Jelly Bean alone in driving Android growth

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.

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TOPICS: Android, Google
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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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14 comments
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  • To be clear % share growth not unit growth.

    There are still many new handsets sold with Gingerbread.
    Bruizer
  • Fragmentation

    Every time I read the word "Fragmentation" I wonder why? fragmentation means in fragments when something is in fragments it is not all there. A bowl in fragments is not a usable bowl but Android is constantly referred to as "Fragmented" No, each version of the OS is a complete version, it works as a complete version and functions as a complete version. It may not have the same feature set as the next one but IT IS COMPLETE. NOT fragments of an operating system because THAT WOULD NOT WORK!! Please will people stop using Fragmentation when they mean "Older Version" I know why they use it, it is because it sounds MUCH WORSE than older version or other version or superseded version, but it is not a hand grenade that explodes and fragments. because that would mean that all older versions of any operating system would stop working because they would be spread to the winds, gone, kaput. IN BITS. Stop doing it, now.
    ArchieK
    • That's not what fragmentation means in IT

      So you're way off the mark there.
      fer.paredesb
      • It Means

        NTFS or FAT.
        Alan Smithie
      • That's not what fragmentation means in IT

        Whoever thought it was a good idea to use a totally misappropriated word to describe operating systems going out of date obviously didn't have a very good grasp of the English language, I wonder if this is why IT is so misunderstood in the wider world and IT people have such a hard job communicating their ideas. And yes, of course I know what is meant by the word fragmentation in the IT world it just surprises me that people so good at manipulating abstruse program languages cannot tell when a word like fragmented cannot be used to describe discrete systems.
        ArchieK
    • Totally Agree!

      totally agree very well said!!
      ITGuy000
    • I suppose that those who label Android

      ...fragmented should - by their own definition of what fragmented means - say Windows is fragmented. Indeed, Windows is a LOT more fragmented than Android, right down to the storage mechanism itself (which is why one needs to *de*frag).

      Yet, no one ever refers to Windows as a fragmented OS. Meaning: it's all marketing and FUD... and useless, meaningless, irrelevant terminology. :-/
      Robynsveil
  • The 'fragmentation' problem

    has more to do potentially with idosyncracies between different devices, not so much with android stock versions. This is where having just 'the iPhone' and not dozens or more of different android phones could potentially make life easier for devs. (I think there are enough versions of iphone/ipad now to be just as much of a potential issue).

    For example an app might force close on a samsung galaxy but not a nexus and then the dev has to obtain said device and fix it.

    Google intended to minimize this by having everything running on the dalvik VM an encouraging devs to not use the native code capability (C code) unless they really needed to.

    If an android OS version does not have a particular feature, like lock screen widgets, then the OS ignores the install of that feature. It is not a problem.
    drwong
  • Don't see any meaning

    I don't really see this as anything at all. My phone came with Froyo, was upgraded to Gingerbread, and now has Ice cream sandwich. I downloaded most of my apps a long time ago. And only go to the store on a rare occasion. It could mean as little as some phones were updated and their users looked to see if there's anything new they can use.
    67cougargt
  • And as far as it goes

    Even the great Apple has fragmentation. I know a few that still can't play with Siri.
    67cougargt
    • yes

      - significant people may still have the iPhone3, iPhone4, 4S and 5. Also you have various iPads which require separate tablet app versions to take advantage of big screen there. This is the same as on android where you may want to put a bit of extra effort into a dual-design for your apps based on if its 'tablet sized' or phone. But it can all be done in one app package.

      I'm not sure of the breakdown on apple but that corresponds roughly to android versions. Siri is missing on some of those versions. Google Now wasn't until android 4.1 - same sort of thing.

      Doesn't apple put out a similar sort of developer dashboard? You never hear anyone writing about proportions of iphone/pad versions.
      drwong
  • screw Google

    because Google didn't want to support (the promised software updates) the older Motorola smart phones when they bought the company, I no longer support Google..
    dundonrl
  • It would be shocking, if it were otherwise

    Are there any new Android devices sold that aren't preloaded with Jelly Bean?
    John L. Ries
  • info

    maybe this will help: http://adf.ly/P1FAE
    Gabriel Feleacu