For those that harp on Android-based on OS version fragmentation, this can't be good news.
As for the rest of us, Google is showing over time that fragmentation is slowly becoming a thing of the past, or at the very least it's becoming less and less of a problem - especially for developers. Google has just released the monthly update for Android version distribution, and the charts show a significant jump in devices running Android 2.1 (Eclair) and higher. Here's a breakdown of the percentages:
- Android 2.1 | 31.4%
- Android 2.2 | 57.6%
- Android 2.3 | 0.8%
This brings the total to approximately 89.8%. What's even more impressive is the fact that Android 1.5 (Cupcake) and Android 1.6 (Donut) only equal to about one tenth of all Android devices. 6 months ago, they accounted for over 35%. This is truly impressive and it shows that manufacturers along with carriers are seeing the importance of updating their hardware with the next best thing.
The figure belows indicates the total percentage of active devices that are compatible with a given version of Android. Google helps us to understand the way in which the chart works by stating,
"Notice that the platform versions are stacked on top of each other with the oldest active version at the top. For example, if you develop your application for the version that is at the very top of the chart, then your application is compatible with 100% of active devices (and all future versions), because all Android APIs are forward compatible. Or, if you develop your application for a version lower on the chart, then it is currently compatible with the percentage of devices indicated on the y-axis, where the line for that version meets the y-axis on the right."