The Day iOS Fragmented

As I type that title, there’s a line from an old song running through my head: “the day the music died”. Cue a scratchy album version of American Pie as I write, please. iPhone fans and critics alike have waited for weeks now to see if the iPhone on Verizon will function exactly as its AT&T counterpart. Early reports and tear-downs show very little difference between the two devices. We already know the whole GSM vs. CDMA debate, and have been repeatedly told that nothing will really change for anyone.

Telenav created the AT&T Navigator app for the original iPhone, but today had to release Telenav GPS for the Verizon iPhone. You read that correctly… they had to release a new version specifically for the new device. According to a conversation between Telenav and ZDNET, the original app would not work properly on the Verizon version of the popular phone.

As much as I respect his insight, this “fragmentation problem” is not what Kendrick makes it out to be.

The app (in its original form) would not play nicely with the hardware inside the new “Verizon iPhone.” Not much has changed in that respect, and Telenav wouldn’t elaborate on which specific differences forced their app change (beyond the title, duh). The new Verizon app is just different enough, though, that it won’t run on the AT&T iPhone.

I’m not so sure I’d say that the app store is any more “fragmented” than before – no more than it was for apps that, say, have been most functional on iPhones (compared to older iPod touches without cameras).

The sky is falling! No, it’s not. I’m with MG on this one.

4 thoughts on “The Day iOS Fragmented”

  1. That’s not fragmentation, that’s having to adapt the software to a new iOS version. Something that many apps have to do anyway.

    Either that or they were working outside of the API, which is not good practice anyway.

    Unless they now have two versions of the same App that end users must choose between it’s not fragmentation at all.

  2. I gather that it’s something to do with how iPhone uses the antenna as part of GPS tracking. One would imagine that the iOS SDK would abstract the differences of the underlying functionality to a point where you wouldn’t even notice, so there’s that theory out the window.

    I have no idea. All I know is that it’s not good. Maybe a ‘hybrid’ iPhone 5 will fix this.

  3. Neither. Unlike ALL other apps that handle purchasing through in-app sales, these apps work with the carrier to handle purchasing/billing through the carrier. These are, as far as I have seen, the ONLY exceptions to this rule. This is the change and the reason it would not work (you want to charge the VZ navigation to the AT&T account? Um, no).
    WHy did no other navigation programs need to make a change? because they do not tie in to carrier specific billing…

  4. The interesting thing is we now know that the Verizon iPhone uses a “world” chip which supports CDMA and GSM. We can see Apple heading towards a world iPhone which should cover most of the carriers on the planet with the exception of Videotron (frequency issue) and China’s state carrier which uses their own version of CDMA.

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