24,000 android devices

The Developer’s Nightmare – Over 24,000 Different Android Devices Are Out There!

Dan Engel Commentary, Technology Article-Business

Last Updated June 28, 2016

“A picture is worth 1,000 words,” they say, but what if that picture depicts 1,000 different mobile devices and they are all running the Android OS?

That’s the web developer’s nightmare exposed in a graphic from OpenSignal. The image – looking for all the world like a rainbow-colored flag gone stir-crazy – depicts the overwhelming multiplicity of phones and tablets operating on the Android OS!

OpenSignal collected the data from users downloading their app. The long and short of it: OpenSignal logged 24,093 different Android devices downloading the app from August 2014 to August 2015.

That’s a jump up of about 6,000 from the prior year.

Responsive Web DesignSuch fragmentation of course makes developing websites capable of displaying on a decent chunk of mobile devices an epic battle, a herculean task comparable to Sisyphus’s unending efforts to roll a boulder up Mount Olympus.

But also it makes testing an unending nightmare.

It becomes close to impossible, or at least a very expensive and time-consuming proposition, to be continually updating and expanding your mobile testing lab to include new devices, new OS updates, and even entirely new operating systems.

Of course, that’s where the exceedingly kind and thoughtful (and, we might add, handsome) engineers at Mobilizer are trying to help out. We are doing our darndest to make mobile testing simpler by assembling all the latest popular phones and tablets, putting them online and delivering to your desktop browser screenshots of your website – real results on real devices, not emulated – in mere seconds!

OpenSignal further delineated the extreme fragmentation of the mobile world. Sure, they note that Samsung grabbed 37.8% of the phones and tablets employing Android. But that too is a drop from the prior year’s 43%.

Meanwhile, Google grinds on with new enhancements and updates to the Android OS, fracturing the mobile world into a prism of additional colors.
Android OS versions

For further insight into the state of mobile fragmentation, read OpenSignal’s whole report (warning: not suitable for the timid or the tender-hearted).

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Mobile1st is the company behind Mobilizer, the mobile optimization platform. Mobilizer helps companies increase revenue and engagement by enabling them to see exactly what their mobile users see, quickly identify display issues, monitor metrics by device, and optimize the mobile customer experience.