As expected, Google has released the December 2017 Android Distribution Report this week. The report reflects the version of Android on devices that visited the Google Play Store for the 7 day period ending December 11, 2017 and for those of you who keep track of this monthly report, you won’t find many surprises.
With the exception of Android Nougat and Android Oreo, the two latest version of the platform, all previous version saw a decline or no change in usage from the November report to this one. Android Nougat grew some 2.7% in usage in that time, by far the biggest gainer. It now has a 23.3% share of devices coming to the Play Store but it is still behind Android Lollipop and Android Marshmallow. Marshmallow, version 6.x of Android, leads the pack overall with 29.7% of devices running that version.
As for the latest version of Android, Oreo, it continues a very slow adoption on devices. It now is on .5% of devices, a jump of .2% over November.
Looking down the roster of Android versions in the report, Android Marshmallow saw a 1.2% drop in usage in this month’s report while Android Lollipop (version 5.x) saw a .9% drop. These two version continue to lead the pack as far as overall install base with a combined percentage of 56%.
Surprisingly, the now seven year old Android Gingerbread (version 2.3.x) still made this month’s Android Distribution Report, hanging on at .4%.
For the Android faithful, the report is another reminder of the challenges facing the platform when it comes to upgrades. There is no central channel for updates like there is for Apple’s iOS so it is up to each manufacture to get updates out. That’s problematic at best but is the price to be paid for an open platform. The good news is that manufactures are starting to heed the call from their customers to get major updates out in a timely manner with multiple manufactures having released their Android Oreo updates this month or in the coming weeks.
Ultimately with these new builds of Oreo coming out, the Android Distribution Report should look a bit healthier from Oreo’s perspective in January.
If you are curious about the report itself, you can view it along with other dashboards on the Android Developer Dashboards site.