Google announced the latest software breakdown for Android today (what, you didn’t think there was only one announcement going on, did you?) and the numbers are promising. 38.7% of devices running Android are using version 2.3, “Gingerbread”, the latest smartphone version officially supported by Google. For what’s probably the first time this year, less than half of the Android userbase is running on Froyo.
That isn’t a particularly encouraging figure, but at least more and more carriers and manufacturers are releasing phones with the latest version of Android available. Since this summer it’s been unusual to see a new product announced with anything except Gingerbread or Honeycomb running on its silicon, a promising sign that both consumers and manufacturers are beginning to expect up-to-date software to match the hardware. Unfortunately, with the exception of Nexus-class phones, older devices are still rarely upgraded to more than one major Android version past their release date.
The third-largest chunk of the userbase is running Android 2.1, at just under 12%. That’s a relevant figure, since 2.1 users are far more likely to run into app compatibility issues than 2.2 users. Honeycomb, Google’s official tablet version of Android, is still only running on 1.6% of devices more than six months after the debut of the Motorola XOOM. There’s no two ways about it: Android is getting whipped in the tablet market. Here’s hoping that the upcoming Ice Cream Sandwich will fix at least some of these woes by unifying the latest version of Android on both slates and phones – however long that takes.