11
Jan
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Each month, Google updates Android's platform distribution numbers according to devices that have accessed the Play Store in a seven-day period. January's updated pie chart has just hit, and things seem to be following a fairly predictable pattern.

KitKat, which was positioned at 1.1% last month, has eked out an additional 0.3% to reach 1.4%. Gingerbread, meanwhile, fell from 24.1% to 21.2%, continuing its gradual decline. Jelly Bean (including API levels 16-18) has actually grown to 59.1%, up from 54.5%, as manufacturers work to catch up to Android's latest and greatest.

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As you may expect, older versions of Android continue to decline - Froyo is down 0.3% to 1.3% from last month, while Honeycomb hangs tight at 0.1%, and Ice Cream Sandwich struggles to maintain its foothold, falling from 18.6% to 16.9%.

Of course, as always, the Android Developers dashboard also provides handy information and visuals related to screen size and Open GL versions for those interested. Just hit the link below.

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.

  • spacekobra

    I know a few people on Gingerbread. I'm working on getting them phones that are more up to date.
    The issue is all of the really cheap carriers here. Nobody wants to make a proper phone for them.

    • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

      Give it time. KK was made to combat that very issue

      • spacekobra

        We shall see. Rogers still hasn't released 4.4 for the Moto X and Telus/Koodo won't release 4.4 for the Moto G.

        So there's a bunch of phones that should be up to date but aren't. :( But man, I hope Samsung and others pick up on their slack and make decent 4.4 phones. Bell, Telus, Rogers and all the other carriers still have the odd budget phone on Gingerbread. It's frustrating.

        • http://www.pixeltwo.com/ Eugene Cheung

          My friend has a Nexus 5 on WIND.

          • spacekobra

            I have a Nexus 4 on WIND. It's up to date. But many of the other carriers (looking at you Public and Chatr) have pure crap as phones.

            My friend is on Virgin and was stuck with and HTC Wildfire S for the longest time. The internal memory on that phone wasn't big enough for google play services. I'm pretty sure Virgin replaced that with the One V which is not much better.

      • http://www.flickr.com/photos/77537273@N03/ Herman

        If only the really cheap and old phones were updated to 4.4 KitKat...

        • Matthew Fry

          Ha. The impossible dream. Unfortunately, it makes absolutely no business sense to upgrade the cheap pre-paid devices. I'm guessing the cost of upgrading is equal to or greater than just making a new phone outright.

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/77537273@N03/ Herman

            I know, I don't like the economy.
            I wish there was a way for manufacturers to really bring us the best tech possible without thinking about making money. That'll never happen though - if it were possible, we'd have such an 'economy' already. The only thing I can think of to stimulate it is subsidies for manufacturers, but the money has to come from somewhere...

    • Matthew Fry

      Last time I checked (~1 year ago) there seemed to be some decent cheap ICS devices for pre-paid.

      • spacekobra

        Maybe on the Big 3. I don't know as much since I switched to WIND. I do know that Virgin Mobile and Fido do not have many (if any) decent prepaid phones.
        Koodo got the Moto G so I've been recommending people go to them since WIND's coverage is awful and their cheaper phones are not good at all. But they do all have ICS (or higher) I think...

  • aNYthing6

    That means roughly one out of every five Android phones still run Gingerbread. Mindboggling.

    • Hans Pedersen

      Hehe, if I log on to the play store with my backup Xperia mini pro, Eclair will grow a little bit again... Lots of old phones simply cant be upgraded, but they still work for some people who don't need all of those new fancy apps.

      • Smit Sanghavi

        Y u no install minicm?

        • Hans Pedersen

          Because I only use the phone when I'm in between phones... :)

          • Smit Sanghavi

            But still...show the old device some love and upgrade it! :P

      • Mike Reid

        No, Eclair can't "grow" anymore.

        Because Google now does the stats ONLY for Froyo and above. Which of course skews the stats.

        And eventually Goog will drop Froyo stats... etc.

        • Hans Pedersen

          It's the play store doing the stats, as it's an easier way to check if a phone is actively used. Though, you're right that they don't include anything older in the pie chart as the new store doesn't work on Eclair. But, the note to that pie chart still acknowledge that I log on with my old phone once every year... :)

  • Nick

    Gingerbread, why won't you die?!

    • http://404err0r.com/ Henry Park

      I think we should ask why Honeycomb isn't dead yet........ I mean there are people still using that crap software? "said the guys still using his htc flyer...."

      • agl82

        Pretty much all Google TV's sold use Honeycomb, including mine. It still works great for my needs.

        • Matthew Fry

          Are Google TVs included in these numbers? Can Google TVs access the Play Store? (I've never used nor seen a Google TV).

          • http://andrewwhiplash.com Andrew Clement

            Yes, Google TVs have Play Store access.

      • Deeco

        More than likely, they are not tech-savvy.

      • Curs3d

        It might just be that the % is only getting lower because more devices are coming onto the market, so instead of less people using the older versions, the sample size is just growing since all new devices are using a 4.x version. (most people won't fix something that ain't broken after all, unless your an enthusiast)

    • Chris

      Gingerbread man never dies

    • Seeder

      Sunsetted GB phones are still reused when resold, unless destroyed.

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

    It may still be a significant group, but I'm glad to see a fairly significant bite taken out of the Gingerbread numbers.

    • miri

      What you did... It's there and I see it.

  • Wicasa Pa

    Imagine, all nexus devices+moto x+some of moto gs+all custom roms make up 1.4%! That's the power of marketing even if you sell shit, there you go SAMSUNG!!!

    • Marc Edwards

      samsung do nice phones. i like the s4. no idea what kind of software they do, granted, but it runs cyanogenmod really well! ;)

      • Joshua O’Hara

        Touch Wiz is crap. It's really bad. I did like their camera software on the S3 though. Can't speak for anything after that.

        • smeddy

          Touchwiz is crap. The hardware, tho, is brilliant. HTC would pick up another sale from me if they gave removable battery and storage. Because of those, I have to go Samsung

          • A Big Nerd That Eats Toblerone

            You could get a rechargeable battery charger to recharge your phone on the go and the past 3 new HTC phones, One Max, Desire 400 and the new flagship Butterfly S all have SD slots.

    • pfmiller

      All *supported* Nexus devices. My Galaxy Nexus is not in that 1.4%

  • jamaall

    When the galaxy s4 gets kit Kat, that number should see a good jump.. My droid maxx already has kit kat though 😏

  • AbbyZFresh

    Gingerbread still alive strong.

  • Leonardo Baez

    i want to know how s3 updating from 4.1 to 4.3 will change this numbers (millons of sold s3's updates in just 2 or 3 months)

    • Ambroos

      It won't, since both count as Jelly Bean.

      • Jamie

        While 4.1 to 4.3 maybe grouped by the same 'codename' the figures for all Jellybean major versions are separate both 4.1, 4.3 and the hopped over 4.2 for that matter are shown.

        On January 8th 4.1 35.9%, 4.2 15.4% and 4.3 7.8%. (verifiable from graphic)

        More Samsung devices (say S3s) upgrading from 4.1 to 4.3 would help out the percentage share this time next month!

        • Ambroos

          Ok, it'll help with the percentages, not with the pie charts. Not really that relevant anyway, as a developer you'll usually want to target either Gingerbread and up, 4.0.3 and up or KitKat and up if you really want some cutting-edge stuff. There's little in the 4.1/.2/.3 SDK's worth losing users for.

      • Leonardo Baez

        you obviusly didnt even take the time to see the chart...

  • Chris Carter

    I have a Gingerbread phone I basically use as a media player and Chromecast controler.

  • DeadSOL

    People wonder about fragmentation of Android. Looking at these figures, it's easy to see that people are still sticking to their older devices... because they still work!!! Gingerbread probably has features equal to that of iOS 7 so people still use Gingerbread.

    • Himmat Singh

      Haha, I had a good laugh. Even if it has equal features, so what? The phone would be running at 1/3 of the speed of the iPhone, and it would be laggy as hell.

      • http://twitter.com/ryocoon Kurtis Whittington

        Yes, because speed is everything? I have some older devices with updated ROMs and kernels that are more responsive than my iPad 2/3s and my wife's iPhone 5 are on iOS 7.x

        Still, I use my older devices for various tasks; Desk clock, TV controller, spare portable game console for the munchkin. I have a lot of older devices that work just fine.

        • Sam Hollis

          Yeah, but those people aren't running custom ROMs. Speed isn't everything, but it is to a point. Even my Galaxy Nexus on 4.3 had issues with more than a few tabs in Chrome. I can't imagine what it would be like with even lower end specs.

          • http://twitter.com/ryocoon Kurtis Whittington

            My Sony Xperia Play (the one I use as a game box for the mini-moose) is using stock, which is still back on Gingerbread. It is certainly not speedy, but it plays PS1/PSX games perfectly well (emulated, not native code). Yeah, My GNex was getting super finnicky also, but works fine as a loaner device.

          • csgabor

            The GNex is perfectly fine if you run lagfix few times a week. I just gave my old weathered Gnex to a friend, she used a Gingerbread Samsung Galaxy Mini II before and she's in love with it.

          • A Big Nerd That Eats Toblerone

            Chrome is just shit though. On mobile I mean.

          • Roger Siegenthaler

            Really??? Chrome is a ram hog like no other on desktop aswell :P

          • A Big Nerd That Eats Toblerone

            Yeah, but it is smooth and quick, and has extensions like Firefox but looks prettier, on mobile, it is slow and unresponsive, not nice looking except on tablets, and has no extensions.

      • A Big Nerd That Eats Toblerone

        No, the iPhone is very slow, but smooth. Gingerbread is around the same speed but is choppy, Ice Cream Sandwich is a lot quicker than iOS but is choppy and Jelly Bean is quicker and around the same smoothness. Animations take forever on iOS, it takes around the same time to unlock and open apps on iOS 7 and Gingerbread, but the iPhone just does it smoother, giving the illusion of it being quicker.

      • BozzyB

        The problem is GB provides multitasking which makes it slower. iOS does not - it rather takes care about smooth transitions between the app and the home screen. The user sees it and gets the impression taht iOS is faster and better.
        With all updates of the google apps and also security and api updates through google services GB is still usefull - more than other OSs. Thats why it's still been used.

  • Cesar

    Proud to call myself part of the 1%! Moto X FTW!

  • usaff22

    Nexus ftw!

  • agl82

    My Honeycomb Sony Internet TV is still hanging on!

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

      So is mine...

  • namesib

    lmao who are the poor, confused souls still using Froyo?

  • Matthew Fry

    Is there an iOS analog to this? I'm just curious to know if there are people with a death grip on their original iPad or if this is solely an Android phenomenon. It actually kind of looks like what I'd imagine the distribution of all mobile phones to be. 2% are using basic phones (honeycomb/froyo and earlier). ~24% are using 'feature phones.'(gingerbread) 74% are somewhere in their 2 year upgrade cycle. (ICS and above)