Google said that the latest versions of Android (Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean) accounted for almost 55 per cent of visits to its Google Play store in the two weeks to 2 April 2013, although the aging Gingerbread platform is still the single biggest incarnation, generating just under 40 per cent.
The company said it has changed how it counts Android devices, in order to “more accurately reflect those users most engaged in the Android and Google Play ecosystem”. It now counts users when they visit the Google Play store, whereas previously data was collected when a device connected to Google servers.
This has (unsurprisingly) benefited the numbers for the later devices most. In the current period, Ice Cream Sandwich generated 29.3 percent of visits, and Jelly Bean 25 per cent, compared with 28.6 per cent and 16.5 per cent respectively for the period to 4 March 2013, when the old measure was used.
Gingerbread is now at 39.8 per cent, compared with 44.2 percent in the prior sequential period.
Android has frequently been criticised for the slow pace at which devices are upgraded, and indeed many low-cost Android devices are still shipping using old versions of the platform. The comparison made is with iOS, where users update to new versions of platforms much more rapidly.
However, unlike iOS, where there is a limited number of device variants to support, Android is used across a much larger device pool, supported by multiple manufacturers with different platform support plans and hardware variations.