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Your average Joe isn’t going to understand why, for example, his HTC Hero that he bought a few months back can’t use the Buzz widget or some of the cooler features in Google Maps, and Google hasn’t done a very good job of explaining or justifying it, other than by blocking incompatible apps and updates from being visible in the Market.

Google: Android fragmentation ‘is a boogeyman, a red herring’ — Engadget

Good to see Engadget bringing some sense to this debate. However, this Morrill guy from Google is still selling some hot air:

Morrill’s point is that “fragmentation” — however you define it — isn’t to be feared. He writes that developers control their own destiny thanks to a combination of tools that allow apps to be targeted to specific Android versions, tight restrictions by Google over use of the “Android” name only on hardware that meets stringent spec requirements (which manufacturers are “motivated” to adhere to), and an assurance that every app is forward compatible with future builds.

Developers may control their destiny, but hardware manufacturers control the ultimate destiny of a phone. Manufacturers like Samsung and HTC have already dropped the ball and broken promises, which makes anything but a red herring or a boogyman. Android fragmentation is a real problem that manufacturers are creating in the marketplace right now.