Chapter 4: Exploring the Android Platform

Android is a platform of opportunities. It has a massive user and fan base. It is the worldwide leading smartphone platform, and there’s no end in sight for its growth. Android can be found running on hundreds of different devices and many different device categories. With massive success comes lots of challenges. How do you write apps that run on all of these devices? How different are these devices?

This chapter explains what you can expect from the Android devices. It explains what Android fragmentation means and puts this idea in context. The chapter also talks about the opportunities created by the open Android ecosystem and Open Source community.

Challenges of the android platform

You must have heard about Android fragmentation. It seems to be a buzzword of bloggers and journalists trying to get more interest in their articles. This term is often thrown around without any true understanding of what it means and how it affects developers and users. People often say fragmentation when they actually mean the variation in devices that Android runs on.

There’s no need to panic. The Android platform was built from the ground up to give developers good tools to support multiple different devices. Utilizing the platform tools correctly will help you to support most, if not all, the devices out there. That is not to say that supporting all these devices is free. It requires work and planning but can be done with reasonable effort, if you ...

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