Since the introduction of the Android OS by Google, there has been tons of hoopla about what Android is, what Android does, and what sets it apart. These aspects of Android have been manipulated and misconstrued by the media, and subsequently by the public, resulting in a poor understanding of what Android is.
First of all we’ll discuss Android’s mythic “openness”. Android is “open source”. This means that Android is built based on source code that is open to use by others. This has caused people to misconstrue “open source” into meaning “open”. No doubt Apple’s iPhone helped this idea, because it’s own “closed-ness” has caused a lot of issues in and of itself. When Android came out, people were so used to the iPhone’s closed-door policy that they welcomed anything that was more open, but they mistook Android’s “open source” for true “openness”. Although Google has said from time to time they want certain things out of Android, they never said “Android is supposed to be 100% open and you have 100% freedom to do whatever you want”. Nobody said this, and all of the media has blown the whole issue out of proportion just to get attention.
Another issue is Android’s mythic “fragmentation”. This issue is really interesting because we don’t know how all of the drama got started. There are different version of Android. “Different version” is not synonymous with “fragmentation.” There are different versions of lots of OS’s, lot of Applications, and nobody ever complains about this strange thing called “fragmentation”. Have you ever heard of anything complaining of “Adobe Creative Suite fragmentation”? Either have I. The mere existence of different versions of software simultaneously installed onto several different devices simultaneously isn’t fragmentation, and just because it’s different how Apple does it doesn’t mean anything is wrong with it. This is another “mythical problem” that has little basis in reality. Android users can use their devices just fine no matter how much you talk about “fragmentation.”