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Android Design Patterns: Interaction Design Solutions for Developers by Greg Nudelman

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Chapter 3

Android Fragmentation

Like a shrapnel grenade in the ball-bearings factory, Android fragmentation has now reached epic proportions. Here’s how to sort out what’s important and create the app User Experience (UX) design strategy that works for various device flavors.

What’s Fragmentation?

According to OpenSignal, in April 2012, 6 months prior to the time this book was written, there were more than 3,997 distinct Android devices (based on a study of more than 681,900 devices: http://opensignal.com/reports/fragmentation.php). The number-one brand was Samsung, with 40-percent market penetration. HTC, SEMS, and Motorola together accounted for approximately 30 percent of the market share. Approximately 9 percent of the total devices were Samsung’s GT-c91g000 (the Galaxy SII), but beyond that there is little in the way of the trend, including multiple one-offs such as the Concorde Tab (a Hungarian 10.1-inch device), the Lemon P1 (a dual SIM Indian phone), and the Energy Tablet i724 (a Spanish tablet aimed at home entertainment). For those that don’t mind the price tag, the famous Swiss watchmaker Tag Heuer released The Racer: A $3,600 Android smartphone with "unparalleled torsional strength" built with carbon fiber and titanium elements and a shockproof rubber chassis. (I don’t know about you, but I think I’d rather fancy one—http://www.afterdawn.com/news/article.cfm/2012/03/13/tag_heuer_launches_carbon_ fiber_android_phone_with_huge_price_tag).

Staggering diversity did not ...

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