Despite a hudge number of daily device activations (550,000), Android Market doesn't seem to attrack massively developers. One of the complaint is about a too large number of different versions of the OS, different devices, and different firmwares. This fragmentation (atomization ?) damages heavily the developers and users experience.
To improve the Android Market, Google has launched a new feature for developers called « multiple APK support ».
Until now, a developer uploads only one version of his app to the Market, and this version is supposed to universally run with all brands, types and firmwares. Which is very virtual. As the market atomization progresses, developers receive more and more crash reports, and users are often surprised that an app they played with for a while, suddenly doesn't work properly with their up to date devices. Sometimes doesn't launch any more.
Now, with the multiple APK support, developers are able to upload several versions of their apps within the same app's name. Each one adressing a different subset of devices, recognizing different OS versions, screen sizes, memory, etc... Then, when a user downloads an app, according to his device's specifications, Android Market automatically chooses the right app version to deliver. Users only see one version of the app on the market.
This solution is not perfect for anyone. Just temporarily moves the fragmentation problem on developers' heads. It should be better to have an OS version which runs with all devices, Google promises that the forthcoming Ice Cream Sandwich platform will deliver an universal OS, without crashes for any devices.
Really hope this comes true.