Google has responded to criticism that the Android OS is too fragmented by announcing an alliance of networks and manufacturers who have vowed to provide more timely updates.

Android has teamed up with OEMs like HTC, Motorola, Samsung and networks such as T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon to ensure that all Android phones are singing from the same hymn sheet.

While this is likely to be a US-only alliance at present, the manufacturers have promised the very latest Android updates for new handsets in the first 18 months after they go on sale.

With earlier news that the company wants Android Ice Cream Sandwich to be available on all Google-powered phones, this announcement shows us how it plans on achieving that feat.

Fragmented

Too often in the past, Android users have complained that their network hadn't yet rolled-out the new software update for their handset, leaving many frustrated with Android 1.6.

With limitless handsets running different versions of the software, Android has been subject to criticism within the industry for being too fragmented and not creating a single vision as Apple has done so successfully with iOS.

Obviously today's alliance proves that this is something that the folks at Android recognise and we should start to see this rectified with Android Ice Cream Sandwich, which is out later this year.