Google Android numbers show Jelly Bean well ahead, small screens still leading
November 4, 2013 | 10:30 am
Following my recent piece on the advent of Google Android 4.4 Kit Kat and its optimization for older lower-spec devices, it’s interesting to see that according to Google’s own developer dashboard, drawing figures from the latest data snapshot in early October, smaller devices in the ”Normal” screen size range of 3 to 4 inches still dominate the installed user base at just under 80 percent of all users. Also, Jelly Bean, the latest and greatest iteration of the world’s most popular mobile OS, has already made its way onto almost 50 percent of devices, with Ice Cream Sandwich taking up a further 20.6 percent.
So with Gingerbread, the most widespread 2.× version of Android, only accounting for 28.5 percent of users, there may not be much of a legacy user base for Kit Kat’s backwards compatibility to sweep up. Also, these data points suggest that Android is no longer burdened by two of the problems that handicapped developers in the past. First, developers needn’t worry too much about fragmentation of the OS, since new versions are obviously getting through. Secondly, tom tutor proliferation just isn’t that much of an issue when apps tailored for 3 to 4 inch screens can fit 80 percent of devices. Good news for ereader app developers everywhere.