The Hulu Plus mobile app is now available for Android tablets, complete with an updated user interface. The software has a visual redesign offering easier navigation on large touchscreen devices. But not every Android tablet owner can use the software; only seven devices are supported.
T-Mobile USA is asking the Federal Communications Commission to require that all LTE devices in the 700 MHz band be interoperable, a requirement that would benefit a bunch of small operators. Ironically, one carrier that benefits little from the rule change is T-Mobile.
Android fragmentation is less of a challenge than it was two years ago, and developers shouldn’t be as concerned about it says Localytics. Data from both Localytics, and even Google, show this to be true. And Android 4.0 is a chance for a “fresh start.”
Adding T-Mobile support to the iPhone may sound simple, but it’s a much more difficult task than it appears. New bands don’t just necessitate new antennas, but a complete phone redesign. T-Mobile’s Apple moment may come with the iPhone 5, but don’t hold your breath.
I’m saying goodbye to Android, and it appears I’m not alone. Here is why the platform’s fragmentation and lack of interoperability have driven me away — and why Google should do everything it can to address those vulnerabilities.
Google’s Android 4.0 software won’t be limited to new handset models like the Galaxy Nexus; handset makers are starting to share plans on which existing smartphones will see the update. With plans for software updates to existing phones, this could finally eliminate Android fragmentation issues.
Android’s struggles with fragmentation and licensing costs may provide an opening for Windows Phone, which is set to get a big boost from Mango and Microsoft’s new alliance with Nokia.
In May of 2010, I examined the Android fragmentation issue. Is it still a problem? Yes, but based on various Google actions that time, the data shows it’s far less of an issue than it was. And it will always exist under the current licensing model.
Google continues to battle its platform fragmentation challenges by adding a software compatibility check on the web-based Android Market. Supporting both smartphones and tablets, this change is good for consumers and developers, even as more devices are brought up to current Android versions.
Google is hoping its new, tablet-friendly version of Android can help it become a major player in the mobile enterprise. For that to happen, though, it will need to continue to move to fix the platform’s fragmentation problems.