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It took 13 months after the launch of Android 4.1, also known as Jelly Bean, but the software version is now the most used on Android devices according to Google(s goog). The company shares the version data on a monthly basis so that developers can better understand their target audience for apps. And for the better part of three years, more Android phones and tablets have been running the older Android 2.3 software, known as Gingerbread.
Surely part of this transition from the older to the more modern Android software has been helped by phone upgrades. Here in the U.S., where phones are generally purchased with two-year contracts, consumers upgrade their hardware every 20 to 24 months in tandem with their carrier commitment. As hardware has quickly improved, more newer phones at various price points are capable of running Android 4.2.
Google has also helped itself move the Android world to Jelly Bean both by slowing down the visual changes of the user interface while at the same time adding features that could drive consumer demand for the latest software. Google Now is a particular example, as it runs on Android 4.1 or better devices only. Google’s answer to Apple’s(s aapl) Siri assistant can provide useful information before users even ask by remembering web searches and sifting through email.
With 34.1 percent of Android devices still using Android 2.3, the transition to a modern version of Android is far from complete. But with 37.9 percent of Androids now running Jelly Bean, Google is over the hump. That’s good and just in time too: Android 4.3, likely another sub-version of Jelly Bean, is expected to launch soon.