Android Lollipop on just 1.6% of devices, 3 months since release

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By Larry Banks

Nearly three months after Google unleashed Android Lollipop, the latest version of the world’s most popular mobile operating system has barely made it onto 2% of all Android devices.

Android Lollipop on just 1.6% of devices

You could be forgiven for thinking that because Android is the most popular mobile operating system (which this year hit the 1 billion handset shipped milestone), that everyone would be using the latest, greatest version on their smartphones and tablets.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case, as the latest statistics from the Android developer website illustrate. As shown in the chart below, up until February 2nd, Android Lollipop has only managed a measly 1.6% share across all Android devices out there (and there are literally billions).

That’s rather poor form for an operating system that has been available for three months, and signifies just how hard Google is finding it to push the latest version to users eager to upgrade. Most Android users, it turns out are still on the much older Jelly Bean (which comprises versions 4.1, 4.2 and 4.3) at 44.5%, followed by KitKat at 39.7%. The oldest version of Android included in the stats is version 2.2 (Froyo) which still has 0.4% of users on the ancient platform, first released in mid 2010.

Google Android Platform Adoption - Feb

Upgrading isn’t so simple

Android Lollipop is a fantastic mobile operating system, that has some truly innovative features and a whole new design ethos known as material design. If you’ve used it you’ll appreciate just how good it really is – a mature, stable and easy to use OS that gives iOS a real run for its money.

However, the difficulty Google has always had is how to get its users onto the latest version. Unlike iOS, where devices can obtain the latest updates directly, not all Android devices are able to do so – instead relying on carrier updates or direct from the device manufacturer. Google has made some headway recently, working with vendors to push out the updates more rapidly, but it’s the sheer amount of testing across hundreds of devices that makes it difficult to achieve quickly.

Furthermore, developers find it increasingly challenging to support lots of older versions, rather than the latest with the most compelling new features.

Hopefully over the next few months more devices will be able to receive the upgrade, but it remains to be seen just how quickly it can be rolled out. For most Android users, by the time they get Lollipop it will already be superseded by a new version…

SOURCE: Google

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