AC reader versions, Dec 2013

AndroidCentral readers love them some Kit Kat

I love data and charts. Really love them, like totally nerd out over them. Last week, we put up a poll asking you which version of Android you were running. I knew I could use your answers and do something with them. Thus, the quarterly AC reader version charts were born. And this pretty chart that is totally a remix of Google's.

For now, this is just for discussion purposes. We can compare it to December 2013 numbers from Google themselves and see a few things. The first, and biggest, is that we love our Kit Kat. I'm sure a larger percentage of our readers (compared to the general population) have one of the few phones or tablets running Android 4.4, and the number of people who said screw it, then rooted and did it themselves is going to be a much higher percentage than normal folks. 

The second thing that jumps out at me here is the very low number of people running Gingerbread. Compared to Google's 24.1 percent estimate, our 1.92 percent numbers tell me that most of us switch phones more often than usual, and the custom ROM factor is at play again. 

The Jelly Bean numbers are much closer. Google comes up with 54.5 percent of the user base running Jelly Bean, while we show 42.31 percent. This is the core group of 2013's "flagship" phones — the HTC One, The Galaxy phones (S3, S4, Note 2 and Note 3), LG's Optimus G, Pro and G2 and others — that are running the carrier version. Folks who don't want to root or ROM, and are happy with the way their device runs out-of-the-box. 

Of course, like every other analyst out there, I could be completely off. This is what I see when I look at my pretty chart. And of course, the data could be skewed by folks who didn't answer our poll or answered less-than-truthfully. 

This is something we're going to explore further. Look for quarterly polls about your Android version at a minimum, and as we geek out over the data we'll share anything and everything we find that's interesting. For now, let's discuss what we see here in the comments. 

 

Reader comments

Here is the breakdown of what Android version AC readers are running

124 Comments

The people who are the people into tech. The people with ginger bread probably are not on here to take the poll.

Posted via Android Central App

Agree. Most AC readers are likely to be on the latest devices and therefore by default running Jellybean or kitkat.

Posted via Android Central App

And this people are usually also the ones who care about third party apps and pay for them. Many paid apps have similar numbers for their customer base.

As someone who has taken a basic statistics class, I have doubts about the survey, with the main one being voluntary response, meaning the results are pretty much unusable.

Posted via Android Central App

Would disagree with your assessment that the results are unusable. Advanced study and professional experience would teach you that you can still infer conclusions from this type of experiment. You simply need to be clear on the data's origin, specific on the inferences you make, and understand your margin of error. Would appear to me that Jerry hit the mark.

It's an Internet poll. I'd be hard pressed to find any statistician who would say these results are an accurate representation of AC's readership. There was no systematic way of doing process and there are too many possibilities for error to assume that these results are valid. Voluntary response kills this survey, period.

Posted via Android Central App

Voluntary responses can kill a survey if a person has some reason to lie. There's no reason to lie here. And as stated before, this is a tech savvy crowd and you could have guessed that most people are running Jellybean and Kitkat. The poll is just further confirmation.

Voluntary response kills the survey here due to likelihood and willingness to respond. You can very well assume that Kit Kat users are excited about their device and want to vote out of support and that users of older versions of Android don't really care about voting, despite this being an Android website. That is a reasonable amount of doubt.

If AC wanted a real survey with valid results, they would have to do a random sample of users.

You can't download it on older devices now so it makes sense, it wouldn't download on my xperia u with gingerbread

Posted via Android Central App on my Nexus 7

Or they were Trollin the poll as AC's isn't scientific like google which are real numbers

via A.C. App

Yeah I don't buy it. Kit Kat numbers seem a little too high to believe.

Posted via Android Central App

No I missed the part where everybody has stable Kit Kat ROMs and I don't on my sprint G2. Seen people running stable 4.4 on their damn almost 2 years old S3. Even the Z1 has a fairly stable kit kat port from the GPE Z ultra. Haven't kept up but last I checked the only thing not working was camera and WiFi. Really starting to feel like I backed the wrong horse.

Posted via Android Central App

When you GPe, Nexus and Moto, I can see it being something like that. Especially since the Nexus community is nothing if not oh so very proud that they are running the latest version.

I'm running a 99% stable 4.4.2 ROM on my Galaxy Nexus, the device that Google dropped support for because "its chip set is too outdated".

Posted via Android Central App

The manufacturer no longer supports it. Where google messed up there is by using an older chipset to start with. But back in the day, a Nexus was nothing but leftover parts. Fortunately the N5 is better than that

But still, when Google was making a big deal about how kitkat runs great on low end devices, but they drop support to a still quite widely used phone, that has specs as good as the moto g, its kind of messed up of them, especially since its their nexus phone, that they control. The nexus s went from 2.3( I think?) To 4.1

Posted via my defective Nexus 7(2013)

I hear you, it was crappy but if they think that the drivers cannot keep up with the chips, I can understand Google's position.

Still sucked for the GNex owners

I agree to a point but the main reason why google stopped support for the G nex was because of their strict 2 year window support policy.

Sent via the Android 5.0 MilkShake.

That's not all of it. It may have been an utter coincidence that the support window went out at the same time as issues with the ti omap processor. Of it had used an nvidia or Qualcomm processor, ip presume 4.4 would have been the last update to the Galaxy nexus

Posted via Android Central App

I guess you mean the drivers can't keep up with the os. The hardware is not moving, it's the os that is moving and some how in the linux world you constantly need then also new drivers.. so the hal layer is constantly changing. That is the one thing that Microsoft does right with its desktops os. You can use drivers for a long time.

Posted via Android Central App

I have fairly stable kit kat on Galaxy Note N7000 - OmniRom. Except wifi threating, everything works like a charm.

More proof that they need to release more google play editions of phones to satisfy us nerds

Then we wouldn't have to root & rom are devices as much

Its total bullshit that these carriers (verizon) lock bootloaders & hinder their devices if they are never going to update them. when they know a lot of us techies will pay good money for Google play editions or developer editions, just more of why i can't wait for Verizon to end their discounts

Then people will wise up & buy good unlocked handsets & move the market away from bloated locked up carrier devices.

Reminds me of back when verizon would disable the wifi chips in their smartphones so you had to use their data & run up your bill, then when other carriers didn't mess witg the wifi chips they had to Follow suit

via A.C. App

And the pic says 4.2.X where I'm guessing it should say 4.4.X

Posted via Android Central App

I, and many others, visited this site with Kit Kat on the HTC One. Or the Moto X, the Moto G, the Z1 GPe, the S4 GPe, the G Pad GPe, the Oppo Find 5,  my Chromebook and the SDK emulator on Linux and OSX.

Maybe it says a little more than that.

A little may be, but I bet the vast majority of those who voted Kit Kat are Nexus device owners, followed by a distant second Moto X. It'd be interesting to see those actual metrics! :)

Lol! Now your just bragging Jerry.....

Seriously, I'm not even on kit kat, (4.3) buy how great is it that we, as self described android nerds, have a place to talk about this stuff? Glad to see the numbers.

Keep up the good fight AC! Happy Holidays

Posted via Android Central App

Yeah, that reads funny. I don't mean I use all of those, but people do, just like I do on my HTC One.

Rather than edit it I'll just try to explain it :P

 

I'm always wary of updating, not only does it bring benefits but also downsides.

Posted via Android Central App

I need to have the latest version or I won't like my phone anymore. So I need the Nexus line. I don't root.

Posted via Android Central App

The writing is spot on and it does also state that some may have been less than honest.

The figures I would suggest are almost true though. Many are venturing into custom roms ect so hmm it is interesting but perhaps hard to get an accurate count perhaps.

Posted via Android Central App

I was also thinking that one aspect that could skew this would be that people who are running a more current version of Android would be more prone to answer the poll because they are more excited about it. I know I was pretty damn stoked to be able to click that kit Kat button using my Moto X

I'm on JB with rooted and unlocked S3,PAC-Man ROM 4.2.2 stable.Dont feel like going up any higher

Posted via Android Central App

I hear ya. Put kit kat on the lone DNA lying around the house, and it was OK. Now when devs get a hold of it.....game on!

Posted via Android Central App

I would say 3, ICS was OK for its time. It was like the awkward preteen years

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Happy Holiday's from my phone to yours...

login to your Google Analytics account (hopefully you built the site with it) and look at it that way.

I'm curious to know if the metadata on versions from the AC app and AC Forums app mimic the poll results.

No conspiracy related reasons, just curious.

Posted via Android Central App

There was a poll back near the beginning of November asking if people ordered the Nexus 5 and almost 660% said yes. I know not everyone on AC voted in that poll, but given that those who did voted "yes" so highly, I'm not surprised that the results of this poll showed so many people running Kit Kat.
That being said, this poll's results are now obsolete. It was taken before the Droids got Kit Kat, and as we know, Droids are the center of the universe.

Do that many people here have Nexus, Moto X phones? Cause 4.4 isn't on that many handsets.

Posted using Android Central App on my Samsung Galaxy S4 T-Mobile

No Froyo by name? I log into AC every few months just to create a blip, and I'm lost in the miscellaneous category. I mean, I want to be in the 1%, but not that 1%, you know?

Posted from my G1 running Android 2.2.1, so Froyo better show up in the pie chart next quarter.

Easy. It runs CM 6.1. I turn it on, and it still works. Mostly I use it on WiFi, but every now and then I put in a SIM card and use it as my phone. Mostly I do it to impress women.

Seriously, it was a great phone in its day. I kept enough old versions of apps that it still does a reasonable amount of what I need. No chance of bringing it up to date, since most current apps would just about fill the 70MB total space available. It is fun to pull it out now and then, and as long as Froyo had access to the Play Store it will be more or less fully functional.

I downloaded Quadrant last week and ran a benchmark. It took about 20 minutes and returned a score of 110. You may have arguments about which phone is fastest, but the G1 had the slowest title sewn up.

Posted via Android Central App

It would have been interesting to see the Jelly Bean option split into 4.1.x, 4.2.x, and 4.3.x and see the distribution there.

How accurate is this compared to the User Agent Analytics?

Posted via Android Central App on my Nexus 5 (4.4.2)

Kit Kat numbers can't be right. I don't care how technical your audience is, there is no way Kit Kat numbers would be higher than Jellybean numbers.

Posted via Android Central App

I can only comment on my own device, and I'm not sure how typical a representative I am of survey repondants, but I'm using KitKat (OmniRom) on my GT-N7000 which is now two years old. It would be fair to say in tech terms the Galaxy Note is an older device.
If androidcentral has a greater proportion of Android 'enthusiasts' amongst its readership than than the general population does (I don't think that's an unreasonable assumption) then I think it's safe to assume that if there is a KitKat build for a device then more people responding to the survey are likely to have flashed it than you would find in the general population.
A lot of assumptions in there which need exploring however I think they're reasonable assumptions to make.

Dude! 4.4 has been out for less than a month! Just think about it!

Posted using Android Central App on my Samsung Galaxy S4 T-Mobile

care to rethink that timeline?

September 3 announcement
October 31 Release

We are approaching 2 months...

You are making the assumption that the poll respondents were only talking about phones. The poll specifically said device ... And a lot of us visit AC from tablets. Both Nexus 7s and the 10 are readily available and the 7s sold very well. All 3 have Kit Kat. Add to that the enthusiast factor who have Nexus 5 and 5 and now the X ... I can see it coming out this way

Posted via Android Central App on my daily driver, the Droid MAX

Also the unlocked HTC one, all gpe's, and many others, plus custom Roms, then there's a solid amount of people that have possible access to kitkat

Posted via my defective Nexus 7(2013)

it is a vote, not really any basis behind it like Google's numbers are. I think maybe they might be inflated a bit, but it would be what I expect from a tech site. I bet if XDA did this the numbers would be higher..

The gingerbread guys are the hipster tech guys. Always making everything a pain in the ass just to be a pain in the ass. I would venture to say the almost 2% found a way to back port gingerbread onto their N5's just so they could be the only one.

derp

Lol! Backport, that would be pretty sophisticato!

Posted using Android Central App on my Samsung Galaxy S4 T-Mobile

If memory serves my Xoom is still running Honeycomb... I could fire it up and really mess with people lol

Posted via Android Central App on my daily driver, the Droid MAX

They were: the Verizon versions received ICS and the Wi-Fi versions received Jellybean 4.1.1.

Posted from my "Gift from God" Nexus 5

Oh ok. Cause my uncle had a Verizon Xoom, and I thought it had been updated to at least ICS.

Posted via my defective Nexus 7(2013)

Also just a thought,
had ICS been subject to a corporate naming rights deal like with Nestle for KitKat, we'd all be calling it Android 4.0 Monaco Bar

Posted via Android Central App

I've got Froyo, Ice cream sandwich, jelly bean and KitKat devices, the ICS and KK devices are active use and the others are for testing.

Posted via Android Central App

I don't find the chart that hard to believe. I mean, if you go through the comments and count the "Posted via" comments that have a device attached to them, all but one is a Nexus or Moto X. Well, two, but one guy said he was posting from a G1, and I'm certain he thought he was being clever, so...

S4 running 4.3 here, perhaps I'll get 4.4 sometime in the next 6wks. Does 4.4 really run so much smoother & quicker? It's supposed to free up more RAM right? And apps are supposed to launch quicker?

Posted using Android Central App on my Samsung Galaxy S4 T-Mobile

@Jay Holm, for some reason it wouldn't let me reply to you.
In my own opinion kitkat isnt that much of an improvement.
But it think when touchwiz and devices that need that ram space freed up get it will make a huge difference.

Posted via my defective Nexus 7(2013)

Hmm. . .sounds good. I use Go Launcher on my S4, not touchwiz.

Posted using Android Central App on my Samsung Galaxy S4 T-Mobile

I am on Jellybean 4.1.2, don't bother with rooting and ROMs because this phone is incredibly snappy as it is and I don't feel I would gain much from changing it around. Was surprised actually that there weren't more Other or did those with custom ROMs just put their Android version down?

Posted via Android Central App on my Motorola XT890 RAZR i

Ahh as normal, the AC numbers don't surprise me. We are the best

Posted via my oldie but goodie Nexii 4 using the Android Central App

One major factor that skews the results of this poll is the restriction to choosing only one version. To Google, my account has two Kit Kat, one Jelly Bean, and sometimes one Gingerbread (not turned on every month). In this poll, I'm just one Kit Kat.

I absolutely love this idea and think it's a great conversation piece for this community and how we feel about and use our devices. What a fun thing to do and I look forward to watching these numbers change as the quarters go by.

I'm part of the 1% I backported eclair onto my 2013 nexus 7.

/sarcasm obviously.

Posted via my defective Nexus 7(2013)

What you couldn't get cupcake to run?

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Happy Holiday's from my phone to yours...

What about using the android central app to read the android version from the settings and feed back the build number for more reliable data? - I'm not saying people lied, I'm just saying you wouldn't miss anyone running cupcake...

Posted via Android Central App

It would be quite interesting if they did that... Really tempted to get my old LG running 1.5 Cupcake out of the drawer and go on Android Central with it now!

Posted via Android Central App on my Motorola XT890 RAZR i

Some peeps lied about using kit kat. The number looks quite inflated to JB

Posted via Android Central App

Can you give a list of people who lied and provide evidence that you have that they lied so they can be properly disciplined and the poll can be updated accordingly?
Thanks

Disciplined? This is a tech website, not kindergarten, where little kids are sent to the corner of the room for timeout. But I agree, these Kitkat numbers are hard to believe!

Posted using Android Central App on my Samsung Galaxy S4 T-Mobile

I don't think I participated in this poll. But just so they/you know I'm running Kitkat.....KITKAT(noshit)!
Oh & a jellybean for back up which I can't flash, only root & optimize, grrr

Posted via Android Central App

I of course have no way of validating the results one way or another, but I can actually see the results being accurate or at least as accurate as the truthfulness of the respondents and Jerry does say he cannot entirety validate the truthfulness of the respondents.

As I see it, the results are interesting but by no means are they scientific and does anybody expect them to be? After all (and I mean this with no disrespect) Android Central is a blog not a Polling Institute, nor the likes of a major news organization (and even major news organizations generally work with some sort of respected Polling Institute).

Could it have been more specific? Sure they could have asked what is your device supposed to be officially running (i.e. What should your device be running as specified by the manufacturer), but they choose to keep it more open and allowed for answers to include custom ROMs and if one spends any time over at XDA, there are tons of custom ROMs released off of whatever the latest iteration of Android is.

They also cannot account for the truthfulness of the respondents, but I highly doubt a large enough group of people out right lied to affect the results in any meaningful way.

Dan

Posted via Android Central App

It's not junk! It's very good. Other than a few minor glitches, it is great!

Posted via Android Central App on my Nexus 5 (4.4.2)

I'm just cracking up with how upset people are that results of a poll taken on an Android enthusiast site could possibly show this many people with the latest iteration of Android on their devices.

Posted via Android Central App

I am running 4.3 Cm 10.2 on my S3, and it's smooth as butter. Also running 4.3 stock on my S4, also smooth, but could be smoother if I was able to root and unlock it, but Verizon made sure that was not possible, not to crazy about safe strap, so I will leave it stock for the time being, until a proper root and unlock method is found.

Posted via Android Central App

BB10? This is an Android website, not BlackBerry.

Posted using Android Central App on my Samsung Galaxy S4 T-Mobile

Idk its probably .00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001

Sent from my Nexus 7 2013 or Moto G

I bet more than half of the kit kat numbers are on unofficial devices, meaning they're on devices that weren't officialy updated to 4.4 or higher. So really what does this mean, nothing pretty useless poll.

Posted via Android Central App

I bet more than half of the kit kat numbers are on unofficial devices, meaning they're on devices that weren't officialy updated to 4.4 or higher. So really what does this mean, nothing pretty useless poll.

Posted via Android Central App

Personally I Consider anything android 4.2+ up to date for the most part I think some people get worked up over updates i mean a lot of apps require 2.3+ or 4.0+ anyway so your not really missing out on anything in the play store and under the hood enhancements like ART, Project Butter, etc

Sent from my Nexus 7 2013 or Moto G

Why is it so hard to believe that kit Kat is high? Here on AC the reader base are people who give a damn! Meaning people who absolutely need the latest and greatest, people who have like 3 or more devices just cuz or both. B4 I joined the nexus fam I had rooted and custom Roms on every device I owed. My mom has an old G2 (S4 waiting under her tree BTW) its running 2.3.4. Zhe makes calls and the occasional text. you think someone like her is reading this site? Nope!

Posted via Android Central App

OK being on 2.3 is bad enough but still very usable but who is using anything less than that. Even cheap Android Chinese tablets at the least come with ics so who are using froyo etc which is like over 3 years old. I don't know how long someone uses a phone for but I would think that by now these pre 2.3 devices would be next to unusable. Even in emerging markets the cheapest Android devices come with 2.3 at least.

Posted via Android Central App