Jelly Bean alone in driving Android growth

Summary:Jelly Bean is now the only version of Android that is experiencing growth, which is good news for developers because it suggests that the ecosystem is getting less fragmented.

Google's stats for devices accessing its Play Store indicates that the latest incarnation of Android — versions 4.1.x and 4.2.x, codenamed Jelly Bean — are the versions driving growth.

Image: Google

Over the past month, Jelly Bean's usage share — called distribution by Google — has increased by 3.4 percentage points. Jelly Bean's gains are at the expense of other Android versions, in particular Ice Cream Sandwich, which has seen its distribution fall by 1.8 percentage points, and Gingerbread, which has seen its distribution fall by 1.3 percentage points.

The Android landscape is now a three-way split between the ageing Gingerbreat and Ice Cream Sandwich releases, and the current Jelly Bean release.

It also means that Jelly Bean is now the only version of Android that is experiencing growth, which is good news for developers, because it suggests that the ecosystem is getting less fragmented.

Beginning in April 2013, Google started delivering data collected from each device when the user visited the Google Play Store. Previously, the data was collected when the device simply checked in to Google servers. Google believed that the new data "more accurately reflects those users who are most engaged in the Android and Google Play ecosystem".

An Android developer I spoke to under condition of anonymity explained that the new method of collecting data better suited his needs.

"We developers want to know what versions of Android people are using to accessing the Play Store, not about the wider Android ecosystem," he told ZDNet.

The most popular version of Android continues to be Android 2.3.3 to 2.3.7 Gingerbread, a version first released back in February 2011.

Topics: Android, Google

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Adrian Kingsley-Hughes is an internationally published technology author who has devoted over a decade to helping users get the most from technology -- whether that be by learning to program, building a PC from a pile of parts, or helping them get the most from their new MP3 player or digital camera.Adrian has authored/co-authored technic... Full Bio

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