We know. Android is a “toxic hell stew” and despite Apple’s claims that only 9% of users are even running the latest version, the latest Android platform distribution numbers are telling us something completely different. Checking in for the month of July, 2014, KitKat can now officially be found running on 17.9% of active Android devices (up from 13.6% the previous month). Not too shabby.
Unfortunately the numbers still haven’t been updated with the specific versions of KitKat rolling out around the world (4.4.2, 4.4.3, 4.4.4), or it would paint a much different picture. As any die-hard Android enthusiast will tell you, there’s no satisfaction in simply running the latest major firmware release, the only way some can sleep at night is knowing their phone is running the absolute latest version of Android possible (currently Android 4.4.4). In which case for them, we recommend a Nexus or Google Play edition device.
Of course, Gingerbread is still hanging on for dear life, with Froyo drifting off into obscurity. It can be argued that many new features are being added to legacy versions of Android all the time thanks to updates to Google Play Services. But after taking a look at the Android L Developer Preview, there’s simply no denying the appeal that comes with major firmware releases.
It will be interesting to see how this chart evolves in the coming months and whether or not Android TV and Android Wear will find a spot in the platform numbers.