has made Ice Cream Sandwich's camera support much better than that found in previous Android versions.

8. Google is taking more control

When taken as a whole, it appears Google is trying to take more control over Android with Ice Cream Sandwich. In the past, the company has simply provided a bare bones framework for smartphone vendors to play with. But now, Google is providing a more well-rounded and feature-packed operating system, seeming to indicate that it wants the Android ecosystem to become more uniform. Will it work? It's possible.

9. It'll play a key role in future phones

As mentioned, Ice Cream Sandwich is available first on the Galaxy Nexus. But like previous versions of Google's mobile operating system, it's coming to a host of smartphones in the coming months. That's important. If the Galaxy Nexus falls short for some customers, it doesn't mean that Ice Cream Sandwich is dead. With many more phones to choose from, consumers can pick which device they want to run the operating system on.

10. Google is working on fragmentation

The biggest issue in the Android ecosystem has always been its fragmentation. There are simply too many different Android versions-on both tablets and smartphones-for consumers and developers to sift through. With Ice Cream Sandwich, Google is making its most concerted effort yet to change that. More importantly, the company is trying to make Ice Cream Sandwich look more tabletlike in its presentation to give consumers a more uniform experience. It's a smart move. It could dramatically help Android in the future.

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Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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