KitKat reaches 1.1 percent of Android devices in one month

KitKat reaches 1.1 percent of Android devices in one month

Summary: Android 4.4 is outpacing Android 4.3 Jelly Bean by about two months.

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TOPICS: Android
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Android 4.4 aka KitKat is now on 1.1 percent of Android devices, according to figures from Google.

The search giant publishes an update each month on its developer dashboard on how the various Android versions are doing, worked out by counting the distribution of different versions of Android platforms according to visits to the Google Play store over the preceding week. This month's numbers, for the week leading up to 2 December, are the first time KitKat could have appeared in the dashboard, following its release on 31 October.

KitKat is just behind the oldest OS tracked by Google, Android 2.2 Froyo, which runs on 1.6 percent of Android devices. Still in top spot is Jelly Bean (4.1, 4.3 and 4.3), which powers 54.5 percent of Androids, followed by Gingerbread at 24.1 percent and Ice Cream Sandwich on 18.6 percent.

2013-12-03 12.59.39 pm
Android distribution in late November. Image: Google

KitKat reaching 1.1 percent after one month is relatively quick compared to the released of Android 4.3, which arrived in July on the new Nexus 7, but its first appearance in the developer dashboard came in October's figures, when it notched up 1.5 percent of devices. Android 4.3 climbed to 4.2 percent of all Androids this month, no doubt thanks the arrival of Samsung's Galaxy Note 3 and HTC's rollout of the OS to the HTC One. Android 4.3 should go even higher once Samsung finishes distributing 4.3 to Galaxy S4, S3 and Note 2 devices.

KitKat should also rise in coming months as handset makers and carriers begin to push out the new OS. Besides the Nexus 5, which shipped with KitKat, the OS is currently only available for the Nexus 4, Nexus 5 and Nexus 7, the Google Play Editions of Samsung's Galaxy S4 and HTC's One and Moto X devices in the US.

HTC has scheduled its KitKat roll out for HTC One in the new year, and Sony will deliver KitKat to its Xperia Z, Xperia ZL, Xperia Tablet Z, Xperia Z Ultra, and Xperia Z1 devices. Verizon also plans to deliver KitKat to the Moto X, Droid Ultra, Droid Maxx, Droid Mini, though it hasn't given a timeframe for when it will arrive.

Topic: 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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14 comments
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  • Google needs to fix this... Make Android like Linux (and Windows)

    Google,
    You're not stupid, you're actually quite a bunch of brilliant people. Why don't you (re)design Android so it acts like windows and linux (which run on more types of hardware than all of Android put together)?
    Make the core OS seperate from the drivers that are device specific?
    Lead by updating the core OS and let the manufacturer's be responsible for updating their skins and drivers?
    If they don't they go out of business... Simple capitalism. Samsung does it, great, HTC does it, great.

    The fact that an OS was designed to fogo wasn't Google's stupidity, actually it means they don't want the responsibility... This is sad

    For all the hate on iOS - Apple keeps devices updates with security and bug fixes for 3 years. There is no handset outside of Samsung, and Google that's 3 years old that gets Android.

    This needs to change.

    Oh and before you go all anti-Apple. I don't care if the hardware doesn't support all the features, I want security and bug fixes. No one expects a 3 year old Dell to support the most recent GPU Directx or wiz bang features? Same goes for our mobile devices.

    Fix this Google, unless you don't care...

    P.S. Google's move to closed source apps (Yep, Gmail, Music, Video, Books, Google Store, etc... ARE ALL closed source) that it updates regularly vs the standard Android apps that are preinstalled is a move to making things work better and more secure, but it's not enough.

    Okay, now bring on the fanboy hate for someone who wants Android to be better :D
    dragnn
    • I dont' know where to start to address your questions

      "Apple keeps devices updates with security and bug fixes for 3 years. There is no handset outside of Samsung, and Google that's 3 years old that gets Android."

      So, buy a nexus or whoever else has reputable support. At least there's more than one choice. With apple, there's really one choice.

      I don't give a care if a certain OEM phone does not bring in a new OS or security patch and say its google/android's fault. Particularly since google is not being paid for the OS/device. Google can only do so much "for free". Apple is making several hundred $ per device.

      Lets see apple release iOS and see how well that goes, while being significantly open source and free.
      drwong
      • I agree, but ...

        ... with Google and Samsung as the only companies keeping devices reasonably up-to-date, that's not tremendously more choice than Apple provides, as the only source for iOS devices. Still, your suggestion is sound: buy a device that is well-supported.

        And I agree that security patches are important and that it's not entirely reasonable to expect old hardware to support the latest and greatest features. That said, it does appear that Apple holds back certain features -- such as Siri, which worked fine on pre-4s iPhones before Apple bought the technology and restricted it to 4s or later. Likewise, video capture was another that the hardware in iPhone 3gs supported, but Apple chose not to enable on anything less than an iPhone 4. I get that Apple has its reasons -- providing a pleasant user experience, being able to properly support things, etc. -- but if the feature will run on older hardware, it should be allowed to run on it, perhaps after the user clicks an acknowledgment that performance might suffer on older, slower hardware. I liken this to running Windows 7 on a 5 year old PC -- it runs, it just runs more slowly.

        But as for Apple releasing iOS as open source ... I differ with you there. First, iOS is "free" (if you don't count the need to buy an iDevice to run it on), so that's sorta moot. But it was Google's choice to go the open-source route with Android, despite the well-known pitfalls of doing so. Apple, on the other hand, has had great success through the years by delivering the complete solution -- hardware AND tightly-integrated software. That's precisely why Apple is able to push out iOS updates and have them generally work so well and reach remarkable adoption rates in almost no time, with each release. There's no reason for Apple to change that model. It works just fine, as-is ... unless you don't have an Apple device. In which case, we're back to your original point: if you don't like what you've got, buy a device that has better support.
        imalugnut
      • So instead of apple you have only Samsung and Google?

        Great improvement on that choice list...

        Open source iOS? Really? It's free with Apple mobile devices. How about Google making all it's new apps open source? Google Movie, Books, Gmail, Calendar, Store, etc are all closed source. Google no longer updates the Android bundled apps like Email. I wonder why they are moving to a closed source environment? Please answer that and apply it to your logic for open source is the bestest because Google apparently doesn't believe it is and their closed source apps are amazing Gmail on Android/iOS is amazing...
        dragnn
        • reply to i drone

          there are ALTERNATIVES
          Tuxwarrior
      • Support is pathertic...

        I've said it too many times.... Google and Android have a problem in that you'll be lucky to get 1 update. That does need fixing. As for 'reputable support' lets just look at the numbers; 1.1% are running 4.4. That's the sum of the reputable support meaning 98.9% of devices are left behind. People don't refuse to upgrade... it's a sign it's just not available.

        My Android phone has been relegated to the drawer; I still have my Asus tablet and iPad but you really can't compare the simple product line and support offered by IOS to the plethora of devices running Android. Complicate it further by some 'highly rated units' not having a front camera and the situation becomes a joke. Be great if the adverts said 'no front camera' but they don't, and many have been let down by that too.

        Google and Android need to get a grip before we're all fed-up with it. Updates are RUBBISH; Synchronisation is RUBBISH; Battery economy in sleep or us is generally RUBBISH. And this from someone who dislikes Apples ethos and their attempts to drive every one else out of the market. Google are doing Apples dirty work themselves!
        johnmckay
      • Windows shows it can be done

        I don't wait for HP to deliver the latest security fixes or updates to Windows 7 or 8. It's the same with Windows Phone.
        KPOM1
    • Wow. SO much Dunning-Krueger.

      .
      daboochmeister
    • a Snowball in Hell...

      has more of a chance of surviving than MY AT&T Samsung phone has of being updated (and it IS less than 3 yr old). It is stuck on FroYo - at one time they were promising an update to Gingerbread, but then they retracted it, and nothing has happened since.
      As the well know saying goes "follow the money" and you will understand why only some devices ever see any update at all..... About to throw AT&T under the bus.
      Willnott
    • android is psuedo linux

      hah no way most linux distros give security updates like every month google wants you to replace your old device with a new one
      Tuxwarrior
  • Beware the Google Nexus line of products

    Beware the Google Nexus line of products

    Google initially claimed that the Nexus line of products would be the Android devices "first to receive updates". Yet, just two years after the Google Galaxy Nexus phone (by Samsung) was released, Google has stopped support for Android updates. Worse, Google has posted that they will only support updates on Google Nexus devices for 18 months (check the website yourself - https://support.google.com/nexus/answer/3507867?hl=en&ref_topic=3415518)

    There are thousands of frustrated and isolated Nexus owners that have bought into the Google ecosystem. Now the Nexus phone is obsolete. Read more here - http://www.change.org/petitions/google-update-the-galaxy-nexus-with-android-4-4-kitkat

    Shame on Google. And prospective buyers of Google products should take heed.
    duckdive@...
  • How was I soooo wrong?

    I had a bet with my best mate that it would be 1.0 but they have blown my prediction out of the water. How could I have been so wrong? Guess I was cocky because I predicted iOS7 hitting 65% after the first month and hot yhat one right.

    Yiu can't win 'em all.
    Gromit1704
  • I'm in those 1.1%, but upgrading was a mistake.

    Plenty of stuff stopped working properly on my Nexus 4 after upgrading to KitKat. Worst of all is battery lifetime, that went down from several days to several hours. The Google Help pages are bursting with KitKat users seeking aid with all the many problems this release introduced. KitKat is a clearly an immature release.
    Luís de Sousa
  • buy a new phone

    i just replace my phones every year not an issue here and besides androids are getting super cheap
    Tuxwarrior