It’s that time of month again when Google gives developers and users a quick glimpse at the health of the Android market as far as version numbers go. And boy how the mighty have fallen! The combined might of the three Jelly Bean releases no longer has any hold, as it goes below a fifth of the market. Lollipop has taken over its throne, becoming the largest so far. Meanwhile, Marshmallow rises at a steady pace, now occupying 10% of the Android space.
For a long time, Android 4.1 to 4.3 reigned unchallenged, reaching heights in early 2014 when it nearly conquered three-fourths of the pie. Which isn’t surprising considering we’re talking about three Android releases lumped together. A year later, it would finally be dethroned by Android 4.4 “KitKat”, though the latter’s victory would be short lived, as Android 5.0 and 5.1 Lollipop would overtake it in just 8 months.
Now the Jelly Bean is near the end of its journey. Android 4.3 in particular, teeters close to the lower limit. It now stands at 2.7%, not that far from Android 2.3 Gingerbread’s 2.0%. Any distribution that goes below 0.1% gets removed from the list. Amusingly enough, Android 2.2 Froyo still remains solidly in its place, which it has held for the past 6 months.
Looking to the future, it would seem that Marshmallow’s path is secure. But there’s a catch. Android N is around the corner and it brings some features that are quite irresistible. There’s split screen for one. But there are also other goodies like a more reasonable Doze mode and quicker system updates. It is possible that Marshmallow might reach its highest point in just a month or two. It’s not exactly unheard of, as versions like Android 4.3 (Jelly Bean) and 5.0 (Lollipop) never reached the 20% that its other siblings enjoyed.
Given how many Marshmallow devices there are in the market now, and some are still getting their updates, it could yet be another messy phase as far as Android fragmentation is concerned.