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Google may have just announced the name for the latest version of Android, but the as-yet-unreleased KitKat isn’t making a mark on the millions of devices running the operating system yet. But as Google’s latest statistics suggest, it may have to fight with the lingering presence of its dessert-flavoured predecessors for a while.
According to the latest update to the Android developer’s dashboard, while JellyBean is now the version running on the largest percentage of devices which accessed the Play Store over the last week, older versions like Gingerbread and Ice Cream Sandwich still hold quite a chunk of the market. Almost a third of the devices tracked by Google Play are still running Gingerbread, which has been around since late 2010.
For this report, Google also neglected to include the fraction of devices which are running even older versions, like Eclair and Donut, as “those devices do not support the new Google Play Store app” and developers should aim to make apps for the majority of users, not the small minority who own a device powered by Android 2.2 or below.
JellyBean still seems to be climbing the ranks — it overtook Gingerbread as the most popular version back in August, and has increased from 37.9% of the devices measured by the Play Store in July to 45.1% of devices in September. It’s difficult to accurately compare the statistics over time — Google changed how it reported these statistics in April, deciding to rather show users who are “most engaged in the Android and Google Play ecosystem” by measuring those who access its app store rather than just its servers. By focusing on the Play Store, it is also excluding devices which use alternative app stores on the platform, like Amazon’s Kindle Fire.