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App developer explains the worst part about developing for Android

Published Mar 28th, 2014 1:05PM EDT
Why Is Android Fragmentation Bad

All these years later, is Google still being haunted by the ghosts of Android 2.3 Gingerbread? Developer Nick Bradbury, who works on WordPress’s Android app, has written an interesting post explaining that while he still thinks Android fragmentation is an “overblown” issue, there is one area of developing for Android that drives him up the wall: Supporting versions of WordPress that still run on Gingerbread.

“Making sure your app works on that ugly, buggy OS is a massive pain,” Bradbury writes. “Every Android developer I know will dance in the streets the day they can drop support for pre-ICS versions of Android.”

The good news, though, is that Android has gotten much, much, much better ever since Gingerbread came out all the way back in 2010. However, the huge number of dirt-cheap Android phones that have flooded the market over the past four years has meant that Gingerbread has quite a lot of staying power — according to Google’s latest numbers, Gingerbread still powers nearly one out of every five Android devices in the world.

Bradbury also says that having so many cheap devices on the market means that he has to be extra careful when it comes to making his apps more efficient so they don’t drain memory and battery life on the device, although he says that’s a good thing to look out for no matter what.

Taken together, it looks like a lot of Android developers’ gripes about Android fragmentation have been eased ever since Jelly Bean came out in 2012 and things will only get better once Gingerbread is finally dumped into the ashcan of history.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.