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Fragmentation Coming to an End Under Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich



Not only is Ice Cream Sandwich ushering in an era of a more refined Android experience for Google, but the latest mobile OS designed to unify smartphones and tablets will also unify the Android ecosystem. With the introduction of Ice Cream Sandwich, we may begin to see the end of fragmentation when it comes to the Android platform.

Google is now trying to achieve the feat of unifying Android together–which so far has been heavily skinned by various manufacturers with their own proprietary custom UI and user experiences, such as HTC’s Sense UI or Samsung’s TouchWiz UX. With Ice Cream Sandwich, the Android OS-maker is requesting that manufacturers include the stock Android 4.0 UI called Holo on their devices.

Failing to do so, Google will take away access to Android Market for non-compliance.

This still doesn’t bar manufacturers still from overlaying their own experiences on top of Android. It just requires that Holo be built as part of the experience. It’s unclear if a manufacturer, like HTC, would allow users to boot into either a Holo experience or if HTC Sense will always have to be front and center.

Perhaps requiring this new policy will allow Google to deploy major OS fixes rapidly without having to go through the manufacturer, and Google can begin to control the OS over-the-air (OTA) software update process much like what Microsoft and Apple have done for their respective platforms.


Holo will come with three theme options–the standard Holo theme (Theme.Holo), a light theme (Theme.Holo.Light), and one with a dark action bar (Theme.Holo.Light.DarkActiopBar). Keeping Holo intact means that widgets, menus, appearances, and apps will all function similarly on various devices made by various manufacturers.

Via: Phone Arena



  1. JM_66

    01/04/2012 at 9:35 am

    probably a good thing, especially since most of those added UI layers slow the program down.

  2. Anonymous

    01/09/2012 at 1:52 pm

    This is an absolute necessity.  At this point, as a developer, I am personally ready to ditch Android and work on something else.  The fragmentation issues are extremely annoying as users 1-star my market apps over problems I have no control over, or which are actually caused by their own phone’s proprietary implementation of Android.

    If Google can’t unify Android, then I can potentially see Windows making eventual headway.  Developers need a stable, predictable platform to provide a good customer experience.

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