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Orientation in The Realm of Androids
Orientation in The Realm of Androids

Orientation in The Realm of Androids

For projects that develop an app for the iPhone, diving with respect to the device on which the app is running, little questions: on the iPhone, of course. There are few versions, and the Apple has completely under control.

Orientation in The Realm of Androids
Orientation in The Realm of Androids

Now to read more often that smartphones are on the rise with the Google Android operating system. On 10 May 2011 Google announced that the world currently about 400,000 devices activated per day would. Thus, it is becoming increasingly interesting, not only to offer apps for the iPhone, but also available for Android phones.

Android devices Zoo

But actually there – as equivalent to the iPhone – even the Google Phone and the Android phone? That is not, of course, because although Google itself developed the operating system, but unlike Apple is not the only manufacturer of terminals on iPhone. On the contrary: Meanwhile, almost every major computer manufacturers several Android devices available to address different audiences and wallet sizes. There is, for example, each several versions of the Samsung Galaxy, Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 and, the LG Optimus, Motorola Milestone and Google Nexus. HTC there are devices with melodious names like Desire, Dream, Legend, Wildfire, Sensation, Incredible Magic and – partly also in several variants. The list is endless. The Wikipedia page on the subject of Android currently lists nearly 90 phones on an upward trend. Almost every week to appear further announcements.


For the end user this is a blessing – or maybe spoiled for choice. In the development of apps for Android Phones thereby comes a dimension to the game, which based on the Latin fragmentation is called. Because the devices have not only different display sizes and resolutions, including the Android operating system running on the different devices in different versions. This means that not only graphics must be produced in multiple resolutions and integrated into the app, but depending on the application, fallback solutions for functions need to be built, which was not yet on older devices available. Also, the set of existing sensors will vary from the devices. The major manufacturers also provide the phones with their own user interface ( Sense in HTC, MotoBlur , Motorola, Touchwiz , Samsung, Timescape and Mediascape Sony Ericsson), which means that the app is running in different graphical contexts and possibly even looks different. All this – and more – to be considered in the design, development and testing. The app must be built for multiple display options and Android versions and tested on all target devices as possible, to avoid nasty surprises at the end customer. At worst, can be found else later in the Marketplace negative statements like “goes with me not – LG Optimus”.

Device Lists

This raises the question at the beginning of each project which terminals are to be supported. Here one should have been like a statistic of all devices with all the features and their current market share. So there is something but unfortunately not (yet) (there is a gold mine for a future service). So you have to make do with the (meager) information that is currently available.

With Google itself, there is a device dashboard that is updated monthly. There are a representation of the current global distribution of display sizes and resolutions , and an overview of the current global distribution of the various versions of the Android operating system . This gives valuable guidance for designers and developers. But the question that Android devices are currently the most widespread in Germany, it has not been answered. Whether Google will integrate more statistics here in the future in the stars.

At Google, there is also a complete overview of all Android devices with many technical data (but unfortunately no data on the distribution). A – not limited to Android – Device Overview in machine readable form provides the WURFL project – including an online device search . Similar offers the PDADB . There are in addition to the specifications of the phones, for example, an overview of all mobile operating systems and a chronological list of release dates for all components. An answer to the question as to which devices are currently the most widespread in Germany, you also can not find here but.


Useful are for the charges on the basis of mobile web usage statistics (Monthly Update for your own website) and by Netbiscuits , with an overview of the global top 10 of the devices and manufacturers, overviews of the traffic of all devices, special tables for Germany a Overview of the market without the iPhone, which is very revealing in terms of Android devices (only in the 2010 report), and a country-level overview of the HTML 5 support on the top units in which several Samsung, Motorola and HTC phones show up.

In October 2010 the Twitter client TweetDeck manufacturers in his blog several statistics that were created from the devices that use the client user. There are over 250 different Android devices are listed. However, this is due to the fact that many users who have “rooted” their smartphone (the default firmware replaced by another in order to obtain superuser privileges) while also equal to the type of device to their taste has changed – in ToninoLamborghini- Evoluzione for example, or Full Android on Passion . It is therefore not surprising that there appear more than 100 versions of the Android operating system. In the local statistics had the HTC Desire, the Motorola Milestone (Droid) and the Nexus One in the lead, followed closely by HTC PC36100, the Motorola DROID X and the Samsung Galaxy.

A statistic of mobilemetrics.com on May 2011 for Germany are following distribution of leading hardware manufacturer and number of devices with Android: HTC 26%, 22%, Samsung, Motorola 18%. And if you yourself have an app in the Market, of course you also get current statistics about which devices the app has been installed. It looks example, in May 2011, for an exemplary German app like this: Samsung Galaxy S: 9.0%; Motorola Droid X: 8.1%; HTC Desire: 5.6%; HTC Desire HD 5.1%; HTC Evo 4G: 5.1%; HTC Wildfire: 4.3%; Samsung Galaxy Tab 4.3%; HTC Droid Incredible: 3.8%; Motorola Droid: 3.5%, Motorola CLIQ: 1.9%; other: 49.3%. One can see that HTC, Samsung and Motorola have forward current nose. The Samsung Galaxy seems to have the advantage over the statistics of October 2010, all other devices obsolete. The other half of the market into segments, however, less than 1.9% split, which can grow strong within months and you still can not make reliable statements – even if the app on each of the list named ten devices was tested.


For the successful development of an Android app, it is important to determine and define even at project start, which terminals are to be supported and on which the app to be tested. This has significant influence on the conception, the project scope and project success. In each case reasonably current statistics need to be consulted, as the ratios of more than 400,000 registered phones per day can change quite quickly. If you know of other helpful statistics, we are grateful for a note in the comments.

About Muhammad Shafique

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