Gingerbread dominates Android installations, Ice Cream Sandwich sees a slight increase


The fact that Android version market share has remained nearly the same may not seem like the most exciting or important news, and really, that's because it isn't. However, many of the blogs that I have read today seem to be trying to make it a big deal, and touting this recently released graph from Google as evidence of Android fragmentation and all that is wrong with the platform. 

The issue with this data seems to be that although Android 4.0 saw a slight uptick to about 3% market share, version 2.3 Gingerbread still remains on nearly 70% of devices. While I will admit that Android has plenty of problems, of which fragmentation is one, the fact that Gingerbread is still on a majority of devices isn't one of the big ones.

First off, Android isn't designed for quick deployment of updates. Because of the pseudo-open nature, Google can't control that kind of thing, which is actually a good thing. Also, many Android users probably aren't at all aware of what version they are using, and couldn't care less anyways. Finally, for those who do care, manufacturers are working on Ice Cream Sandwich fore their devices, it just takes a bit of time. Those who want things fast can always root their devices, or in some cases indulge in a beta software test.

Don't take this to mean that I don't think devices should be updated, because I do. The fact is, Ice Cream Sandwich is on the rise, and is on its way to many more phones. Complaining that it hasn't arrived fast enough doesn't help anything, and overlooks the fact that the Android platform deals with updates differently than the two other major platforms.

The common misunderstanding around this concept has prompted me to begin work on an editorial about the supposed disaster of Android fragmentation, but for now suffice it to say that having a majority of Gingerbread devices isn't such a terrible thing as some would make it out to be.

[Android Developers]
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Aaron Orquia

Aaron Orquia is an associate editor at Pocketables. He has been using Android and Linux since he bought his first computer years ago, and his interest in technology, software, and tweaking both to work just right has only grown stronger since then. His current gadgets include a OnePlus One, a Pebble smartwatch, and an Acer C720 Chromebook.

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