Google may be rubbing shoulders with almost every tech company in the world in Vegas at CES 2012, but it seems like the web giant may not be rubbing shoulders with reality, if word from Eric Schmidt is to be believed.
“Differentiation is positive, fragmentation is negative,” said Schmidt at the show. “Differentiation means that you have a choice and the people who are making the phones, they’re going to compete on their view of innovation, and they’re going to try and convince you that theirs is better than somebody else.”
It’s a very positive spin to put on an OS that’s been famously dogged by fragmentation among devices with different specs, screen sizes and often operating system iterations. “We absolutely allow [manufacturers] to add or change the user interface as long as they don’t break the apps. We see this as a plus; [it] gives you far more choices,” continued Schmidt.
Now, don’t us wrong: Everyone at EP likes Android and fully support the notion of an open source (and open to interpretation) operating system, but we’ve spoken to numerous app developers over the last few years who’ve all stated categorically that it’s a nightmare building for Android due to its fragmentation.
You can’t expect Google to come out and admit its faults, but it would probably better here to apply a sort of ‘if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all’ ethos. Schmidt picking out the platform’s one foible and claiming it’s a good thing just doesn’t ring true.
“It’s not required that everyone use the same interface. People are free to make the necessary changes. What’s great is if you don’t like it, you can buy the phone from someone else,” he claimed, adding: “What people really care about is if there’s an interoperable ecosystem of apps.”
Well… Yes, but Android’s fragmentation issues affect exactly that – you’re never entirely sure whether certain apps will run on your phone. Suggesting that that’s actually a positive point strikes us as very odd spinning. Do you agree?