KitKat now runs one in five Android devices

KitKat now runs one in five Android devices

Summary: KitKat is continuing its climb among Android devices, but Froyo is still holding on.

TOPICS: Mobility, Android
2014-08-14 10.38.11 am
Image: Google

Ten months since the release of KitKat Android 4.4, the most up to date version of Android now runs 21 percent of all Google OS devices.

As interest turns to what Android L will bring when it's released later this year, Google's 2013 OS, KitKat, continues to inch up, climbing from 18 percent in July to 20.9 percent in August.

Google's latest Android distribution numbers are gathered from devices that have the Google Play Store app installed, and covered a seven day period to 12 August.

Despite small changes to the market share each OS has, there's been no movement in their respective ranking. With 54 percent share between them, the three versions of Jelly Bean make up the most widely-used version of Android, followed by KitKat. However, Jelly Bean's overall share declined month on month, falling from 56.5 percent in July.

Ice Cream Sandwich also dropped, decreasing to 10.6 percent, while Gingerbread's share rose ever so slightly to 13.6 percent. Froyo, which will likely soon drop off the list, now runs 0.7 percent of Android devices.

Google provides the numbers to developers each month to help them prioritise which versions to target.

While KitKat now commands a respectable share of Android devices, it still means most people with an Android phone are still stuck on an outdated OS that isn't receiving maintenance updates. Generally, devices that are older than 18 months at the time a new version of Android is released don't get the update.

Besides that, Android users are now focused on the new features that will come with Android L and the devices that will launch alongside it, such as the rumoured Nexus 6.

Google has partnered with LG for the Nexus 4 and 5, but if the Android rumour mill suggests it could partner with Motorola this time around.

Smartphones that are expected to get Android L include the Nexus 4, Nexus 5 and Nexus 7, in addition to newer Google Play Edition phones, while HTC has promised to deliver the update to the HTC One M8 and M7 within 90 days of Google releasing the OS. There's also been lots of speculation over whether Motorola will deliver Android L to the Moto X. A Motorola exec confirmed last week that it will indeed get the update.

Read more on Android

Topics: Mobility, Android

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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  • Old Android = Lag

    Poor Android users who had to suffer for years with lag and choppy phone systems pre 4.1 release. I always thought it was funny that Google had to dedicate an entire release for "project butter" to smooth out choppiness. As a Windows Phone user I am happy to say I never had to deal with bad performance.
    Sean Foley
    • smooth, but

      Windows Phone is slick and smooth. With just a tiny fraction of the apps available on other platforms. So if you need a phone *solely* to show off its smooth UI....
      • 300k apps

        Thats a bit more than I need.
        Sean Foley
        • And almost all of their developers...

          ...consider WinPhone such a low priority it's amazing they even give a fuck. No one is making apps that people will actually fork over cash for on that platform
        • Apps

          I don't care about the quantity of apps but the quality.
        • Number of apps are irrelevant

          Recently, I rented a car (because I didn't want to put miles on mine) for a vacation. I used my GMail account for the reservation, and my S4 "magically" reminded me of the reservation about an hour before the scheduled time. I never actually used the scheduler, but I guess Google integrates their products and the phone mines your email's data. Just wondering ... does the Windows phone do this?

          Also, when using Google maps to navigate, it's interesting how it updated me in real time telling me that a quicker route had become available during the course of the trip. Not being a Windows phone user, I don't know if it does this. Does it do this?

          Google Now is also indespensible. It learns about the places I frequent and the times I do, and without any scheduling, it tells me how much time the commute will take. There are many things aside from the typical apps (Facebook, YouTube, etc) that an Android phone does that make them indespensible. I'd like to hear what the Window phone has to offer that makes it superior to Android.
    • Wow!, Foley

      Same comment you wrote last week.
      Got copy/paste down really well.
      • Foley's doing great ...

        ... Rumour has it he has whole new comment to make, but he's holding it back for the holiday season.

        Mind you, that's a Microsoft rumour, probably put about by Burson Marstellar. I'll believe his comment wehn I see it and have a good laugh.
    • Project butter

      Which was part of the first jelly bean release.

      So if you were a windows phone user back then I'd feel more sorry for you since windows phone 8 didn't even exist yet. You'd have been using windows phone 7, and then found that when windows phone 8 came out in October you couldn't update or get and apps designed for the later system.

      So really it's "percentage of windows phone 7 devices now running windows phone 8 - 0%"

      In the adult world, I think this is a real tell on how often people update their phone - even google who make the OS only give you 18 months of updates, as for the other OEMs, if you haven't bought a high end phone you'll be lucky to get one update, so really 21% kit Kat penetration is just showing how many new phones are getting bought.

      The other factor is that motorola and now asus have broken the long held belief that low price point devices have to be intent islet held back - unlike samsung htc and sony, they are selling kit Kat devices at £100. These are the biggest moving price points. What will be interesting is how long they keep updating those low end devices.
  • SMH

    Wow Mark you must a new droid phone every 6 months. I have had unbranded Android phones from HTC, Samsung. I have yet to receive an update to any of their OS. So just because Google release a new OS does not mean you will ever receive the update.
    I have had a Lumia 820 & 925 both Win 8 unbranded and received OS updates. Just like my iPhone 4s. So to say Google gives you 18 months of updates is crap. As HTC, Sony, LG & Samsung have to put their spamware software onto the OS, then phone carriers place their useless apps on them also.
    Samsung only care about their flag ship phones, I had a Note 2 and even though Google released updates I never received a single update.
    The trouble with Android is fragmentation and allowing manufacturers and phone companies to put their junk on a phone is bad. At least Apple and MS control the OS to some extant as nokia has a few great apps standard on their Lumia's.
    Also Samsung take up almost 50% of the storage on phones with their added junk that no one uses and yo ucan not remove it to gain space.
    Motorola, HTC and the like never update their phones OS.
  • Tried it

    Tried the taKtiK port on my tablet.

    Sucked dead iguana through a bendy straw.

    Too many "improvements" that were anything but.

    Went back to Jelly Bean.
    • Hey, Fairport ...

      ... it doesn't work on Windows devices. You need Android.