Gingerbread Finally Reaches 50% Of Android Smartphones - InformationWeek
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Gingerbread Finally Reaches 50% Of Android Smartphones

That it's taken a full year to push Gingerbread to half of Androids doesn't bode well for people clamoring for Google's upcoming Ice Cream Sandwich OS.

According to the stats published by Google, Gingerbread versions 2.3 - 2.3.7 account for 50.6% of all the Android smartphones out there. This is the first time that Gingerbread has been the dominant version of Android on Google smartphones.

Android 2.2 Froyo fell to second place, with a still-too-large 35.3% share of Android phones. Android 2.1 Eclair is on 9.6% of Android phones, and, shockingly, Android 1.6 Donut is on 1.6% of Android phones. What about Android 3.0 Honeycomb? According to Google, all versions of Honeycomb combined (3.0, 3.1, and 3.2) are running on just 2.4% of all Android devices, which says something about how many (or, really, how few) Android tablets have been sold.

While it is good that half of all Android smartphones now run Gingerbread, it is also rather pathetic. The software was released by Google a year ago. While it takes time to bake new operating systems into hardware, it should be easier for users to get the latest software from Google. The way the system works, tons of phones ship with Froyo or Eclair and are updated slowly to Gingerbread by the network operators, after the phones are in the hands of consumers. The updates often come months after the phone ships.

[ Add-ons and tools make Android smartphones more vulnerable to attack, say researchers. See Android Bloatware's Dark Side Emerges. ]

Looking at how Google's competitors handle device updates shows you just how ridiculous this model is.

When Apple readies an update to iOS, it pushes it out to all versions of the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch at once. Sure, sometimes Apple's servers melt down, but within a few hours or few days, anyone who cares to update can. About 40% of iPhone users had updated to iOS 5 by mid-November. (Why the other 60% hadn't updated is beyond me, as iOS 5 works on the iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, and iPhone 3GS.)

Microsoft began delivering Mango to Windows Phone devices in September. While its update process has to include specific carrier builds for each phone, it has still provided the most recent operating system to all its customers within a couple of months from it becoming available. Microsoft hasn't provided metrics on how quickly Mango has been adopted by Windows Phone users.

Throwing a wrench into the whole thing for Google and its partners, however, is Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. The newest--and best--version of Android will arrive in mere weeks on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. It automatically makes all the earlier versions of Android obsolete. You can be sure that Android smartphones buyers will want access to Android 4.0 as soon as possible. (Here's a look at some of the devices that will definitely be updated to Android 4.0.)

For now, however, you're going to be stuck with Gingerbread or Froyo for a while longer.

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User Rank: Apprentice
12/3/2011 | 1:50:52 AM
re: Gingerbread Finally Reaches 50% Of Android Smartphones
You talk about competition, but you don't have all the facts about the MS software. "Microsoft hasn't provided metrics on how quickly Mango has been adopted by Windows Phone users. " So we don't know how many phones are actually running the newest version.
Now what about Blackberry? Are they not competition? Just because their company is failing, you can not leave them out. I used to have a BB, and every time there was an update, I would have to wait for rogers to mess it up and release it. This process took an average of 5-6 months.
Also, there is no comment on the fact that after google releases an update, then the manufacturers have to 'modify' it, then the service providers mess with it. How can you blame google for the fact that motorola, LG, HTC, etc are the ones taking the time.
This is the reason why I have the Nexus S. I am tired of the hardware manufacturers and carriers taking forever to add their junk to the wonderful system that is android.

Put the blame where it should be:
-manufacturers, for 'modifying' android to look the way they want.
-service providers for 'modifying' android and even adding apps you can not delete. (I'm looking at you Bell)

Same thing when you compare Android to other devices. Motorola android is NOT android, it is a 'custom' version, with limitations added into the system. A good example is the Galaxy S2, still does not have video google talk, but the nexus s does.

I just wish there was more clear information, for customers to make an educated choice.

Please help your friends make good choices, learn before you buy!
User Rank: Apprentice
12/2/2011 | 8:39:53 PM
re: Gingerbread Finally Reaches 50% Of Android Smartphones
"When Apple readies an update to iOS, it pushes it out to all versions of the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch at once."

That couldn't be further from the truth. I'm still waiting for them to push Siri to my iPhone 4.

Maybe Apple pushes SOMETHING to all of their devices at once, and maybe they call this something by the same name (i.e., iOS5), but they're all different. If they weren't different, I'd have Siri on my iPhone 4 by now.
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