Following an unprecedentedly long silence that lasted for over half a year, Google finally delivered an update on the latest distribution numbers Android managed to achieve, having done so immediatelly after kicking off this year's edition of its I/O developer conference in California.
Compared to seven months ago, Android 9 Pie is now finally widespread enough to actually make the newest distribution list, having likely surpassed the 0.1-percent mark in November. Based on a week-long survey that ended yesterday, the latest stable version of the world's most popular mobile operating system is now present on about 10.4-percent of all active Android devices on the planet.
While that may not sound like a lot, the newly reported figure does suggest Google and its OEM partners are slowly improving their software support practices and have gotten somewhat better at testing, optimizing, and distributing new OS versions to their smartphones. For added context, Android 8.0 Oreo managed to hit just over half of that number within the same timeframe.
Oreo also improved its foothold since Google last spoke about Android's distribution diversity, having gained roughly six percentage points. The two newest generations both appeared to have grown at a direct expense of Nougat, which was to be expected – it's not like many devices that launched with Marshmallow are being upgraded to Android Pie, or even Oreo, for that matter. Google estimates Nougat lost 10.1-percent of the market since October. Still, the OS generation initially introuduced in late 2016 remains the second most popular family of the platform as one in nearly five Android devices in the world continue to run some fork thereof to this very date, as per the same source.
Google often puts its monthly OS distribution updates on hold in the run-up to the next I/O conference, yet it never did so in a way that saw it miss two full calendar seasons. The new numbers were published by the firm on Tuesday and weren't disclosed alongside any kind of an explanation for the highly unusual period of inactivity. It's possible the company wanted to keep the install rate hidden out of corporate espionage fears, though it's not like federal regulations making such activities more difficult are blameless for the current state of affairs.
Another interesting takeaway from Google's latest list is that Gingerbread and Ice Cream Sandwich remain indestructible, with both still present on o.3-percent of all Android devices being used the world over. Those percetages are the exact same as the ones reported in early fall and it's hence clear both variants of the mobile platform continue to enjoy the status of "good enough" among a somewhat significant user base.
Android 9 Pie should be gaining a boost in the coming weeks as more devices running this OS version are picked up from the store shelves, both digital and physical alike. Look no further than the OnePlus 7 (Pro) and Google's very own Pixel 3a range as examples of what handsets are likely to help Pie maintain its momentum and develop into a leader, which isn't a bad trait to have in the middle of a zombie apocalypse.