Android Versions

Google has released the latest platform version numbers tonight, and things are as expected -- still slowly trending up. Before we go any further, we have to note that Jelly Bean (Android 4.1) is not on any retail devices yet and is not included in these numbers. Having said that, it's nice to see ICS finally hit double digits on its slow race to adoption. Every version lower than 4.0 saw losses since last month, and 4.0 to 4.0.4 saw an uptick of 3.8 percent as phones and tablets got their long-awaited Ice Cream Sandwich updates and phones like the HTC One series were released with the latest (at the time) version.

So what does this mean? A couple things -- OEM's still take forever to update their software, people are still using ancient hardware with cupcake on it, and the Galaxy Nexus doesn't seem to be selling enough units to harm Apple financially after all. Things may start to get more interesting in August with the Galaxy S III released in the US recently, and the Nexus 7 coming this July. 

Source: Android developers


Reader comments

Ice Cream Sandwich hits double digits and is now on 10.9 percent of Android devices


I am glad for the people who have ics, but come on Sprint & Samsung where is ics for the epic 4g touch, and if I have to update it through kies that sucks for me since I don't have a computer.

That actually doesn't look good for Google.
Google keeps creating new features and a majority of Android users can even enjoy them.
Nexus devices is the ONLY way to go (especially on GSM).

Main thing is to bring people thru ICS barrier, this is where there ton of API improvements are, JB and everything else after won't that matter as ICS does.

Well good news :p at end of the year it should be at least 25% depends how Jelly Bean will do... but each Jelly Bean user is ICS user too in world of API Levels so it good.

Lol. Google has announced a new Android version and their last one has barely reached 10% of devices. That is kind of pathetic. Glad I've got a Galaxy Nexus in addition to my EVO LTE. I'll hopefully enjoy JB and possibly whatever follows.

Makes me wonder how long before Jelly Bean reaches 10 percent. Should be Feb / March of 2013 if the current pace hold.

Waiting for Jellybean to hit my Galaxy Nexus.

Meantime I have to resort to CM9 nightly builds for my Galaxy Tab 10.1 to have some ICS goodness sigh.....

Are these numbers official release or do they include folks who flash ROMs themselves? Either way definitely will consider a Nexus device for next phone or at least a mainstream device that will have good developer support. SGS2-Skyrocket is a great phone I bought because of specs but since it's a variant took awhile even to get a custom ICS ROM.

Sorry if it looks like a Spam but I need a help.

I have a Samsung Galaxy Note GTN7000 Android Phone with Vodafone Connection in Mumbai, India

I upgraded to 4.0.3 last Saturday after which the Phone and Contacts Icon at the Bottom disappeared.

I can't add it from App Menu too as it seems the application itself has been removed somehow.

I don't see them in the list of Application installed in ALL Tab.

Please help me restore it.

It's because you're looking for "contacts" and it's listed in the app drawer as "people" (big orange icon with a silouhette of a man in white")


You see that API level? That is why fragmentation is a valid concern. Not as big of a concern as what Apple makes it out to be, but a concern nonetheless.

"OEM's still take forever to update their software, people are still using ancient hardware with cupcake on it"

What really annoys me is that people act as it if takes a week for an OEM to update to a new version of Android and costs no money at all. If they had an update within 3 weeks of release and it fragged everyone's system you can damn well bet you would be giving them holy hell over it.

Except for the Note where from the get go AT&T said ICS was coming soon with extra programs for the S-pen. And here it is July and still no update or even a mention of when it will get pushed.

Of course they said it was coming soon. What did you expect them to say? "Oh, it's gonna be several months because we have to rewrite a lot of code and then do several rounds of testing"?

It's not like they can rewrite the TouchWiz'd version overnight.

Once again, if updates are a concern to people, they need to stick with Nexus devices. They will never be satisfied with the speed of updates otherwise.

So Eclair is nearly done.
The 2.1 phones finally fading away and Froyo fading fast.

That's not bad. If I was starting an App project now, it might be safe to target Gingerbread.

Makes me sad that the Galaxy Nexus isn't selling enough to hurt apple. =(

I really hope Google makes their next Google phone a killer. I want apple dead.

I Think the saddest part about this slow adoption of ICS is that it's such a significant update. Stock GB made me think "this is it?". ICS can run on its own and look good doing it, yet it's poorly adopted. AOKP on my galaxy nexus could stand in for a stock os easily. Software buttons are essential. I think Google made it mistake by not having search and the menu on the navbar so they are easily accessible. So I added them in. I could go on but my point is that ICS is a big deal, and almost a year later 89% of android users are still missing out.

They brought the search key function back in 4.1 if you long press the home key. And after a while on ICS you understand why they ditched them in 1st place when not all apps utilized those keys. 100x better in 4.1

They brought the search key function back in 4.1 if you long press the home key. And after a while on ICS you understand why they ditched them in 1st place when not all apps utilized those keys. 100x better in 4.1

Those are still usable devices, specailly froyo that is 17%. Lot of people forgeting that most users are casuals and they dont care about updates, you need to show them on front of there face or do for them to make them update and international Android devices don't have an OTA if you won't set it up (at least that like in my S2). If you compire it to iOS numbers:

Froyo is in iOS4 position Ginger is on iOS5 and user base as same as big, makes kind of sense

Most normal people upgrade once every two years at the earliest in the US. That figure isn't hard to believe at all.

True, but it is sad that the carriers don't seem to release upgrades for Android. If you are a regular (ie. not-tech) person and you buy an Android phone then you better not count on seeing any OS upgrades.

Honestly, some people don't even know that they're phones can be upgraded. When the HTC sensation 4g got ICS, everyone I met/knew that had one had no idea that there was an update. I had to actually point it out to them.

So, now that it is double digits, can we FINALLY have developers update their darn apps to ICS?!?!?!?

10% is still not very atractive to invest to ICS and take care of 63% user on GB in same time. GB app will work on ICS no problem.... sowhy to update? Action Bar? it means redesigning whole UI

This is getting pretty damn ridiculous.

Google needs to set some sort of standards for the OEM like

"all phones forward with these specs MUST be ICS based"

or something like that. OEM are still selling mid - high range phones on Gingerbread. Jesus Christ, Sony is the biggest idiot of them all marketing there Xperia lineup of phones mostly on GB, smh.

This doesn't look good for Jellybean, almost 9 months later and only 10% of the market for ICS, whats Jellybean gonna look like?

As the total user base rises...the percentage of new users using ICS will take longer to rise. The real question at this point is what percentage of new phones releasing to the market have ICS. Then what percent of GB users are being updated to ICS.

This isn't Google's fault at all. If you bought a Samsung Epic 4G Touch, blame Samsung! Google just makes the software available and completely free. Buy the phone with the software on it that you want. If you want the newest software, get a Nexus. If you want S-Voice and other features get a Samsung and expect software delays. If you're an app developer, make your app work on Gingerbread and ICS both.

My 2.3 phone will continue to access the Play Store within a given month for a long time, as despite being replaced with a shiny new ICS phone, it is still a really useful device. It will never get to ICS but has the latest compatible Gingerbread Cyanogenmod, and works well with almost all the apps I could want to throw at it.

I would love to see drill down in this data, to allow for a more nuanced understanding of the market as a whole but it is unlikely to happen. This data is a snapshot to let developers know what is on devices now. It might also pay developers to apply some level of weighting to the data, as older devices may access the Play Store whilst only being used for a small fraction of the time of more current devices in the same household. They should also be developing for where the market is going, not where it has been.

The rest of us should just get on with enjoying our Android devices. ;)

Maybe it's time for Google to stop releasing new versions of Android until at least 25% of devices are on the previous version.