Galaxy OS

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Samsung is releasing SDKs that mean developers can target their devices for capabilities beyond stock Android. This comes at a time when Google is tightening it’s hold on this “open” platform and the only devices in the ecosystem that matter are from Samsung.

I find this immensely gratifying since I once had a reputation as “the fork guy” for advising clients this was a likely future, though many years ago it wasn’t at all clear Samsung would end up in such a dominant position. (I one thought Motorola most likely.)

Now that it’s clearly unfolding, all the doom-for-Google reporting is overlooking the Android fragmentation problem that KitKat seeks to address (and Apple has become bold in pointing out). It’s really a Samsung fragmentation problem, as their own product line spans a dizzying away of screen dimensions, hardware capabilities, and OS compatibility.

Samsung has succeeded, wildly, with a carpet-the-market strategy with a portfolio of countless products. This causes the fragmentation that frustrates developers and creates confusion in the app market, and Samsung will have this heterogeneity whether using a Google-controlled Android, self-controlled Android, or even TIzen.

We’re still some time from the Galaxy SDKs being consistent enough to be broadly interesting to developers, or scary to Google.

If you'd like to dicuss this, open the comment thread here or contact me.