Google's Solution To Android Fragmentation: Break It Apart

Android's problem: There's a lot of Androids out there! 1.5, 1.6, 2.0 and 2.1, just to name the major current versions. A problem, 'cause spiffy apps that'll run on 2.0 won't run on 1.5, and now everybody's confused. Google's solution?

To split Android up over the next major versions - Froyo and Gingerbread - carving major features and core elements out of the main OS, so that you can download updates, just like Maps works now, for things like Gmail. It'll even extend to things like input methods, according to Engadget's sources.

The idea being that if there's an awesome new version of Gmail, you shouldn't be left behind because your carrier or phonemaker isn't on the ball with Android updates, as people languishing with Android 1.5 would tell you.

Breaking Android up into more modular parts to make the platform more cohesive is kind of a bold strategy, in a way. Here's hoping it'll work. [Engadget]