Android firmware versions for May: Jelly Bean rises to 33%, Ice Cream Sandwich drops to 25.6% of active devices


Android platform versions for May

It’s that time of the month when Google has taken out the time to update their famous Android distribution chart. This chart tells us (and developers) the percentage of active Android devices and the current version of Android they’re running. We’ll try and make this quick.

For the month of May 33% of active Android devices — those that have recently visited the Google Play Store — are running Jelly Bean, up from last month’s 28.4%. Ice Cream Sandwich takes a dip to 25.6% from 27.5% in April, letting us know that a few ICS devices may have recently saw an upgrade to Jelly Bean. As for Gingerbread, it still holds the firmware crown, still accounting for 36.5% of active Androids. The good news? It’s on the slow decline, down from last month’s 38.5%.

Looks like Google’s got only a few more months before we see what is most likely the last version of Jelly Bean (Android 4.3) before Key Lime Pie, an entirely new Android firmware expected to be unveiled along with the next Nexus device towards the end of the year.

[Android Developers]

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. How freaky would it be if we started seeing Donut rise? O_o

    1. Donut was a very good release, actually :-)

      Gingerbread is gonna be a while before it dies out I’m afraid. By now, if it’s running Gingerbread, it’s probably going to continue to run Gingerbread, and will not see an ICS+ upgrade to it. So that means that those devices are pretty much at end-of-life and we have to wait for the user to replace them.

      As more and more developers target ICS+ only, it might hasten the pace but only just.

      1. I think Google should try Gingerbread shaming these users.

        If an app only supports ICS+, there should be a prompt that says, “We’re sorry, your phone is old as sh*t. Might wanna upgrade soon.”

        1. thank you. i lol’ed like a madman at that comment.

        2. I’m honestly surprised they haven’t. People should be ashamed for having crap that’s barely fast enough to run itself.

          1. I bought a phone I was told would be upgraded a year and a half ago and it hasn’t been.. nor can I afford a new one. So uhm.. no… I’m not ashamed. I’m actually kind of pissed off.

          2. Send an email to your provider’s CEO if you bought it at a real store and not a 3rd party. I sent an email to the Verizon CEO’s office about my Droid Eris when the update was months overdue. They called me, credited my account $50 dollars, and apologized. It didn’t fix the update issue, but having money thrown in my face made it a little less annoying.

        3. I accidentally finally upgraded my d4 from GB to ICS havent gone to JB quite yet. GB ran better for most things to be honest. I also lost my free hotspot in the upgrade. I did manage to keep flash running, but I’m still not sure if my flash will keep working on JB. I also lost some of the better moto features, like my built in task manager.Just saying there are negatives to upgrading… also a lot of apps, take 6+ months before being available on newer operating systems.

        4. Old android phones are useful for GPS trackers, cameras, bluetooth audio players, and network devices. There is no reason kick them while they’re down and push people into throwing them in the trash. The new, great apps not running on old devices is enough to make them speciality devices.

          A lot of phones and tablets being stuck on ICS is a bigger issue, I think. It does speak to the carrier bottleneck.

          60% of my android devices are ICS, 20% Gingerbread, and 20% jelly bean. My (docomo Japan) Galaxy Note will get jelly bean in a few months.

          My Casio G’zOne will be stuck on gingerbread till no GPS apps or music players work. That just ain’t gonna happen for a half-dozen more years when I have a replacement, old SDXC capable waterproof extra phone. And still the G’zOne might work for what it does today. The two batteries will be OK for ten years or more based on the once a month re-charging I am doing now.

        5. dammit chris i was drinking something when i read that comment. typing this after i stopped choking lol

    2. Don’t rule it out. I get nostalgic about video games and play the Atari, I might just build a version of Donut for the GS4.

    3. I could break out the ol’ G1 and use it for a while. Wouldn’t bother me much.

    4. I think those device must be tablets or dev devices I can’t imagine people still rocking BH2’s, G1’s with the stock firmware, tHE ORIGINAL htc HERO, mYtouch, I surprised that as far as who accessed play store in the 2 weeks study anything below gingerbread has show up 4.8 percent is a lot outdated devices considering how many devices access play store daily

      1. I have a friend rocking an old mytouch. It’s painful to see, but she only uses it for calling, texting, and email. She does’t use it for all the other apps out there, so upgrading is unnecessary for her. I’ve only had Net10 and Verizon, so I can’t hand her an old phone to get her out of the Android Bronze age.

  2. Looks like 40% of people need a new phone.

  3. To bad straight talk doesn’t offer anything running 4+ all their devices are either gingerbread or IOS aka Iphones and the BYOP program is just t-mobile sims considering that AT&T dropped out of it for their own start up and T-Mobile sucks around here as does sprints coverage so yeah I am stuck using the Samsung Galaxy proclaim which is their best phone that runs on verzion besides the iphones of course.

    Had to make the switch from Boost Mobile since I have to stand by the window just for a smidgen of service and even then if I got just a few inches away I would completely lose it even with a signal booster in place.

    So yeah some area with some carriers are stuck using gingerbread devices or the carriers would force us to use an iphone if we wanted anything up to date.

  4. It’s great that all the APIs have been added to Google play services as this gives manufactures the opportunity to update current phones and release new ones with JB but still get all the goodies. This is probably partly the reason that fragmentation is starting to die. Slowly but surely we’ll get there.

  5. Gingerbread is the windows xp of android.

  6. I believe the slow decline in GingerBread Os attests to the fact that Google got their crap together because if the Os was really bad it would have jumped significantly by now I mean gingerbread is a completely outdated Os by 2 years now but it works. The fact the jump was low is just attesting to the fact that updates aren’t that major a concern as long as the devices work.

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