Print 15 comment(s) - last by RjBass.. on Apr 2 at 5:34 PM

Rival Apple is sitting at 85% with iOS 7

Android 4.4 KitKat launched at the end of October 2013, but Google’s latest mobile operating system still represents a small fraction of the overall Android install base.
When we last reported on KitKat’s market share performance in mid-January, it stood at just 1.4 percent compared to 54.5 percent for Jelly Bean (the most frequently installed version of Android). The latest figures (as of April 1) show that KitKat has seen a steady increase in adoption, and now stands at 5.3 percent. Jelly Bean, interestingly enough, actually jumped to 61.4 percent since the last time we reported on market share numbers.

Google, however, is looking to cure these fragmentation woes by requiring that OEMs provide a recent version of Android on their new devices or lose access to Google Mobile Services (Gmail, YouTube, Google Play, Maps, etc.).

API Version GMS approval window open (AOSP release date) GMS approval window close
Gingerbread 6-Dec-2010 1-Feb-2014
Honeycomb 24-Feb-2011 1-Feb-2014
Ice Cream Sandwich 16-Dec-2011 1-Feb-2014
4.1 (API level 16) 12-Jul-2012 1-Feb-2014
4.2 (API level 17) 13-Nov-2012 24-Apr-2014
4.3 (API level 18) 25-July-2013 31-Jul-2014
4.4 (API level 19) 31-Oct-2013 TBA with API level 20 release

Device makers will only be able to certify new devices running Jelly Bean until July 31; after that date, all devices seeking certification from Google must run KitKat in order to receive a license for Google Mobile Services.
Perennial rival Apple has seen much greater success in getting its mobile devices upgraded the latest versions of iOS. According to Apple (as of March 23), 85 percent of all iOS devices are running iOS 7.

Sources: Google, Apple

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Do numbers like this even matter?
By atechfan on 4/2/2014 9:07:33 AM , Rating: 5
It proves no more about Android sucking than the 25% or so on XP proves about Windows sucking. All it realyy shows is a lot of people are content to keep using their old devices, phone or PC. I wouldn't want to be on old Windows or old Android, but apparently many people are still content enough with both.

RE: Do numbers like this even matter?
By saarek on 4/2/2014 10:04:23 AM , Rating: 2
Part of the problem is that much of the handsets running Android are not "old", they were simply shipped with an old OS and then never updated.

When you consider that the iPhone 4, which was first released almost 4 years ago now, is chugging along quite well with iOS 7. I find it unforgivable that the majority of Android based handsets sold in the last 12 months (let alone 3 years) will never run Kitt Katt.

RE: Do numbers like this even matter?
By KC7SWH on 4/2/2014 10:15:15 AM , Rating: 2
Most of the time it's not the manufacture it's the carrier. My Galaxy S on AT&T is stuck at Gingerbread and I blame AT&T for all the damn bloat that they want to put on them.

By Mitch101 on 4/2/2014 10:50:43 AM , Rating: 2
I agree that's why there is a large class action lawsuit out there because carriers are still selling devices with an OS they know will never get updates thus putting consumers at risk.

RE: Do numbers like this even matter?
By Solandri on 4/2/2014 3:17:16 PM , Rating: 2
I just upgraded from a Galaxy S at the beginning of the year. I'd been running Cyanogenmod versions of 4.1 and 4.2 and ran into all sorts of performance problems. It was blazing fast when I first installed it, but would slow to a crawl after I installed more than a dozen apps.

After a lot of research, I figured out the problem was memory. The Galaxy S only has 512 MB of RAM. If you look at what's loaded into memory on a fresh install, the core Google apps and Android services take up about 350 MB of that. Install a few apps that stay loaded and you've exceeded the device's RAM, forcing it to constantly close apps to open the new ones you're requesting or whose services need to run on a schedule. Hence the slowness. Don't even try running Chrome, as just by itself it can quickly balloon over 100 MB.

So reluctantly, I uninstalled all but a few must-have apps. It ran like a champ again, but of course was terribly limiting. I had to make a decision between switching back to Gingerbread or upgrading phones, and chose to upgrade. Don't blame Samsung or the carriers for not upgrading the Galaxy S to 4.x. That's kinda like complaining Dell or HP won't support Win 7 running on your old laptop with just 2 GB of RAM. They are actually doing you a favor keeping you on Gingerbread.

By Cheesew1z69 on 4/2/2014 3:47:39 PM , Rating: 2
That's kinda like complaining Dell or HP won't support Win 7 running on your old laptop with just 2 GB of RAM.
Ummmm, Win7 will run perfectly fine with 2GB of memory, not sure what you are getting at here.

By RjBass on 4/2/2014 5:34:22 PM , Rating: 2
Interesting. At my school we have Win 7 running on a big bunch of old HP desktops with Intel Pentium 4's and 2gb of DDR2 RAM. The kids don't ever notice the difference between those and the newer PC's. It runs just fine. No it's not blazing fast, but it works well enough.

RE: Do numbers like this even matter?
By karimtemple on 4/2/2014 10:17:08 AM , Rating: 2
Well, "quite well" lol, let's not get crazy. The iPhone 4 on iOS 7 isn't exactly a pretty picture, but it does get the job done.

What's sad about KitKat not being on put on older devices is Google did a lot of work to make it better for older devices than Jelly Bean was.

I'm running AOSP-based KitKat firmware on my phone and it's superb. I've never felt before that Android had surpassed iOS until now. I'm proud of Google.

By saarek on 4/2/2014 10:29:25 AM , Rating: 2
True, but the 7.1 update sped things up quite a bit. No, it doesn't perform like the current generation of iPhone's. But, considering its age it works at an acceptable ie usable level.

By Motoman on 4/2/2014 11:31:23 AM , Rating: 2
No, they really don't matter.

I've been through several versions of Android. And the only time I care, at all, about what version of Android I'm on is when I'm still using a really old phone that suddenly doesn't support the latest toilet-sitting free game I want to download.

Other than that...I can't really tell the difference, and 100% do not care. The benefit to me, as a user of a smartphone, of KitKat over, say, Gingerbread, is pretty much 0.

Bits and bobs change here and there, so you know a change has happened. But I have never seen any benefit to me as a user. Ergo...I don't care.

It's certainly nice that my latest phone got an automatic upgrade to KitKat. I'm happy to accept it as a consumer. But if it didn't come down, I wouldn't care. Not until Angry Birds 543 refused to install at some point.

By Wolfpup on 4/2/2014 2:43:11 PM , Rating: 2
Windows XP is different-Microsoft actually supports it until...well, next month. It's safe to use, there's no huge NEED to upgrade.

Android though you should be on the newest version, but even brand new flagship android devices ship with an out of date OS, and then maybe give you one update a year late or whatever. It's pathetic and inexcusable, and Google really needs to get this under control.

It reminds me of the Windows 3.1 days, only worse, and also now everything's networked so security flaws really matter.

ANY Android device should only be shipping with the newest version of Android, and should get patched at the same time as other devices, FROM Google, not the manufacturer, not a cell phone company, and should get updates for a reasonable number of YEARS.

I should not be able to buy a device running Android 2.4. I should not be able to buy a device running 4.3 or 4.2 or 4.1 with an update "coming soon" and no further support.

The situation is a disaster just waiting to be massively exploited.

Apples and Oranges
By Red Storm on 4/2/2014 11:25:44 AM , Rating: 4
Brandon, I'm surprised at this article. If you look beyond the numbers and pie charts, you should mention that Google has done a lot of decoupling of their apps and features from the actual OS updates. On an iDevice, you have to wait for that annual update to get new features. On Android you don't, you just wait for the specific app to update, which happens throughout the year as opposed to being artificially held for a one time annual release. Certainly some features are tied to OS updates, but the reality is that Apple and Google go about bringing new features to users in very different ways.

RE: Apples and Oranges
By tonyswash on 4/2/14, Rating: 0
RE: Apples and Oranges
By retrospooty on 4/2/2014 1:36:22 PM , Rating: 3
" Google get's what it want from it's bundled services and apps and leaves the whole of the rest of the ecosystem management to a fragmented mishmash of carriers and OEMs (with predictable results) and the Apple model which is focussed on maximising the totality of the device end users experience (with predictable results)."

It's a funny process that goes on in your mind.

Yes, clearly Google has a problem here. No-one wants those 1 billion Androids. Oh, wait.

By Wolfpup on 4/2/2014 2:38:25 PM , Rating: 2
I'm astonished bad guys haven't just flooded Android yet, what with almost noone running up to date versions, and the vast majority of devices not even having up to date OSes AVAILABLE.

"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer

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