Google has updated its “Android landscape” survey on the Developer Dashboard, showing Jelly Bean is very close to overtaking Gingerbread as the most widespread release. This may be just in time, as Google’s Play Store is set to surpass iOS app downloads.
Currently, Gingerbread, or 2.3, is sitting at the top spot at 36.5% of install base. The latest version of the OS, Jelly Bean, is now at 33%.
Jelly Bean is version 4.1-4.2; comparing version numbers to Gingerbread it’s easy to see why fragmentation is brought up so much, alongside lack of faith in updates.
Many prefer Apple’s iOS for this reason; as updates are released, they’re deployed to iDevices at almost the same time worldwide.
Google has a job on its hands developing for the myriad of different devices on the OS, alongside OEMs “skinning” their own way, and subsequent authorisation by carriers.
It’s a complicated process, and one which these results appear Google is gradually getting on top of.
At Google I/O last year, the Mountain View company released a PDK (Platform Development Kit). This kit allows OEMs two months in advance to optimise their devices for the latest OS release; which should theoretically make for a timelier update and less developer/consumer frustration.
So is fragmentation affecting the marketplace? It doesn’t appear so.
Infact, The Telegraph reports Google Play is seeing 500 million more downloads per month than Apple’s App Store. If this rate continues by October, Google will have surpassed Apple’s recently boasted 50 billion app downloads.
Is Google on the right track to get the latest OS to devices and prevent software fragmentation? Are you surprised by the Play Store’s apparent success?