The Google’s Developers Dashboard has revealed that the latest version of Android in the form of 4.4 KitKat is now present on 13.6 percent of all devices that visited the Google Play store over the last week ending Wednesday. This is a noticeable increase over the 8.5 percent that was recorded just one month prior.
This measurement places KitKat above Ice Cream Sandwich in terms of market share. Ice Cream Sandwich currently sits at a 14.9 percent market share. Even after this growth, Jelly Bean still remains the most prevalent Android OS with nearly 50% of Android devices running on Jelly Bean.
Unlike iOS updates, Android tends to be quite fragmented across multiple devices. Because Android is an open source OS, updates will only roll out when manufacturers optimize the update for their devices taking specs, screen size and other factors into consideration. Some devices are never updated. The same applies with carriers, who are also involved with the process.
Apple CEO Tim Cook made a point about this fragmentation on Monday at Apple’s WWDC event. Cook took a shot at Android by comparing the install base of KitKat to iOS 7, which currently sits at 89 percent. However, this comparison makes no sense considering iOS is a very controlled ecosystem as opposed to Android which is open source. It’s easy to roll out an update when the only devices that need to be considered are all designed by the same company. The comparison is just absurd.
What this does show however is that KitKat is slowly but surely growing. Alongside Google’s direct support of the Nexus line of devices, more manufacturers are beginning to roll out updates. A number of upcoming devices will be launching with KitKat straight out of the box.
One thing on many people’s mind is whether or not Google will announce the long rumored Android 5 KeyLimePie at Google I/O which is fast approaching.