Android distribution numbers: Here’s all you need to know
Two months ago, Android Nougat finally managed to beat Marshmallow to become the most used Android version. But the victory was not easy as it enjoys a lead of just 0.4 percent. Now four months into 2018, Nougat is comfortable ahead of Marshmallow as the pack leader. Marshmallow is slowly on the decline. Meanwhile, Android Oreo is still playing catch up, though there is a slight growth spurt in the latest version of Google’s operating system.
In the distribution charts, Nougat is shown to dominate 30.8 percent of Android users. Considering the number of Android devices that are in use today, getting a one-third share of the market is a big achievement. Marshmallow has only 26 percent of the share, proving that the old OS is finally showing signs of a decline.
Meanwhile, Google’s crème da la crème, Oreo is pretty slow to pick up steam. With a 4.6 percent share, it shows that Nougat is still popular among Android users. It also shows that manufacturers are slow to push out the Oreo update to their devices. The slow adoption rate is still on eight months after its release. Though a number of devices may not receive the update, the ones which will, are missing out the latest security patches and performance enhancements.
In a somewhat surprising development, Ice Cream Sandwich and Gingerbread still exist. While the former has 0.4 percent share, Gingerbread has a 0.3 percent distribution.
This fragmentation is a cause of concern for developers. With the vast number of Android versions doing the rounds, a number of developers have voiced concerns over the interoperability between devices of apps coded using the Android Software Development Kit. This means that Android apps designed for specific devices don’t always work with others. Many Android manufacturers tend to customize the OS. Add the issue of numerous updates, fragmentation becomes a big issue for developers.
Though Google maintains that fragmentation is not a big issue, the company released a compatibility program to help iron out issues of compatibility between devices.