iOS 7 now runs 74 percent of Apple tablets, iPods and smartphones

Android KitKat might have reached 1.1 percent of handsets in one month, but, as usual, the latest version of iOS is reaching Apple devices a lot quicker.

Apple's iOS 7 has been installed on the majority of iPhones, iPads and iPods in the two and a half months since its release, according to App Store figures from Apple.

Apple's latest figures, showing the iOS versions running on devices connecting to the App Store in the week ending 1 December, indicate that 74 percent are on iOS 7, 22 percent are using iOS 6, and four percent use earlier versions. iOS 7's share is up 10 percent since October. 

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iOS distribution December 2013. Credit: Apple.

That should be good news for iOS developers, who need to consider device compatibility when working with different APIs built into iOS 6 and iOS 7.

Developers building for Android are confronted with a very different picture. Google's breakdown of Android versions on devices that connected to the Google Play store in the week leading up to 2 December, revealed that KitKat Android 4.4, which shipped with the Nexus 5 on October 31, had reached 1.1 percent  — an impressive pace for Android with the new OS available for all Nexus devices (except Galaxy Nexus), HTCs and Samsung's Google Play Edition smartphones and Moto X.

Meanwhile, Jelly Bean 4.3, which was released in July, was now on 4.2 percent of Android devices. Although Jelly Bean (4.1 to 4.3) is the most widely used OS at just over 50 percent, there are still five main versions of Android and eight different APIs for developers to juggle, with a significant number of users still on releases from 2010 — such as the 24 percent still on Gingerbread (2.3) and 1.6 percent on Froyo (2.2). Then there are the 18.6 percent on Ice Cream Sandwich.

Google did promise to address fragmentation with KitKat by giving it the ability to run on lower-end hardware, but this news hasn't turned out so well for owners of the Galaxy Nexus, which Google has excluded from the KitKat update.

Although, thanks to Google Play Services — Google's own app updater service — Android owners can still get many of Google's own goodies when Android OEMs and carriers avoid updating older devices.

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Android version distribution, December 2013. Credit: Google.

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