Google released Android 2.3 Gingerbread on December 6, 2010. Put another way, it’s a version of Android that’s going to turn two years old in just two days. According to the latest figures in the Android Developer Dashboard, 50.8% of Android devices that have accessed the Google Play Store in the last two weeks are running this now ancient version of Google’s mobile operating system. We hate to say it, but it’s an extremely depressing figure. Are these Gingerbread carrying consumers nearing the end of their two year contract and are planning an upgrade? We can only hope so.
And what about the newer versions of Android? Jelly Bean, defined as Android 4.1 and 4.2, is on 6.7% of devices. That’s not bad for an OS that’s going to turn half a year old at the end of the month. As for Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, that’s on 27.5% of Android devices. Many of those ICS devices will get upgrades to JB in early 2013, which is a good thing.
One can argue that people don’t really care about what version of Android is on their smartphone. That most people who are using Android today were feature phone users not that long ago. It’s a perfectly valid point, one that many people fail to consider because … let’s face it, we’re Android diehards who change our ROMs about as often as we change our socks. Still, we can’t help but think that Google needs to do something drastic in order to get everyone on the same page. It’s hurting the ecosystem if developers who want to take full advantage of the newest features in Android need to resort to making an app that runs well on a two year old smartphone.
Think about it for a second. Two years ago, single core devices reigned supreme, 720p displays were a pipe dream, and 4G LTE wasn’t even a buzzword yet.