Jelly Bean is the latest version of Android to hit the market, but how many devices actually utilize it? Looking at Google’s August numbers, 1.2% of Android web traffic comes to from a Jelly Bean device.
Considering Android 4.1 Jelly Bean was first open-sourced in July, is this growth rate too slow? Yes, it is, but no one should be surprised. Google Android has a lot going for it, but version fragmentation is arguably one of its weaknesses. Even ICS rates aren’t exactly that high, at about 16.7%.
While most Android apps will play nice with just about any version at Gingerbread or higher, the fact remains that there are still tons of Android 2.x, 3.x and 4.x intermingled out there. Many new budget handsets are still shipping with Gingerbread, even.
Is this any different from the PC world? Yes and no.
Looking at desktop OS data from earlier this summer, about 50% of users were still running the aging Windows XP platform. 30% had moved on to Windows 7. Less than 10% were on Windows Vista.
As you can see, fragmentation is part of the OS game. Those who criticize Android’s fragmentation need to realize that this happens with almost all platforms. Even on Windows Phone there are still users that are on Windows Mobile 6 variants, despite the fact that Windows Phone 8 is on its way out the door.
The good news is that Google seems more committed than ever to start pushing out Jelly Bean to more devices. Motorola is also strongly behind the idea of bringing Jelly Bean to as many of its recent devices as possible.
Jelly Bean won’t end the fragmentation found in Android, but it is clear that Google is aware of the problem and is doing its best to address it. Does Android fragmentation bother you, or do you feel it’s something that just comes with the open-source territory?