Every month, Google gives us a snippet of which versions of Android have what sort of share of the market. This time around, we’re getting a look at numbers from April 2015. These numbers – as always – are taken over a 7-day period and these ended on April 6th. As is so often the case, the last major release of Android continues to dominate the board, but Android 5.0 and now Android 5.1 (which makes its first appearance here) Lollipop continue to gain. These distribution numbers are useful for developers, as it shows them whether or not they need to seriously consider adopting new tools or supporting older versions of Android.
Android 5.0 and 5.1 together now account for 5.4% of the overall numbers listed, which is up from last month’s 3.3% for just Android 5.0, so it’s clear that Lollipop is gaining. Devices like the Xperia Z3 series and Xperia Z2 series were updated to Lollipop towards the end of last month, and with Samsung rolling out the update to the likes of the Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy S5 in more regions across the globe it’s no wonder this figure has almost doubled this month. Android 4.4 KitKat still has 41.4% of the share however, and 4.1 and 4.2 Jelly Bean are still holding on to 16.5% and 18.6%, respectively. These figures haven’t moved much at all, and in a bizarre twist KitKat actually grew this month from 40.9% to 41.4%, of course this is a tiny increase, we realize.
Over the past couple of years, Google has adjusted their strategy when it comes to new versions of Android. The Jelly Bean series might have spanned three releases – those being 4.1, 4.2 and 4.3 – but it was still a major release, and didn’t reinvent the wheel too much. With Android 4.4 KitKat, Google stuck with the same version number for about a year before releasing Android 5.0 Lollipop. We’ve seen a change to bigger, more important releases and less updates along the way and this has certainly had an effect on these numbers with almost 50% of Android users now running a fairly recent version of Android. There’s definitely room for improvement, but the move away from two or even three releases a year has definitely helped.