The Android developers team at Google have updated the chart which shows the current distribution of the software being used in various Android devices. The data is collected from all the devices that access Android Market over a 14 day period, so it is a pretty accurate representation of the various versions of Android running on devices out there in the world. The recent figures offer some very interesting insights.
The Rise of Gingerbread
Android 2.3.3/2.3.4 Gingerbread, the latest version of Android for smartphones has gained significantly in market share. It’s now on almost 18% of all phones. The first version of Gingerbread – Android 2.3 – is on just 1% of all devices.
Froyo Still Dominates
Android 2.2 Froyo, by far the most popular version of the Android OS, still dominates in terms of market share. It has nearly 60% market share, and still ships on some phones.
The very primitive versions of Android – Android 1.5 and Android 1.6 now run on about 3-4% of all devices. These are probably devices which cannot be upgraded to later versions due to hardware restrictions.
Android 2.1 is still on nearly 17% of all Android phones. Presumably, these are either budget phones which cannot be upgraded due to hardware issues, or those which have been discontinued by the manufacturer.
So, How’s Honeycomb Doing?
Finally, we come to the elephant in the room. The question on everyone’s mind in the last few months has been: how is Android doing on tablets?
Well, from these figures, it doesn’t look like it has been doing very well. Android 3.0 and Android 3.1 have a combined share of less than 1% of all Android devices. More Android devices still run Android 1.5 than Android 3.0 or 3.1.
What Google Needs to Do
Well, Google is trying hard to ensure that it releases new updates to Android frequently, and gets them pushed to devices as soon as possible. However, since most manufacturers use a custom UI over the Android OS, they take a lot of time passing on those updates to users. The situation is improving slowly, but there is still a lot of work to be done, both by Google and its hardware partners, to ensure that the update process is seamless and rapid.