Android 4.2.x on just 8.5 percent of devices, 4.3 yet to make a significant dent

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Android 4.2.x on just 8.5 percent of devices, 4.3 yet to make a significant dent
It's the beginning of the month and as usual, Google sheds some light on the distribution of different versions of its mobile operating system, Android.

According to distribution data for the Android OS platform, shared by Google for the month of September, Android Jelly Bean (versions 4.1.x and 4.2.x) now comprises 45.1 percent of all Android devices - at least the ones that meet Google's criterion, compared to the joint share of 40.5 percent that the versions registered, last month.

Among Jelly Bean, Android 4.2.x is just present on 8.5 percent devices, while Android 4.1 has a distribution share of 36.6 percent. This clearly explains the state of fragmentation within Android's latest releases, while Google chooses to group them together under one name to offset it.

Also, the data doesn't even include Android 4.3 Jelly Bean's share. Google had unveiled Android 4.3, a new version of Android, in July but it's present on so few devices that it doesn't even make an appearance on the chart.

However, what's most interesting to see is that this month's data doesn't include Android 1.6 Donut and Android 2.1 Eclair. While it would give an impression that Google has been able to conquer fragmentation, at least at a minor level, the real reason for the two being excluded is that this distribution data is gathered from the new version of Google Play Store app, which supports Android 2.2 and above. Last month, the combined share of Android 1.6 and Android 2.1 was 1.3 percent.

It's worth pointing out that beginning April, the data charts are now based on the data collected from each device when the user visits the Google Play Store. Google says this is to make it more accurate and reflect the percentage of users who are most engaged in the Android and Google Play ecosystem. Prior to this, data was collected when the device simply checked-in to Google servers. The new methodology could exclude some devices that don't come with the Play Store, so the data is not 100 percent accurate.

Back to this month's data, Android 2.2 Froyo's device distribution share was 2.4 percent, while the share of Gingerbread (Android 2.3.x) was 30.7 percent. Gingerbread's share reduced by 2.4 points but it still has the second-largest share, making things difficult for developers who've been trying to put Android 4.0 as the threshold. This also means, that a major number of Android users don't get access to the latest version of some apps.

Android 4.0 or Ice Cream Sandwich registered a share of 21.7 percent, a decline of 0.8 points.

A number of budget devices are still releasing with Android 2.3 and Android 4.0, with no clear update path. On the other hand, Google has already announced the next Android version, Android 4.4 or KitKat, which is rumoured to be released in October.
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