By Jonathan Charles | Aug 03, 2012 10:33 AM EDT
If there's consistent criticism against Android, Google's mobile operating system, it can be attributed to the paucity of devices getting the latest updates. For Jelly Bean, the issue remains, but market share is creeping up for Google's latest update.
Google has released data covering users accessing the Google Play Store for 14 days leading up to August 1. It revealed that the top 3 versions of Android are 2.3.3-3.7 Gingerbread (60.3 percent), Android 4.0.3-0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich (15.8 percent), and 4.1 Jelly Bean (0.8 percent).
While it is encouraging that Gingerbread's market share is decreasing, it's still the dominant version of Android. Ice Cream Sandwich released in 2011, yet it isn't on a fifth of Android devices. Jelly Bean released June 2012, so it'll be interesting to see how market share increases throughout the second half of 2012.
Google didn't release the device share of the versions of Android. Considering, Google launched Jelly Bean on the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 7, the devices likely take the majority of the 0.8 percent share. However, HTC has confirmed updates are arriving for a selection of its devices. Samsung hasn't confirmed updates yet, but rumors suggest testing is underway.
Inevitably, Google is going to be compared to Apple or Microsoft. Apple delivers over-the-air (OTA) updates and through iTunes, directly to its devices. There's also a relatively quick turnaround from announcement of operating system to release: iOS 6 debuted at WWDC in June and is releasing this fall.
Microsoft creates, effectively, a minimum specification sheet for manufacturers to follow. However, Windows Phone 8 freezes out devices due to the new Windows NT Kernel. Devices will get Windows 7.8, bringing the improved start screen, but it's hardly a major update. Microsoft can't afford to create fragmentation across its devices.
Google also has the disadvantage of populous devices, whereas Apple is currently selling three generations of smartphones - iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S - and two generations of tablets - the iPad 2 and new iPad. Microsoft breaks double figures, but Android devices are the most frequent.
As always, the Android community is the place for getting an update for devices.
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