01
Oct
nexusae0_image_thumb2_thumb

Google has once again updated the Android platform distribution numbers. The numbers, released right on schedule today, show Gingerbread still leading the pack at 56% of devices (down from 57.5% last month), with Jelly Bean crawling up the ladder to 1.8%, up from 1.2% last time.

image

The two most important stat changes from last month, Gingerbread and Jelly Bean, are somewhat disappointing – both shifting at a lower rate than last cycle, but promised updates and leaked devices we may or may not see in the near future will likely help those numbers along.

Other versions, meanwhile, are moving as expected. Cupcake is down to 0.1% from 0.2%, Donut has stayed put at 0.4%, Éclair is down to 3.4% from 3.7%, and Froyo is down slightly from 14% to 12.9%. Honeycomb has slipped from 2.1% to 1.9%, and finally Ice Cream Sandwich is up from 20.8% to an encouraging 23.7%.

Of course, with the new distribution numbers comes a new historical distribution chart, showing the steady growth (or decline) of each iteration of Android old to new, top to bottom.

image

The report also provides a look at screen size and density trends and Open GL versions. For the full report, hit the link below.

Source: Android Developer Dashboard

Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

  • http://twitter.com/jeffaandrews Jeff Andrews

    Jelly Bean is up 50%, that's huge!

  • Glenn

    The update cycle isn't going to improve these numbers themselves. Remember how many dumb smartphones are out there - the low-end Samsung Ace is on Gingerbread and it'll never see anything further, but it still sells at the <AU$200 outright, or free on contract, price point.

    Things are getting better, but time is going to be the saviour for Google as they continue to release the numbers. People still rock Nokia 3310's and some even use Motorola RAZR flip phones, but a lot of us have updated to newer phones. The same will happen when people eventually get rid of their low-end Gingerbread devices. Maybe if manufacturers put out a 3.7" device with decent specs that will last a few upgrade cycles, rather than a single-core 800MHz plastic piece of poo, Google won't have to suffer when they put out the numbers.

    • Glenn

      Holy crap, unintended HTML fail

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

        You can edit your post if you're logged into Disqus.

  • http://thedangerbrain.com/ Alfonso Surroca

    So, we Nexus owners are still the 1%. Kind of.

    • Bryan Cantos

      Epic 4g running CM10, dont think you Nexus owners are the only people running Jellybean :D

  • http://www.twitter.com/thewizkid95 Jesus Otero

    I am the 1.8%!

  • aNYthing6

    Gingerbread is still on more than half of devices? That's just blah.

  • ElfirBFG

    Poor every-percenter that isn't at least on ICS. I love my JB, updating it to Xenon 9.29 as we speak.

  • http://twitter.com/sakura_candy Lumi

    Gingerbread is fine, but Froyo still having such a large percentage is just bad...

  • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

    I find this to be somewhat significant. The ICS/JB lineage now stands for 25.5%. Considering the first serious, non-Nexus phone with ICS (the HTC One X) didn't come out until April/May (5-6 months ago), and a rather shamefully low percentage of devices in the US are getting ICS updates (due to carriers more than OEMs), and there's got to be TONS of people who aren't installing legitimate updates like they should, this isn't as bad as it looks at first. As more contracts expire and people catch onto the fact they have updates, I suspect we'll see the ratios change pretty rapidly.

    Honestly, I'm still a little surprised that it's not higher for ICS. The sheer number of devices activated daily, given that the vast majority should be ICS, would logically shift these numbers more rapidly.

    Considering the really huge API changes in ICS, it's inspiring to see that a quarter of all devices can now use many of the new(-er) features.

  • Shrik

    Sheesh, Gingy is 55.8! Google should make it possible that all the updates they release should be applied any and every android smartphone present out there*ofcourse, which meets its minimum requirements* jelly bean came live so much time ago, and Samsung is still optimized it for my phone!
    Its should be possible that the Original google update applied as soon as they release, and later get the Phone specific optimized one. Hope google hears this comment before they release Key Lime Pie.

    • Hari Diputera

      Honest question: is it really Google's responsibility to make sure each iteration on Android has to work on the plethora of Android devices? I would put the blame of not updating on the manufacturers and carriers.

      • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

        The way Shrik is saying it is bad, but Google does have some responsibility in this. They are the ones who are trying to build an ecosystem and ultimately build a dependence for the user base, so the trade-off is that they are also responsible to make a reasonable push for upgrades.

        In my opinion, Google should be responsible for two things. First, they should make it as easy as reasonably possible for the OEMs to make upgrades, which is the entire reason behind the PDK (Platform Development Kit). We don't know how useful that has been or what it includes, but it seems like a huge step in the right direction. The second thing, Google should ideally take steps to make parts of the API and core components of the OS directly upgradeable. There are some parts of the OS which OEMs have no need (or aren't permitted) to alter, while there are great reasons for Google to be able to push updates. For example, there was a known security hole in the networking stack until 2.2 (Froyo). The flaw was fixed in AOSP very quickly after it was discovered, but there were still phones with this exploit 15 months later. The slow rate (or total lack) of updates from OEMs results in phones with security holes and an inability to run recent software.

        You're right, the OEMs and carriers are a big problem. The OEMs have multiple financial incentives to avoid updating devices; it's only happening now because customers are demanding it very loudly. The carriers are borderline criminal by blocking device updates and working as hard as they can to prevent customers from performing their own upgrades (thanks to locked bootloaders). These guys may be the most guilty, but there are still things Google could do to improve the situation.

  • Nathan

    Still on Gingerbread with my Droid 2 Global.. I have an upgrade available, but I want to wait for the next Nexus. Lg Optimus G look tempting, but I can't trust them after the ENV Touch.. If it's a Nexus though, heck yeah!

    • Aaron Berlin

      I hate to break it to you, but I would be extremely skeptical that there will be another Verizon Nexus.

  • Asphyx

    I would love to see an interview with that one person who is still running cupcake! LOL
    I'm sure they love it except for the annoying reminders to update that keep popping up begging them to take an OTA!

  • Tim Peyton

    The reason why so many of us are still on Gingerbread is because a good chunk of us are still on-contract with a phone that was never really updated. Yes, my G2x was upgraded to GB, way later than originally estimated, then T-Mo dropped it like a bad habit and there really hasn't been anything for it since. And now, I wait for May.

  • Gaurav

    The figures are not great but what people also have to understand is that in developing countries and even underdeveloped countries,upgrading their phones to the latest iteration of android is not a priority,there could be due to many reasons,A huge reason being..internet connectivity,I live in India and around 8 friends of mine using S2 still are on gingerbread ...because they do not have a wifi connection,and the 3G plans are not that favourable,plus gingerbread is pretty usable so they stick to it.

    Now think about this,I live in a fairly large city and this is the case,imagine how many people living in villages or smaller countries have not upgraded yet!
    im not saying that the percentage of ics devices would go to around 80% if they all upgrade but it would make a decent difference!

  • Ittiam

    Samsung recently announced that they will start releasing most phones with jb out of the box .. When that happens the mix will start improving drastically

  • http://twitter.com/psych2L Joseph Lee

    The fresh update for my Infinity puts me in the 1.8% too!

  • dsadsd

    These numbers look horrible to me! Compared to iOS that is a total mess! Compared to the Windows Phone 7.5 to 7.8 fiasco its a pleasure

    • http://www.facebook.com/archercc Ryan Stewart

      To ease it remember IOS is a lie. Its not the same version across all phones, just the same major version number. So while a 4 might have IOS6 it doesnt get all of the whiz-bang gadgetry that the newer phones get.

      • carlisimo

        The official JB release for the Nexus S doesn't include facial recognition unlock because the hardware isn't good enough for an optimal experience. No different from what Apple does.

      • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

        There's an important difference, the API. If I write an app that requires something from ICS, it obviously won't run on Gingerbread. Since the 3GS through the 5 are all (capable of) running iOS 6, many developers have already announced that they will require iOS 6 in future updates.

        In Android, developers have to look at the current version distribution to make judgements about how many versions back they want to support and if it's reasonable to try to support certain things. The problem is much worse when developers don't add features to support a new OS because the usage rates aren't high enough; we actually saw that happening with ICS because of the pretty massive changes and additions made since Gingerbread.

  • Iggy

    Is it just me or is that pie chart a pain in the butt to read? I know the author of the data was trying to related it to the traditional android color(s), but what about those folks that are color-blind? LOL. I know Microsoft Excel/Word can automatically fill in random colors, why don't they do this? If I had done this in a 'real' meeting, I would have been laughed out the door.....If you want to be taken seriously, make the data readable! One shouldn't have to read an article to get the meaning of the data!!!

  • coversnails

    Its not all that surprising, at the moment for the average user there isn't an overwhelming need to upgraded beyond gingerbread, there is little than an ICS or jb device can do that a gingerbread one cannot. Any app developer who looks at these figures will think that there app must be able to support gingerbread because that is where the larger user base is. With the jb figure so low I can't imagine the key lime pie update will be a radical step forward.

  • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

    I think a lot of Android users are either:

    a) Not aware of Jellybean (or ICS) in the first place. Most people with smartphones don't keep up on this stuff, and as a side effect, they don't know that they should care.
    b) Took it upon themselves to perform their own upgrades using CyanogenMod or other custom roms.
    c) They care, but regardless of slower acceptance of new versions, they still prefer the Android ecosystem to iOS. While they might complain, they probably don't feel the need to complain as much as blog commenters do ;)
    d) Some people use new OS versions as an excuse to upgrade to new hardware.
    e) Tired of complaining... I mean, come on... We've become used to the idea of slower adoption.

    Many people fall into more than one group. I fall into all but group A.

    Seriously, iOS and Mac OS are the ONLY OSs (mobile and desktop) that have rapid adoption rates. Apple literally shoves update notifications in your face. In the Apple world, you either upgrade quickly or software and services stop working or updating for you. Look at the original iPad which isn't getting iOS 6, those people are furious.

  • Decisionanalytics

    It is completely unacceptable that 68.7% of Android devices are running FroYo or Gingerbread at this point in time. I bought a G1 shortly after it came out, only to see it abandoned shortly thereafter. It was understandable though as the hardware simply was not powerful enough for future updates. However, I then bought a G2X literally the day it came out. I am extremely disappointed that it too was abandoned after the second GB update. Any dual core phone out there is capable of running ICS, JB, and whatever comes next, but the handset manufacturers and carriers are preventing it from happening. My next phone will be a Nexus device, purchased out of contract, and I'll never buy a non-Nexus device after that.