Android on 600 phones and tablets in less than four years

Here's a fun fact: there have been more than 600 Android phones and tablets -- and one app developer wants to test its apps on all of them.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Richard Trenholm
2 min read

There have been more than 600 Android phones and tablets -- that's according to Hong Kong developer Animoca, which has highlighted the vast range of Android phones and tablets with a photo of its many, many test devices.

While you probably don't need to own every Android device to build an app, it does prove that Android phones come in all shapes and sizes. That's a lot of phones -- and all in less than four years.

I wouldn't want to be the guy who has to test Pretty Pet Salon or Token Toss on 400 phones, but how satisfying must it be to spread out that assemblage of Androids?

TechCrunch reports that Animoca has amassed the 400-strong Android armada to test their apps and make sure they work across the varied range of devices running the software. Android phones and tablets have a broad range of screen sizes and pixel counts, a wide gamut of processor speeds, and countless other variables. There are also many different versions of Android software still hanging around, as different phones receive updates in a higgledy-piggledy fashion, which some argue is the biggest issue facing Android.

The developer reckons that around 600 unique Android devices have been released since the first Android phone in late 2008 -- although that number has swelled due to the glut of cheap low-end phones.

Update: Animoca has asked me to point out that this is not a comprehensive industry analysis, but they counted those 600 devices on their app network in the last month -- which means that the total number of Android devices ever made is even higher. That really is a lot of phones.

Many argue this broad range of devices and different levels of software update means that Android is hopelessly fragmented. But really it's not as bad as all that, as the actual number of phones that people buy is much lower. And there are many tools to make sure an app will play nicely with the range of devices -- but that doesn't make such a fun photo.

Are there too many Android phones, or is there something for everybody? Out of those 600 Android phones, which is your all-time favourite? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.