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Summary:

Android’s march towards Jelly Bean software on a majority of devices continues forward: More than 40 percent of smartphones and tablets use it, helping bring feature parity across more devices.

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Another month means another 30 days of Android phones being sold with or getting updated to Android Jelly Bean software. Google’s data for the month ending July 31 says that 40.5 percent of Android devices are running Android 4.1 or better, which helps developers target their apps for this subset of devices.

Android versions Aug 2013

Helping to get devices off of Gingerbread, or Android 2.3, is a number of new phones that come with Jelly Bean pre-installed. Handset makers have also been pushing out software updates to devices of late as Google has slowed down the pace of change with Android.

Instead of major new Android revisions, Google has added new features, software APIs and functions available through Google services. That allows a wider range of devices to improve without requiring consumers to run newer versions of Android. It’s a smart play by Google and is surely helping to reduce issues caused by multiple Android versions for smartphones and tablets.

At this rate, I expect Jelly Bean will be on 50 percent or more devices within 3 months. At that point, things get interesting again as Google is expected to introduce Android 5.0, or Key Lime Pie, later this year.

  1. Google’s modular approach is a bandaid and doesn’t really fix the OS fragmentation problem. Long term, it will lead to more confusion and instability. Now instead of just OS versions, there will be even more API, module, and application versions to track.

    It’s a way to get new features out faster, but doesn’t help fragmentation. It’s similar to what frameworks like Java, .Net, and Flash tried to do, and that didn’t work out so well.

    They need to address the underlying OS fragmentation problem.

  2. Very interesting. It appears that the Android ‘open’ approach has worked out very well vs. iOS closed, especially in the last six months or so.

    it appears you’re also saying, once Jelly Bean reaches 50%, it’s time to fragment Android with Key Lime.

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