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Android 4.X finally overshadows 2.3 Gingerbread … after 17 months

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It’s about time! After being available to the public for well over a year – 17 months, to be exact – Android 4.x (which consists of all versions of Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean) has finally overtaken Android Gingerbread as the most-used version of the operating system out there, according to a report from InformationWeek.

While one might assume that the newest and best versions of any operating system would spread like wildfire, the slow dispersion shows that the process of getting updates approved by carriers for every Android device is a long and tedious one.

Unfortunately for Google, the company is about to restart the catch-up game. It’s rumored that the next iteration of Android, 5.0 Key Lime Pie, in just two months.

This stands in contrast to Apple. Even in the wake of the epic fails from iOS 6.0 (Apple Maps), users still opted to update despite hearing all of the horror stories. In less than one day, 22 percent of all iOS users had updated to the latest iteration; nine months after its release, it spread to 60 percent. This is largely because Apple not only manufactures its own operating system, it’s also in complete control of the single device that supports it – the iPhone. Conversely, Android is an open system and therefore there are a ton of layers to actually getting a software update. First Google must release it, then each phone manufacturer must release it for their devices, then each wireless carrier must approve the update. The process takes many months, at best.

Older versions of Android are on the decline, which is a good sign for Google, but until the company can figure out a way to keep manufacturers and carriers on top of unleashing the latest versions of Android, most users are going to continue working with an outdated version.

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