Forks, Fragmentation, and the Future of Android

UWS 5:10pm

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Android is the most popular mobile operating system on the planet. It powers more than 80% of smartphones worldwide and shipped on over 1 billion devices in 2014. However, the hidden story here is that Android forks now account for over 20% of the global Android ecosystem and 41% of new devices shipped. Early on “fragmentation” was an issue of screen size, display density, and platform version. The new “fragmentation” is forked versions of the OS and alternate app stores. In this session we will begin by looking at the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) and how it helps shape the current development environment. We will explore popular forks of Android including Cyanogen, FireOS (Amazon), MIUI (Xiaomi), and others. We will also examine the role of Google Play Services (Google’s fork of Android). Finally we will evaluate the opportunities that alternate app stores present and discuss strategies for developers who wish to reach a wider audience with their applications.

Chuck Greb, Mapzen

Location and maps. Open source and unit testing. Also Kotlin.