There has been a lot of excited chatter about the speed Google's Android platform has been evolving. There has also been an equal amount of frustration at how fragmented it has become...
Consequently this news has us both saddened yet nodding our heads in stoic acknowledgement of its practicality: Google VP Andy Rubin (below) has said major Android updates will eventually slow to just one per year.
Speaking to Silicon Valley Mercury News he explained:
"We’ve gone through a lot of product iterations because we had to bring the product up to market spec. Quite honestly, the product when we launched it, it didn’t really feel like a 1.0, it felt like kind of an 0.8, but it was a window of opportunity and the market needed an entrant at the holiday season. So we launched it, and from our internal 0.8, we got to 1.0 pretty quickly, and we went through this iteration cycle. You’ve noticed, probably, that that’s slowed down a little bit. Our product cycle is now, basically twice a year, and it will probably end up being once a year when things start settling down, because a platform that’s moving — it’s hard for developers to keep up. I want developers to basically leverage the innovation. I don’t want developers to have to predict the innovation."
That's a long quote, but I think Rubin makes a fair point. That said, we hope the improvements Google has already discussed to stop Android fragmentation are also at the forefront of Rubin's mind.
Personally, as I ranted in the TrustedReviews Podcast episode 2, I really don't care about all these handset makers' Android skins that cause the fragmentation in the first place. In my world Android development would continue at its current breakneck pace and every handset would have an option to disable its custom UI if you wanted to upgrade to a new Android version. Makes sense, no?