Android 6.0 Marshmallow adoption is finally ramping up with April delivering the largest rise in adoption since its release in October.
Marshmallow has exactly doubled its share of the billion Android phones connecting to Google Play, up from 2.3 percent in March to 4.6 percent in April.
As always on Android, the shift to a new version of Android a slow process. The story was similar for Lollipop, which reached 5.4 percent in April last year.
Android upgrades are an unwieldy and sluggish process. After Google releases a new version, it goes to handset makers, which then spend several months customising, testing and coordinating with carriers, before the phone companies serve it up to a subset of devices. The exception is Android One devices, though they're a minor part of the overall Android footprint.
It means that seven months after Google released Marshmallow, only a limited set of device owners have experienced features such as Now on Tap, and the new per-app permission controls.
For now, Android Lollipop 5.0/5.1 is the most widely used version of Android, followed by KitKat 4.4 at 33.4 percent, and Jelly Bean at 21.3 percent. The only version to change by more than one percent in either direction was Marshmallow.
Google's three most recent versions of Android account for 73.8 percent of Android smartphones. The figures are based on devices that connected to Google Play in the seven days to April 4.
The bumper month is the result of new flagships arriving, such as the Samsung Galaxy S7, as well as several major Android OEMs and US carriers kicking off Marshmallow updates to last year's flagships in March.
Samsung, which has the largest number of Android users, began the Marshmallow update for the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge in February, and plans to update earlier Galaxy models too at some point this year. These updates, and the recent arrival of LG's G5 and forthcoming availability of Huawei's P9, should see Marshmallow adoption pick up pace in coming months.