The next version of Android — 7.0 Nougat — is now available, but Google’s most recent flavor has yet to jump past 20 percent of Android devices yet.
The latest distribution numbers are in from the Android Developer Dashboard, and Android 6.0 Marshmallow has jumped by almost 3.5 percent since August — that means the 2015 Android version is now on 18.7 percent of Android devices. Meanwhile, Apple is seeing an iOS 9 adoption rate of 88 percent. iOS 10 dropped Tuesday, so we’ll have to see how those numbers change.
Even though 18.7 percent sounds like a small number of phones with Android 6.0 onboard, it actually accounts for a lot of phones, especially considering there have been well over 1.4 billion Android devices activated since September 2015. It’s an improvement, but the numbers continue to highlight one of Android’s biggest problems: fragmentation. Google issues monthly security updates and rolls out version updates to all of its supported Nexus and Android One devices, but it’s not always released in a timely manner by manufacturers and carriers.
Nougat has not been included in the distribution numbers yet.
|2.3.3 – 2.3.7||Gingerbread||10||1.5%|
|4.0.3 – 4.0.4||Ice Cream Sandwich||15||1.4%|
*The data above is from Google. It was collected during a 7-day period ending on September 5, 2016. Any versions with less than 0.1 percent distribution are not shown.
The search giant tried to change that with Android 7.0 Nougat, which launched towards the end of August. It’s currently only available for Nexus and some Android One devices, and has yet to roll out to current smartphones. Google released the Developer Preview for Nougat earlier that usual this year, hoping to have it ready for manufacturers and carriers earlier so could roll out an update in a timely fashion. We’ll have to wait to see how that goes.
The huge number of people using older versions of Android is not a good thing as software vulnerabilities and bugs may never be fixed. As such, the Federal Trade Commission and Federal Communications Commission sent letters to software giants like Apple and Google, as well as manufacturers and carriers, inquiring about the security process and how they push updates to consumers.
We’ll continue to update this post as Google updates its Android distribution figures.
Article originally published in August. Updated on 09-13-2016 by Julian Chokkattu: Added September’s figures.