Google Addresses Android Fragmentation With Static Library

    March 4, 2011

A new Best Buy commercial for its “Buy Back” program features consumers getting confused, frustrated, and angry as their new gadgets are quickly made obsolete.  To ensure something similar doesn’t happen to Android developers, Google’s released an anti-fragmentation library.

Developing an Android app wasn’t that complicated in the beginning.  There were just one or two versions of Android to deal with, and not too many different smartphone screen sizes to worry about.

With new versions of Android rolling out on a regular basis, and a glut of Android tablets on the way, though, Google’s smart to address the matter of fragmentation now before it gets worse.

Tim Bray explained Google’s solution on the official Android Developers blog.  He wrote, “[W]e’ve released a static library that exposes the same Fragments API (as well as the new LoaderManager and a few other classes) so that applications compatible with Android 1.6 or later can use fragments to create tablet-compatible user interfaces.”

Then Bray, whose official title is “Developer Advocate,” continued, “This library is available through the SDK Updater; it’s called ‘Android Compatibility package.'”

This offering’s met with a positive enough reception so far, as you can see from the following tweet:

Keeping developers happy will be key as Google tries to keep the edge Android’s establishing over iOS and other rivals.