02
Nov
ch

As we're still basking in the afterglow of a big Android announcement, Google is back to the same old stuff. The developer dashboard has been updated with the freshest Android distribution numbers. This time Jelly Bean has hit a milestone just as it became the "old" version of Android.

2013-11-02 04_18_01-Dashboards _ Android Developers

According to Google's newest values, Jelly Bean is now on more than half of all Android devices – 52.1%. Keep in mind that includes all Jelly Bean versions from 4.1-4.3. That number is up from 48.6% last month. The increase comes at the expense of all the past versions, which have ticked downward a few points. ICS is now under 20%, but Gingerbread is still hanging in there with 26.3%. Oh, Gingerbread... it's all those low-end devices that can't run newer versions of Android – something that KitKat is supposed to solve.

2013-11-02 04_18_28-Dashboards _ Android Developers

The screen size and density situation has hardly changed at all this month, but it's always pretty stable. The Normal screen size is still most common with almost 80% of the market. Then hdpi and xhdpi are the main densities at 34.2% and 22.8%, respectively.

All the above numbers are based on devices that have checked into the Play Store during the last week, which gives a good estimate of active devices. It will be interesting to see how KitKat wedges itself in there as Nexus devices migrate over in the next few weeks.

[Developer Dashboard]

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • ChristianMcC

    Sad to say, but I'm currently using froyo myself, as I sold my GNex a little over a month ago to get a higher price, but the N5 will shortly be in my hands!!!

    • Phillip DeVore

      Froyo had some awesome features I wish they would bring back. I loved simultaneously downloads and installs of app updates. Like a Conga line all of them dancing together, it was beautiful. Now they chug and plug one by one, so annoying.

      • Roh_Mish

        With you I don't know why they do it one by one. It uses like ¼of my bandwidth. Doo all together and it will get over fast. I dont remember if froyo did that but of it did,that was great. Long time since using froyo.

  • http://steamcommunity.com/id/metallinatus Metallinatus

    "Oh, Gingerbread... it's all those low-end devices that can't run newer versions of Android – something that KitKat is supposed to solve."
    A shame that actually most of these devices, if not all, have been on the market for more than 18 months already.... so no KitKat for them, unfortunately Gingerbread will live on for a couple of more years....

    • Mystery Man

      what does google's 18 month update window for its own products have to do with anything?

      • NeedName

        stop updating "older" to the latest version = more versions of the OS in the wild = fragmentation = what the article is about.

    • gargamel

      I don't understand this 18 months BS. Imagine that you bought a laptop from HP 2 years ago running Win Vista or Win 7, and now you cannot upgrade to Win8. Sounds ridiculous? It should be the same with phones. If a device is capable of running the new version, it should be updated. Apple figured it out, what's Google's problem?

      • ari_free

        Probably poor architecture decisions made early on and now hard to go back on. On the other hand, Windows Phone had the same exact problem except that there's no possibility of a custom rom for even those who are willing to take that route.

      • tyguy829

        Most of the time, this isn't google's, the manufacturer's, or even the carrier's fault. It usually comes down to the chip maker. When a new version of android is released, the chip maker (i.e. Qualcomm) first has to make drivers and such for their chips for the version. Then, these drivers are given to the OEMs, who can then start on updates for all of their phones that use the particular chip. Since most of these old gingerbread phones have really old cpus in them, the chip maker no longer takes the time to make them compatible with the newest version of android. therefore, the oems can't update them

        • gargamel

          So how come the dev community can port JB to an ICS phone, or KK to the Gnex? What you say may be a good explanation for ancient phones, but not for high end phones from the last 2 years

  • Kuyam

    -1 for 4.3 and +1 4.4 for me :).

    More seriously though, When i got the N5 i gave my GNex to my father and he put his Gingerbread pos phone in a drawer, so in this way gingerbread might slowly get replaced.

    • Andrew

      My dad won't upgrade his epic. He said he would take my mom's phone when she gets tied of it... She has a purple galaxy s4, I don't see him rocking purple.

      • Matthew Fry

        My father in law has a pink cell phone. Also inherited. He doesn't seem to mind much.

  • Nicktrance

    Mind you, most of those people in the "JellyBean" part are still running an almost one and a half year old version...

    • Rami

      Agree, the charts are not reflecting the real thing. My Galaxy S3 is still on 4.1.2, and I am missing all the new features in 4.2 and 4.3, counting me as having JellyBean is not correct.

      • Crispin Swickard

        It would be more interesting to see the breakdown of 4.1-4.3. I would imagine most would be 4.1. At least in your case most S3 variants are to at least be on 4.3 soon.

        • jamaall

          There is a breakdown of it, look in the chart. 37.3% on 4.1 out of 52.1% total

          • Crispin Swickard

            Oops. Forgive me for my dumb oversight. I look at these things every month, and this time it escaped me. :/

      • Frekko

        there are hardly any new features in 4.2 and 4.3 as compared to 4.1

  • hipster

    It took JB 16 months to get 50% install base. Let's see what in store for KK. FYI...Google's update window is now 18 month from device release date.

    • TylerChappell

      If that is what it is "now", what was it before?

      • Crispin Swickard

        They imposed that window a year, or 2 ago. I think it might have been with 4.0, or 4.1. Its nothing new.

        -Edit it was longer ago than that:
        http://www.engadget.com/2011/05/10/google-clarifies-18-month-android-upgrade-program-details-far-f/

        • NeedName

          That was never google's official update policy, afaik. That was for hardware partners. Google never stated officially that they would ONLY update to ~18 months from date of release.

          And that agreement NEVER set a limit. It was updates for "at least 18 months."

          http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2012/06/what-happened-to-the-android-update-alliance/

          Now Google has turned that into a limit. And that is new. Never seen it stated by google that 18 months was a cutoff point prior to the Galaxy Nexus not getting 4.4. . .

          • Crispin Swickard

            Also it might just be an excuse since as others have mentioned it may be more difficult to update it appropriately due to a processor that the manufacturer no longer would be able to supply an updated driver for. Its hard to say exactly much like many decisions they have made.

          • NeedName

            No, the SoC isn't the problem. Cyanogenmod has noted in the past the TI has been very helpful with their chips, and that chip is in several very popular devices, and TI seems to be still supporting their OMAP chips in the wild as their last OMAP 5 isn't' that old.

            This argument seems to be more of an apologists excuse for google than anything else.

            Nonetheless, Google has made the "18 month update rule" official, thus don't expect anything more than that with any Nexus device.

            FYI, there are already 4.4 alpha ROMs for the gNexus ;)

          • Dart

            That's pretty much the real reason, IMO. Texas Instruments laid off a good chunk of its mobile workforce and stopped making mobile SoCs.

            Google couldn't update the binaries of the Galaxy Nexus itself, so it was retired. ROM development will keep going, though.

          • dudi

            Total BS. Just think - How do these alpha 4.4 ROMs work on the Gnex? What do independent developers do that Google cannot?

          • NeedName

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gld4RcF0MKc

            proof it's is NOT TI drivers. . . it's Google's policy.

          • Andrew

            So there aren't any graphical glitches (i know there are and that won't get fixed without TI drivers).

            http://www.xda-developers.com/android/android-4-4-now-also-available-for-the-verizon-galaxy-nexus/

            if you want more info, read that article.

  • Smithers_Jones

    Gingerbread will never go away, they are fine phones, and there are ALOT of them, and Google's continued task to keep them updated by moving features from the OS into Play services, mean users don't really care they are running Gingerbread, the phones work fine, they get all the apps they want, and they get new OS features delivered by Play services.

    I blame Apple for the pathetic media focus on fragmentation and OS version counts.

    • black

      If Kitkat solves the low end device problem, manufacturers won't build new devices running GB. Old phones will die and GB will be no more. It could take about 2-3 years.

      • Smithers_Jones

        Manufacturers aren't building Gingerbread devices, its that they are good enough for most people, they run the latest apps and dowhat people want, so users of budget handsets simply aren't buying, as the mid-range handsets are mostly out of reach.

        • Dexter

          I have Xperia Play with 2.3.4 and I would love to see 4.4 on it, unofficial JellyBean builds are more or less buggy. I won't change my phone because I don't need to and lots of people don't really need to change phone every year, it's a waste of money.

          • Bakaouji

            Why do you come to Androidpolice?

          • Dexter

            And why can't I ? I read about new phones, new versions of Android, new apps and games

        • Chris Ware

          How is it that they are running new apps? I had to root my captivate so that I could put 4.3 on it to run plex and Nike+.

          • fabulosospucas

            They're just trying to cope.

          • Gawdzila

            There are lots of apps that don't require the latest versions of Android. Obviously GB users are missing out on SOME nice apps, but people running GB are also obviously not that concerned about being on the cutting edge. It still does most things you could ask of a smartphone, it still runs most of the important apps like Yelp or Maps (even if they don't include all the newest functionality), and they're comfortable using it. Nothing wrong with that.

        • TeutonJon78

          Sadly, they most certainly are still building them. Check out the low end phones from China/India. There some GB phones still being RELEASED as of a few months ago.

          http://www.phonearena.com/phones/Alcatel-One-Touch-Pixi_id8092
          http://www.phonearena.com/phones/NIU-Niutek-3G-3.5B_id8099
          http://www.phonearena.com/phones/Verykool-s735_id8079

          August 2013 - GB devices. Granted, they aren't high end, but someone, somewhere is buying brand new GB phones still.

          • Smithers_Jones

            These aren't Google phones they are android. There is a difference

    • JMcGee

      My wife and my mother both have GB phones, and they are both upset that they don't have a newer version. There really is a lot they're missing out on. Note that they have phones from two different manufacturers, each of which were promised to be updated beyond their shipped OS version but were not.

      The lack of updates really is a problem for a great number of users, albeit nothing like the disaster for Android some media try to spin it as.

      • Smithers_Jones

        What are they ACTUALLY missing on? Or have they got wrapped up in the Apple fueled media bandwagon of android fragmentation?

        • Naga Sridhar

          For one thing, they would be missing out on Google Now. Apple gets google now no matter what OS it is and this part of it sucks!!

      • someone755

        Cyanogenmod, to the rescue!

    • Gawdzila

      It's all meaningless anyway. Sure, Apple technically updates old phones to new versions, but they withhold so many of the new features from the old hardware that the only thing that changes is the version number. Who cares what % of Apple handsets have the newest version number on the Settings screen?

      • someone755

        It's not like Apple started this whole "fragmentation war". I mean, it's stupid! If you look at it closely, iOS is as fragmented as Android (if we're looking at all the new features) becase only the newest iPhones get these updates.

    • ari_free

      Of course you should care. The security is weak and malware for gingerbread gives all of android a bad name.

      • Smithers_Jones

        Gingerbread security is fine, Malware comes entirely from Chinese and Russian sideload warez stores.

  • Gnex

    If I ever see someone using a phone with Gingerbread, I am going to rip it from their stupid hands, throw it on the ground and stomp it into a million pieces. Mark my fucking words.

    • Milind Shah

      just remember some people can't afford new phones...

      • Chris Ware

        Those people should get more money then. Being poor is dumb.

        • someone755

          Being a dick is dumber.

        • Milind Shah

          dude, i'm sad there are people like you who exist... Seriously, either you are drunk, or dumb

          • Julio M

            He is probably drumb.

          • patt

            that would be correct

          • Chris Ware

            I.don't know how I could have made this overly exaggerated statement more clearly a joke.

          • Marx Marvelous

            Yes we get the joke. You are still dumb

          • ari_free

            You are too dumb to not get the joke. Unless what you said is also a joke and then I'm too dumb not to realize that

          • Milind Shah

            umm, he edited his comment afterwards, and apparently im not the only one who doesnt get the "joke"

    • Grimmjow

      Go eat your cereal first!

    • someone755

      It's not like 90% of the people I see everyday have outdated software on their devices. iOS 6 and 5, Android 2.2, 2.3, WinXP and 98.
      But phones on GB perform better than those on JB. My sister has a low-end Sammy on GB and my mom has a bit better phone on JB. The JB's chipset is newer and better, but the GB phone wins.
      We need either GB or KK on low-ends now.

      • Bakaouji

        wut

      • Gnex

        Haha I was just joking. Why so serious, everyone?

        • Milind Shah

          the person below (chris ware) was the problem for me...

        • Shafeeq Zaman

          Let's put a smile on their faces!

          • Nicktrance

            Yeah, why so serious??!!

        • someone755

          Why so "post sarcastic comment when you sound really serious"...?
          And you added a "mark my F-ing words". So that's probably why most people took it as serious.

          • Gnex

            This is the internet, take a damn joke. Also, you can say "fucking" here. Now I'm serious /s

          • someone755

            This is the internet. What's in your mind is not self-explanatory to others, especially what you call "sarcasm" (because that's not what you did).

          • Gnex

            Dude, have a little fun. Sorry if I offended you.

          • someone755

            I'm not offended, and I hope you aren't either. I guess we both didn't understand what the other one was trying to say.
            Though I do feel sorry because your parents (TI and Goog) abandoned you. Only the streets and community to warm you with KK sweets... :P

    • Nicktrance

      That's ok as long as you buy them a phone running the latest version right afterwards...

      • ari_free

        I hope nobody does that to anyone using Windows 7 on their PC. I do not want Windows 8!

        • someone755

          I'd rather downgrade to a Commodore 64 than W8.

        • Nicktrance

          Really? with classic start I feel like W8 is like a more efficient W7 with a few extra features on top, and I'm running it on a gaming desktop PC with keyboard and mouse. Not really worth the full price of the upgrade IMO but after a bit of tweaking (which, I realise most people won't know how to do) I like it.

    • Marx Marvelous

      I like UMS mode so I can, you know, actually play music on devices like every pre ICS android phone, every iPhone and every single dumb phone ever invented can.

  • Thomas’

    I wonder if Google now (secretly) forbids Google Apps for new Android 2.3 devices to "urge" manufacturer from releasing any new 2.3 shit.

  • someone755

    Heh, no KitKat.
    (And yes, I know why it isn't on, don't flame me.) Though I do wonder how long until it appears up there...

    • Danny Holyoake

      It'll appear on there next month and I estimate it'll be about 1%.

      • Lalit Mali

        And a month after that it'll just shoot 3-4 times because CyanogenMod 11!

        • justin

          10.3

          • Lalit Mali

            The initial has changed, CM numbers change with it. K is the 11th alphabet, so CM11

          • Joseph Glenn Hartley

            11. It's a new OS name so it gets a new number.

  • unhappybirthday

    The impending US Galaxy S3 upgrades should move a few percent from 4.1 to 4.3.

  • chris125

    About time. They only needed to make 3 versions of jelly bean to get it

  • jcopernicus

    They're so full of shit, lol

  • sophocles

    As long as Google drops support at 18 months for their OWN devices, and users keep their phones for longer than that, Android OS fragmentation seems inevitable, doesn't it? I'm a big fan of Google (and like MS with the PC, they have the problem of many hardware configurations to deal with), but they ARE somewhat responsible, at least for their own devices, surely. If for purely economic reasons alone, you can't expect more than half of the population to buy a new phone that often.

    • Crispin Swickard

      I tend to upgrade every 2 years, and I would assume that most people that that tend to go the subsidized route on phone would do about the same since they normally get tied into a 2 year contract. Although the carriers are now getting away from that sorta thing now. It would be nice to see it at the very least be changed over to 24 months. Especially with the 4.4 improvements it shouldn't feel like your running an OS thats a bit too demanding on older hardware, and suffer from a poor user experience.

      I was going to upgrade from my GNex to an N5 either way. It just so happens to have worked in my favor I was ready personally to upgrade since I have had my GNex for about 22 months now. If they really felt like it they could have withheld the 4.3 update, so I was happy to be on the bleeding edge with it for basically my full run with it, and I am sure that with the promises that 4.4 bring that it will continue to get some love from the mod community.

      At the least Google was keeping their own promise they put out there a year, or 2 ago. Although I do think a tiny bump in months would be good with the optimizations made to at least the last 2 versions of Android.

      • sophocles

        Two years has been my regular upgrade cycle too; but I think that there are many for whom this will not be the case. With only a year and a half support, I'd suspect that this report represents them, for the most part. So, this fragmentation seems inevitable. Those slow upgraders will always fragment the market if their older devices aren't included in newer OS support. And I'd guess that is about half the users.

        Flipside, with the exponential improvements in hardware, it does make it tough to support. The technology change in that 18 months IS incredible. Having a cheaper (off contract) Nexus device is certainly one step to encourage movement, but still won't reach those particular users.

        In reality, tho, it maybe isn't so big of a problem for the user with JB - that is a nice OS. But it is a problem for Google if the features they want in the user's hands are tied to the latest OS.

        • Paul

          Fragmentation IS inevitable with people like me. I do not upgrade after a set period of time, i upgrade when another phone comes out that catches my interest.
          I know people like me are a tiny minority, but we and phone producers like Sony are in a loose-loose situation here. The company doesn't want to update the older phones. I don't want a good specced phone bigger than 3.5-4 inch. Upcoming Z1f/s is a lean into the right direction, but not enough.
          Now excuse me, i need to find a needle to burst the dream bubble of an hard- and software updated Xperia ray.

          • someone755

            Excuse me, but you and I have sorta the same ideas. Though my maximum size would be 4.5".

      • NeedName

        Mobile hardware has caught up. . . as of the N5 there really is NO reason to upgrade every two years. . . other than you want new shiny thing.

        The argument for upgrading hardware was valid for Android up till the past year or so. . . anyone buying a top of the line device today has hardware in there hands plenty powerful enough to last for a long time, unless google turns android into a bloated pig of an OS.

    • https://play.google.com/store/search?q=kodiak+211 Google_Is_The_Higgs_Boson

      18 to 22 months is long enough... You can only push these devices for so long, until the user experience starts to suffer... Everybody likes to say, look at Apple, they support a 3 year old phone, but do they really? That 3 year old phone doesn't get the full update, only about half the feature... And they don't work as good as the newer devices... 2 years is long enough for the people who care... Anyone that keeps their phone that long, or longer and isn't wanting to upgrade to a new phone yet are happy with their phone, and the way it is...

      • gargamel

        This is not true anymore! The two years old Gnex, or the SGS2, or the One X are not capable of running 4.4?? HW evolved to the point that 2 years is not the right number anymore. Just like in PCs...
        And BTW- Gnex did not receive the full 4.2 update also (Miracast anyone? HDR?) So Google is no better than Apple, actually it's worse.

        • Kansja

          Miracast requires MIMO WiFi which the GNex doesn't have. HDR requires support from the ISP which the OMAP lacks

      • Marx Marvelous

        Ah forced obsolescence and the filling of our landfills with destructive electronic waste. All in the name of companies getting a few more dollars. So you believe their lies that it HAS to be this way. You're such a good little serf.

        • https://play.google.com/store/search?q=kodiak+211 Google_Is_The_Higgs_Boson

          I don't know about you, but any phone I've owned, has either been giving to some one, use for a mp3 player, or kids toy... I've never thrown a cell phone in the trash, and has been used for a good 5 or more years... There's also ways to recycle phones now days... A lot of people do this... I just upgraded to the Nexus 5 this month... I used a GS2 Epic for two or more years... I got it, a month before the Galaxy Nexus hit sprint... The phone is on it's last leg... I'm now using it, as a testing platform for apps I create, and I'm going to start using ROMs, to see if I can squeeze a little more life out of it...

  • dhruva

    why cant google release android 4.4 kitkat like an app everybody can install?

    • Ricardo Neves

      As long as you build all the hardware-specific code, it's ok ;)

  • shivakool

    18 monthd doesnt even mean 2 years that means if i buy nexus5 i only get 1 more update the main reason to buy a nexus is for timely updates if wont get updates there is no reason 2 buy a nexus 5 which cost (534 $) 32999 ruppes 32gd in india when i can get a lg g2 for 37000 rs (598 $) which has a better camera, removable and bigger battery, external storage i was waiting for n5 now i will get most flag ship at that price i am confused please suggest me which phone to buy

    • Frekko

      but the nexus series always has solid Dev backup at XDA so it kindof makes up for it. And dont forget the much more optimized apps for nexus series because there are plenty of them

      • shivakool

        most of the flagships also have good dev support

  • daniel123450

    No, KitKat was not intended to make 4.4 available to old, shitty devices.

    The low hardware requirements are directed at wearable tech, google glass, smart watches, etc.

    • Tony Sarju

      You are absolutely incorrect. KitKat enables lower end devices going forward with as little as 512MB of RAM to run the OS. You should read up on the release notes from Google.

  • Shafeeq Zaman

    I still have my LG Optimus One P500h. I only just rooted it and installed CM 10 (4.2.2). lol
    Can't wait to get my Nexus 5. I'm supposed to receive it this Wednesday! Finally I can put my loyal LG to rest! xD

  • Reg Joo

    As far as gingerbread's concerned, thank god there's sites like xda. I'm forced to use gingerbread, and go there to get most of my stuff from them. Floating apps, wave controls, xposed modules, etc... A lot of phones that could run the later versions, are stuck because they're not mainstream, and they have locked bootloaders. It's the manufacturers that keep gingerbread alive, with slow, or non existent, or same version updates. If a phone can't install a newer rom, you can't go to a better version.

  • dilharo

    jellybean is actually 3 versions combined

    and gingerbread is one

    what the hell is wrong with you people?

  • someone755

    I just noticed something: NO MOAR DOUGHNUTZ!?

    • ANex

      Read the official site. Versions older than 2.2 are not counted anymore. Doesn't mean that they do not exist.

  • Captain Johnny

    This is good work by google to fight back the fragmentation. Android 4.4 should probably do much better. http://knowtifier.com/news/801/jelly-bean-on-more-than-half-of-android-devices/

  • Marx Marvelous

    I actually "downgraded" to Gingerbread from JB. They took away too many features that I wanted. I mainly use this phone as, get this, a phone. It's other main function is music player. I literally don't give any shits about any of the other features. In fact, I wouldn't even buy a "smart" phone if I had any other decent options. JB was awful. Everything I liked about GB they ruined. With my GB phone I could literally plug my phone into any audio device with a usb port and play my music. JB uses MTP standard, a standard that 0 other devices use. Fuck JB, I am much happier with my GB and will NOT "upgrade" until they bring UMS back

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