It’s almost a year (if we are to ignore the occasional peek) since Google last gave us a glimpse at what the Android platform distribution figures look like.
Before then and after that, Google had started limiting public access to the number of devices running each version of Android, something that appears to be permanent now. The move is informed by the constant bashing that Google has received from the likes of yours truly and competitors that have regularly used them to take a dig at Android at their events.
That has, however, meant that we stay in the dark most of the time – if not all the time – about what’s going on. Are newer versions of Android being adopted as fast as Google – and everyone else, for security’s sake – wants?
Thanks to Google’s efforts to help Android developers make the best decision when it comes to who they develop their applications for, we now, once again, have a rough idea of what we are working with.
It has been discovered that opting to seek guidance on the API level that one should base their app on in the Create new project wizard in Android Studio, the official Android integrated development environment (IDE), results in a glimpse of the distribution statistics.
Looking at those numbers, one thing is clear: things are not looking good for Android’s latest version, 10.
Named just Android 10, unlike its predecessors that had dessert-themed names as Google acknowledges the global dominance of Android and the diversity needed, the “new” version of Android is doing badly when compared to its predecessor. At around the same time last year, Android 9 Pie was running on over 10% of Android devices around the world. Android 10 is running on just 8.2% at this time.
The good news, however, is that at least 60% of all Android devices are powered by Android 8.0 Oreo and later versions. About a third of all Android devices are powered by Android 9 Pie; an improvement from the one fifth that ran on Pie as of last August.
With Google ensuring that critical updates are seeded to users via Google Play Services and releasing monthly security updates, the importance of the big annual version bump isn’t as it used to be previously. However, for those keen on getting the new features making their way to the platform every year (isn’t that like, everyone?), they are key.
The interesting bit? This revelation comes at a time when Google is already testing Android 10’s successor.