Google has released the latest Android distribution numbers and it is good news for Android Marshmallow. The latest report was posted yesterday and the most current version of Android saw a 109% increase in its install base over February 2016. While the overall percentage compared to all Android version is small, only 2.3%, the jump is reflective of the significant number of devices that have seen Marshmallow come to them over the course of the last month.
Perhaps the more interesting fact in the report is that Android Lollipop has supplanted KitKat and the most installed version of the OS. It now accounts for 36.1% of the install base while KitKat has dropped to 34.3%. Lollipop’s increase was 2% over the previous report while KitKat dropped by 1.2%. These changes are likely reflective to
devices being replaced or upgraded to Lollipop while there has been a reasonable wave of devices launched in 2016 that are on the previous version that account for some of the growth. All in, Lollipop and Marshmallow account for 38.4% of all devices hitting the Google Play Store (how Google measures) which is good but still a far cry from the over 80% of devices from Apple running the latest build of iOS.
Ultimately Android fans, this report is good news on the whole and in April we should see yet another significant bump as a wide range of devices that were released at Mobile World Congress will be in the market, virtually all of which are running Marshmallow. This includes the new Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge which have been all the rage since their announcement and pre-orders going fast.
There is still the undertow of upgrade challenges facing the platform, however, reflected in the report. With Google not having direct control of the upgrade process, save the Nexus lineup, the company is challenged to get the latest-and-greatest to all compatible devices with manufactures and carriers taking their time in updating devices. It is still a sore spot for the platform that needs addressing sooner rather than later.