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The end of Android fragmentation? Gmail now available in Market

New Gmail for Android

The longest running complaint about Google's Android OS is fragmentation. With an accelerated development roadmap, carriers are finding it harder and harder to keep up with offering the latest version of Android on their devices. Usually, smartphone users have to wait a few months after Google releases the latest version of Android before their phone's manufacturer can get the update ready for their devices.

It has been long discussed that with Froyo (2.2) and the upcoming Gingerbread (3.0), fragmentation issues would begin to dwindle. Google planned to accomplish this by un-tieing Google apps from OS updates and instead, offering these apps directly on the market. Now, according to the Google Mobile Blog, Google's new strategy has begun.

Available in the Market for all Android devices running 2.2, is the new Gmail app. No longer will users have to wait for a full OS update to take advantage of the new features that Google wants to add to their own apps. With these apps readily available in the Market, Google can now update them on a much more frequent basis, independently of system updates. No doubt users will be happy with this change.

The new version of Gmail that was just released adds a few new features for Android users to take advantage of. Here's what you'll notice:

  • Improved message replies
  • Access to quoted text
  • Limited support for Priority Inbox ("Important" label)

To give the new Gmail for Android a go, scan the QR code below with the barcode scanning app of your choice.

Gmail for Android - QR Code

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