Android may be fragmented, but it’s becoming an increasingly reliable development platform, with a number of versions that no longer force app creators to sacrifice features in the name of compatibility.
As of March 3rd, Android 4.x comprises over 80% of all users, with Jelly Bean (4.1-4.3) making up 62% of the total number of Google Play-connected devices. Android 4.1 leads the way with 35.3%, a small decrease from last month, while 4.2 and 4.3 get notable bumps, up 0.8% and 0.7% respectively. Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) continues to drop as OEMs update their products to Jelly Bean or KitKat, down 0.9% from the month earlier.
Android 4.4 KitKat, the latest version from Google, continues to slowly ascend, reaching 2.5% of devices, up 0.7% from last month. Finally, Gingerbread, announced over three years ago, still comprise 19% of Androids, though its number has continued to drop.
A year ago, when Android 4.2 was the most recent version, Gingerbread made up 44.2% of devices, while ICS had 28.6% and Jelly Bean had a paltry 16.5%. It may seem like things are changing slowly, but Android is becoming a more developer-friendly platform every month.
It’s also worth noting that beginning in July, Google will no longer allow OEMs to release products with an operating system over nine months old; in other words, they’ll be limited to Android 4.3 and 4.4.