Google revamps Android adoption measurement, reports Jelly Bean spike
Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is revising its approach to measuring Android operating system version adoption, promising developers a more accurate portrait of the Android ecosystem as a whole.
Google currently supports nine different active versions of Android, dating back to Android 1.6, nicknamed Donut, through to the latest iteration, Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. In the past, Google compiled data on the percentage of devices running a given version of Android by collecting check-ins on its servers; moving forward, the company will instead collect data from each Android device that visits its Google Play digital storefront.
"We believe the new data more accurately reflects those users who are most engaged in the Android and Google Play ecosystem," Google said. "This information may help [developers] prioritize efforts for supporting different devices."
The new method signals a sharp increase in devices running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean: Last month, Google's Android Developers dashboard reported Jelly Bean 4.1 powered 14.9 percent of all devices worldwide, but with the data collection change, that number has jumped to 23 percent. Android 2.3 Gingerbread remains the dominant OS version at 39.8 percent, followed by Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich at 29.3 percent.
Android led all U.S. smartphone sales during the three-month period ending in February 2013, research firm Kantar Worldpanel ComTech reported earlier this week. Android powers 51.2 percent of all smartphones sold in the U.S. during the three months in question, up from 45.4 percent during the same timeframe a year earlier. Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS follows at 43.5 percent, down from 47 percent a year ago. Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone grew from 2.7 percent market share to 4.1 percent, and BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) plummeted from 3.6 percent to just 0.7 percent in the weeks prior to the launch of its overhauled BlackBerry 10 OS.
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