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Ex-Google boss says Android fragmentation drove him to iOS

An ex-Android developer has spilled the beans on Android's fragmentation problem, citing it as the reason he developed for iOS.

It's no huge surprise that Android has a few issues with fragmentation: most of us with a Google-run handset are still waiting for the update to Ice Cream Sandwich, and getting hold of Jelly Bean is just a pipe dream for now. It's not just a nightmare for us consumers though, it's a headache for developers too.

And when one of the developers in question used to work for Google, and says he made his new app for iOS because of Android's fragmentation, you know the problem is bad.

Rian Liebenberg is the man who used to work for Google. He spoke to Electricpig about his new venture Recce, a mapping app that he chose to make for iOS over Android.

"We do have a working Android build, but given some of the device fragmentation, we couldn't guarantee we were going to have a great Android experience on every single implementation," Liebenberg said.

"The hardware fragmentation problem on Android made it more complex for us, so we decided to hold it back."

That's really quite damning, but many on Android will know exactly what Liebenberg is talking about. Ice Cream Sandwich launched back in October -- that's nine months ago -- yet it's still only found on 10 per cent of Android devices. And now its successor is here, yet most of us are still stuck on Gingerbread, which is effectively a two-year-old operating system.

In fairness, Google has owned up to its shortcomings, and Jelly Bean should hopefully make it easier for manufacturers to update their handsets to the latest version. Hopefully.

What do you think of the Android fragmentation? Which version are you on at the moment? And do you think Jelly Bean will improve things at all? Let me know what you think in the comments below, or on our Facebook page.