By Jonathan Charles | Oct 04, 2012 10:18 AM EDT
Recent data covering the 14-day period leading up to Oct. 1 reveals that the share of devices running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is just under two percent. The latest version of Android is struggling to gain market share, a common problem for Google.
The data revealed that 2010's Android 2.3 Gingerbread holds a 55.5 percent share of Android devices; 4.0.2-4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich hold 23.7 percent, while 2.2 Froyo takes third place with 12.9 percent. Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is in fifth place with 1.8 percent. It is just 0.3 percent higher than Android 3.2 Honeycomb, the tablet-specific Android release.
The figures mark a continual problem for Google: it struggles to get new software releases onto older devices. Jelly Bean is available on Google's Galaxy Nexus, along with its Nexus 7 tablet. Samsung's Galaxy S3 and S2 smartphones are getting the update this month; however, other devices including Sony's Xperia smartphones were blocked from being updated when carriers, like O2, tested hardware and claimed that the devices could not run Jelly Bean.
The release of Jelly Bean on Nexus 7, Google's tablet, puts pressure on Google to develope consistent experiences. Developers face the challenge of developing for millions of devices with different hardware specifications and different versions of Android.
Perhaps the first question is why Google builds operating systems not capable of running on older devices, and the second question is why manufacturers are reluctant to issue updates. The rapid turnover of Android devices may mean that companies feel investing more time into building new smartphones is more worthwhile than updating software for old ones.
The news contrasts Apple's operating system releases. iOS 6, the latest, runs on iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, and iPhone 5. Apple currently sells the latter three on its website, showing support even for effectively defunct devices.
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean brings features including real-time updating service Google Now. The service constantly provides updates on information like flight times to football scores. The software improves over time as it learns users' interests and habits.
© 2013 Mobile & Apps All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.