Cover your eyes, Android
fans, here comes that dirty F-word no one in the Google
camp likes to see, hear, or acknowledge: Fragmentation
. It's an F-bomb that resonates with any Android user waiting on their carrier to deliver that delicious Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) update long after Gingerbread (Android 2.3) started to taste stale. The good news is, things are improving. And the bad news? There's still a long ways to go.
Google's Android Developers portal was just updated with new statistics that show the current distribution of Android builds to date. By and large Gingerbread is the most-used version of Android, with nearly three quarters (65 percent) of all active Android devices running anywhere from version 2.3 to 2.3.7.
Image Source: Android Developers
After that, usage drops off to just 2.7 percent of active devices rocking Honeycomb, and 7.1 dripping with Ice Cream Sandwich, Google's latest and greatest Android OS to date.
That doesn't sound like much -- and it isn't, not when you consider how long the OS has been available, and the fact that Jelly Bean (Android 5.0) is just around the corner -- but that's 2.2 percent higher than it was a month ago, when 4.9 percent of Android devices were running ICS. That's encouraging.
What's not as encouraging is that Froyo still accounts for 19.1 (Android 2.2) percent of active Android devices, Eclair (Android 2.1) accounts for 5.2 percent, Donut (Android 1.6) for 0.6 percent, and Cupcake (Android 1.5) for 0.3 percent. Part of that distribution has to do with devices that are simply too old or under-equipped to handle newer Android builds, but some of them can and have simply been abandoned. It's the same old song and dance -- carriers don't want to spend a ton of money supporting older devices, figuring those resources are better spent focused on newer hardware.
Are you using an Android device? If so, which OS do you have installed?