One of the truest shared experiences between people who create anything for public consumption is a ravenous desire to know how many people are using it and what they think. Just ask most bloggers and web developers, and you will hear how much they love the real-time statistics from Google Analytics. Unfortunately for app developers, there really isn't a great way to keep fresh information in front of our eyes without mashing the F5 key while staring at a web browser.
Well, it's that time again – time for the monthly update to Android's Platform Distribution Numbers. Each month, Google publishes the latest figures, letting developers know what versions of Android are currently dominating active devices.
This month, we're seeing a familiar pattern – Gingerbread is continuing its slow descent, hitting 39.8%, down from 44.2% this time last month. Meanwhile the latest and greatest – Jelly Bean – accounts for exactly 25% of the overall distribution, meaning it's finally hit one quarter of all tallied devices.
An analysis of recently compiled data by ABI Research indicates that Android phones are for the first time downloading apps in greater numbers than Apple's iPhone. This would seem like a milestone, but ABI's research also shows that while the total number of apps downloaded onto Android devices in the last quarter exceeds that of the iPhone, Android handsets outnumber iPhones by a factor of 2.4 to 1.
This means that Android users are still downloading far fewer apps on an individual basis than iPhone owners - ABI suggests by a ratio of 2 to 1 one, in Apple's favor.
According to market research firm Strategy Analytics, Android now holds 30% of the tablet market, which is a massive jump from 2.9% in Q2 of last year. This can certainly be attributed to the slew of Android-powered tablets released in the last several months, like the Asus Eee Pad Transformer, Acer Iconia Tab A500, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, and HTC Flyer/View 4G.
This time last year the iPad was top dog, with 94% of the tablet market in its pocket.
Conferences like Google I/O give companies a chance to update curious parties will all their major goings-on, but also allows them to flaunt their stats a little bit. Android's success is noted by just about everyone these days, and Google's decided to keep on proving it by providing its latest activation and app figures.
Main statistics being discussed were:
No doubt you've seen at least one mention of the 100,000-XOOM sales figure somewhere on the web today - and for me, it has reached the point of mild annoyance. From this number, all sorts of wild extrapolations and theories are being tossed around about Motorola's future, Android's future, and the viability of tablets in an Apple-dominated market.
Boy Genius Report took a step back, and presented a level-headed but clearly pro-XOOM take on the news:
A recent study by William Powers of Baird Research has revealed that a whopping 86% of developers think that Android fragmentation is a problem. While only 24% of devs described it as a "huge problem," it doesn't discredit the fact that the overall percentage was so outrageous.
Venture capitalist Fred Wilson still recommends developers write for Android before iOS, as he predicts that iPhone vs. Android is just a remake of Macintosh vs.
Late last night, the Android team pushed out a set of changes to the Android app publishing interface that developers use to upload and maintain their apps. The new features, while completely invisible to the end-users, are absolutely fascinating to app developers.
Each app now has a Statistics link, which consists of the following:
- a Google Finance-style Flash chart of all installs, the time period for which you can adjust as you see fit
- Android versions (conveniently placed side-by-side with the same stats for all apps in the Market)
- specific device models
- countries where your app is downloaded from (also side-by-side with countries for all apps in the Market)
- languages used on the phones with your app on them (also compared to the global stats)
Have a look at some screenshots, then, if you are a developer, hurry to your own publishing console and check out those sexy stats for yourself.
After weeks of frantic coding, SwiftKey, my favorite smart aftermarket Android keyboard, just released a private beta to all registered VIP forum members. While the beta itself (v220.127.116.11) is private and we can't provide you with a download link, what we can do is list all of the improvements and tease you with some screenshots.
Andy Rubin is a man of few words, at least on Twitter. Followed by 15,000, he only ever tweeted once before today, defending Android's openness. His second tweet - an update on the daily rate of Android activations, which was 100,000 per day in May during Google I/O, 160,000 in June, 200,000 in August, and now topped 300,000.
300,000 Android phones a day! That's 2.1 million phones per week, about 9 million phones per month, or 108 million phones per year.