Should Android embrace the gaming PC market mentality?Evan Selleck - Contributing Editor
I’ve never been one to say that Android fragmentation is a really bad thing. In truth, I can see why someone would think it is, especially with all of the negative press it has received since it started to really take hold. But, stuff happens. When you realize that Google is running in a different race than all the other companies out there, especially companies creating their own proprietary software. The funny thing is, I think fragmentation would be looked at very differently today if Google had managed to spin it, long before any negative connotations could flourish.
In the past, I asked you if phone manufacturers could start taking cues from car manufacturers, offering up options, that kind of thing. But, while that may be one option, I think there’s a market that is a little bit closer to home that we could easily find some comparisons, and even try to spin that negativity towards fragmentation around.
But, here’s the thing. This has to be a collective effort. I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that there are more than a few Android fans out there right now, reading this. And, if you’re an Android fan, you’ve either completely ignored the fragmentation thing altogether, or you’ve tried to explain it away to anyone who will listen. I’ve been there, I know how that goes. But, let’s take a different tact, shall we? Let’s just try to change the whole thing.
Instead of looking at the car manufacturing idea, how about the PC market? Would it really be all that stretch of the imagination to think of the Android market is, at the very least, remarkably similar to the PC market? I mean, let’s face it, only in the Android market will you see that some games, or an application, will work on one handful of devices, but not on another. And, as we find our way into higher-end devices, with better and better specifications, the “problem” isn’t going away. Instead, we’re seeing processors get in the way, dictating which apps will work and which ones won’t.
But, let me reiterate here: this isn’t a bad thing. It happens. Technology is great in that it lets us do incredible things, but it does have limitations. They exist, no matter how badly we wish that they didn’t. They do, and that’s just something we have to live with. And, as we see the release of more and more devices, developers have to pick and choose which devices, which handsets or tablets, get the love, while others don’t.
So, what if we could build the phones that we want, for the purposes that we want? Because everyone’s phone is different, even if phone manufacturers release just one variant. Samsung is pretty close in this, releasing plenty of devices to fill in niche markets, but it’s still not the same. You can try to make a purchased Galaxy S II your own, but if you stick to the stock experience, and don’t try any custom ROMs, how different is your phone to the next person’s, really?
But the doors would be blown wide open if we could build our gaming phones, or business phones, or casual phones. You could truly build a gaming device, with the best possible specifications, with whatever processor you want. Just like a gaming PC, you’d put the money where you’d want it. You want a top-notch business phone, with the best possible calendar options, or whatever else you need? Boom, make it happen. You get what you pay for. Instead of getting the standard model, you can pay more to make the phone uniquely yours. Yours. Customization is great, but not just on the software side of things. I wish I could customize my whole phone.
What about you? Should Google start making the Android market more like the PC market, and start embracing the fragmentation thing, if they can start letting people create their own devices? Let me know what you think.