04
Feb
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It's that time again - each month, Google updates the developer dashboard to reflect Android's latest platform distribution numbers, determined according to devices that have accessed the Play Store in a seven-day period.

Last month, we saw KitKat make a small leap to 1.4% - it's made another tiny gain, rising to 1.8% of devices, while Jelly Bean has gone from 59.1% up to 60.7%. Gingerbread meanwhile continues its death march, letting 1.2% slip through its icy grasp, falling to an even 20% of devices.

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Ice Cream Sandwich has lost another 0.8%, while Honeycomb and Froyo remain unchanged, the latter somehow keeping grasp of 1.3% of devices that accessed the Play Store during the week ending on February 4th.

As before, the dashboard has other useful tidbits like screen size and Open GL versions. 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.

  • CasperTFG

    Should Google update the Play Store, via app density, to block devices running Froyo and Honeycomb and thereby forcing users to update? Or is that too rough?

    • http://twitter.com/rohanXm Rohan Mathur

      Users should not be punished for crappy OEMs not supporting their devices...

      • Justin W

        While I agree with that, I also think Google shouldn't license devices to use the Google Play suite of apps if they aren't on a "recent" version of Android (in my opinion, I would use 4.2 as the cutoff - one year old version, gives manufacturers plenty of time to create a new "skin" for their low-end devices if they see fit).

        • SSDROiD

          I think fragmentation is mostly caused by OEMs dropping support on aging devices. Most devices these days do come with either the newest or semi-newest Android version (at least the mainstream ones do), but add another 5 years into the mix and they might be stuck on an old version, despite once having the newest version.

          • rand

            As long as Google offers discounted nexus devices globally every year, I am satisfied.

            The Nexus line drives the platform forward. Google should NOT stop it

          • mrjayviper

            even nexus devices only get 18months official software update support :)

          • SSDROiD

            Where is that coming from?

          • rdeleonp
          • SSDROiD

            I thought the reason they don't update Galaxy Nexus was because it had a chip from a manufacturer that had stopped supporting that specific chip?

          • Sruly J

            Tell that to my ns4g lol

          • SSDROiD

            Nexus has nothing to do with "driving the platform forward". Nexus was originally intended as developer phones, not consumer phones, if I have my facts correct. Google will continue to develop Android even if there isn't a single GPE or Nexus device on the market anymore. To the average consumer (at least where i live), they don't even know Nexus or GPE exist, but that doesn't stop Google from continuing to develop.

        • garrett

          yeah but phones are generally on contract for 2 years (3 in some places) so you shouldnt punish the user for buying a phone that they had no idea would not get updates. Especially for a non tech savvy person, having gmail just stop working and no longer having access to the play store would confuse and annoy people. If I had a year old phone where many of the main functions just stopped working, I would definitely be pissed and probably never buy android again.

          • Justin W

            I don't mean to stop it from those devices already in use - more-so to stop a manufacturer from releasing a device with Gingerbread just because they already had a skin built on top of it.

    • Felonious Monk

      A little harsh, lol

    • YNWA

      It would be a big loss of revenue for Google. Most everyone is stuck without any choice if they are on Gingerbread or lower.

      Developers are already doing this. I know someone who upgraded their phone just because a couple apps they needed only worked on 4.0 and up.

      • SSDROiD

        This is very true. If Samsung started a program where we could pay a small fee for the new OS rather than buy an entirely new phone, I would just keep my Note 3 for years to come. Instead, once Note 3 starts aging, I have to upgrade the entire device instead of just the OS.

        • Wesley Modderkolk

          4.4 on my GS2 and the device is really showing it's age already. Mobile development is simply too fast for devices to keep up with.

    • Stacey Liu

      No. The common reaction you'll get is:

      "Wtf my phone can't download apps anymore. Android sucks. Time to upgrade to an iPhone."

      Getting in a user's way is a surefire way to piss them off.

  • Alex Boro

    Google really should force developers to update phones.

    • Jays2Kings

      The world simply can't work like that. I could go into a long list of reasons why, but shortest explanation is that the Verizon Galaxy Nexus is still on 4.2

      • SSDROiD

        That's not exactly correct. Google intentionally allows OEMs and carriers to alter Android to their liking, which is why (for example) an HTC and a Samsung smartphone are different in terms of software front-end, but still support the same apps and content. However, Microsoft (for instance) does not allow alterations on Windows, and every company that wants to have Windows on their PCs/tablets have to get the official Windows one, which is why Windows looks exactly the same on all devices.

      • Alex Boro

        Google should have more control with Android. Force them to update the phones or ban the phones from Google Play, but don't take away the open source goodness of Android. I'm just saying this with major OEMs. It's only better for the users and no harm can come out of this. It will encourage OEM's to support their phones for a reasonable amount of time and it makes sense.

        • http://papped.webatu.com papped

          You do realize what banning numerous devices from the official google play store would do to Google directly...

        • WestFiasco

          Two years of updates seems very acceptable to me, I just wish that was the case.

        • Marc Edwards

          Banning phones from the play store would harm users...

    • YNWA

      I wish, but that would kill Androidi as it is today. Each phone company wants to make Android their own. Otherwise they would each develop their own shitty OS, so at least it is better than that.

      I think companies should be more up front with their update process as a sales feature. Like Updates for all future Android versions* Then explain the * as "When possible for each phone, based on compatibility."

      • SSDROiD

        I agree completely, especially about using the update process as a sales feature. I know that I always have a hard time figuring out what Android device to buy next specifically because I like to have a device that is updated in a timely manner. I now know Samsung does not, and HTC does. Sony also, but slower. Had that information been given to me during my researching, maybe my phone would've been an entirely different device.

        • WestFiasco

          My One X+ begs to differ on what you said about HTC.

          • saltyzip

            I've just switched out my wifes HTC One X for a HTC One due to its end of support, no kitkat. It's what HTC wants its customers to do, it's business at the end of the day, and boy does it need the new business.

          • WestFiasco

            I understand that but for me it's a double edged sword, i have serious doubts about HTC and their support now. I don't think i'm going to buy their devices again if the One loses support before 18 months is up. If i had a one X i wouldn't mind but i don't and i'm not thrilled with it's end of HTC support.

        • Donna – John

          but shortest explanation is that the Verizon Galaxy Nexus is still on 4.2

        • Adrian Meredith

          samsung does update, US carriers however do not. My galaxy s had a ton of updates.

          • SSDROiD

            I live in Norway, where carriers don't add anything to the OS. I have a Note 3 and the only update I have ever received has been stability improvements and bug fixes. Nothing major at all yet, and I've had it for several months now. Maybe it's different in other countries.

  • SSDROiD

    I feel sad for everyone stuck at Froyo and Gingerbread... They're missing out on all the fun things introduced by Jelly Bean, such as Google Now.

    • David Margolin

      and holo

      • SSDROiD

        For some (annoying) reason, I always misread holo as yolo. The Internet has ruined me! :(

        • skepticmisfit

          holoyolo

    • yahyoh

      pffffft....Google now...the most battery sucker service ever
      and most of its service only work in the US...SO big NOOOO

      • saltyzip

        Disagree, in uk at least.. amazon, ebay to name two, show up as cards when purchases are made, to aid tracking (Need to use Gmail). Photo opportunities, restaurants close buy, cinema films etc. all work too. Time to Home, work, other save places all work well too. My N4 copes admirably with Google Now, I easily get a full days charge out of it, don't need to charge it during the day, unless I'm using Google Maps for navigation.

    • KingofPing

      Don't feel sad. We're not missing a thing.

      My phone is running KK. The three devices I have running GB are being used as clocks, alarms, and media players.

      I would hazard to guess a pretty good amount of the GB devices out there may actually fall into similar categories.

      Not everyone throws away their devices that still work. :)

  • Brandon Jiang

    Jellybean: the new gingerbread

    • Colin Kealty

      At least this time its pretty and functional

      • http://udemy.com/python-gui-programming Bo

        Gingerbread was also pretty and functional when it first appeared... oh man, the excitement over the black navigation bar!

        • http://papped.webatu.com papped

          GB had some huge problems like memory management and incorrect sms recipients though...

        • Stacey Liu

          Gingerbread was never pretty by any stretch of the imagination. You needed things like Sense or MIUI to make it pretty. But AOSP was comparable to bile. The only part that looked halfway decent was the launcher. Don't remind me of that notification tray.

    • YNWA

      Jellybean: The new Internet Explorer 6

  • dogulas

    Who can now claim to be the 1%? :)

    • YNWA

      Me! I look down on everyone else from my high horse.

      • idi

        I would up vote this but i don't like Liverpool fans

        • YNWA

          Haters gonna hate. Lemme guess. You like Man U?

  • joser116

    ughhh I hate this! I just wish all apps were developed for the latest version of Android

  • Cory Crew

    Froyo hanging on for dear life...probably belongs to modders, gramdpas and lil kiddies as hand me downs

  • Sruly J

    Honestly, I'm always had conflicting opinions about this time of the month (distribution charts).
    On the one hand, we see that slowly people are getting newer versions of our favorite desserts (after all, who better to know what we like than Google? Lol), and especially considering the fact that kit kat is designed even for entry level phones with 512 mb (wow, that's how much my ns4g has, even with that, I still use it to test certain stuff), people can stop complaining about fragmentation as much as they used to.
    On the other hand, everyone that doesn't look at blogs and or Android news doesn't know the difference about what version they are running as long as it works.
    So what I'm trying to say (and failing at doing) is that we see that over time people are updating to newer software, but they couldn't care less...
    Although it doesn't help that the whole update process for non Nexus/ GPE devices is so long, although I understand (if only I waited a few weeks to upgrade, then I coulda gone from ns4g to n5 for $40 instead of a GS3 for 1¢ :/ ). Hopefully by mid April the distribution numbers will be significantly greater for kit kat since supposedly the GS3 will be treated to it. (Incidentally, the main reason I want it is for ART. I mean, I can try it on ns4g, but ehh... Man, I really got sidetracked somehow o_O)

    • LE Sacks

      "kit kat is designed even for entry level phones with 512 mb"

      yeh but... although manufacturers could port Kit Kat to low end devices, why should they when all it will do is breather another year or so of usability into peoples existing inventory... slowing down their need to upgrade and thus reducing sales. I think this is a conflict between manufacturers and google. As Nough says, it'll go with the phone update cycle.

      • Sruly J

        True, but now there's no reason why it can't be included in entry level devices. Especially considering that according to a document from earlier this week, device manufacturers have a deadline to include Google services with an old version.

  • Excited

    soon i will join and boost up 1.8% score :)

  • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

    Honeycomb market share shows how much of a fail that OS was

  • Nough

    i think the biggest factor changing these graphs is the progress of people buying new phones, not the actual software updates.

    • Sruly J

      People also DO keep their old devices...( I know I did, if only because I can use a few apps to get free monthly Amazon gift cards which I don't need), and all the custom roms do contribute a little

      • EH101

        Free monthly Amazon gift cards? Do tell, Amazon is like my lifeblood. Lol.

        • Sruly J

          Lol. Smartphone mate gives me $3/ month for each phone. Tablets are worth $5, though I'm gonna test out an app after my next payment which can change how servers identify a device and see if it helps me get $5 instead. I used to use Media Insiders Mobile also, but I didn't like certain things they changed.
          (I also have an app which gives ads/offers, if you reach at least $5 by next payout date, they'll send you the money on that date, otherwise it rolls over. My first month I made like $11, although I think it's because I paid people 50¢ to join under me, and each one got me $1 ref sign-up bonus, so I can't complain. One person did it like 5 times and woulda done it more, but they never continued doing it)

          • EH101

            So free money does exist, just in little bits and pieces lol. Thanks for the info, I will have to look into these.

          • Sruly J

            Np.
            And it all adds up, I have close to $180 sitting in my account now doing nothing. I'd have had more, but I used a lot to get a laptop which I didn't pay a cent for, although some money was from a gpt...

  • vip-nord

    why not put all android component on the play store and update them on the fly ? Like chrome desktop ?

    • Sruly J

      That's what they've slowly been doing, although not everything CAN be put in the Play Store. So even if they were to do that, the software would essentially stay the same at the core.

  • android botman

    if google really aims faster adoption rate for the kitkat os, they must perform notified updates via googleplay that users’ devices shall be updated to the latest os that their device is capable to run.

    google must have a firm resolve in their statement about kitkat to ensure majority of the android based phones and devices shall be updated in the latest os that the users’devices is capable of running rather than to delegate this task to the carriers and oems that load unnecessary apps that intrude, slow and therefore “the google experience” is traumatizing.

    google play services app must be recoded not to eat battery juice. google installs this app without users' permission or knowledge, it just worsens "the google experience". while it might be helpful to google's initiatives, still not productive and highly draining app should be avoided.

    apple will remain apple as steve jobs envisioned it. period.