Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 3rd Apr 2013 13:19 UTC
Google Google has changed the way it's counting devices running particular Android versions. "Beginning in April, 2013, these charts are now built using data collected from each device when the user visits the Google Play Store. Previously, the data was collected when the device simply checked-in to Google servers. We believe the new data more accurately reflects those users who are most engaged in the Android and Google Play ecosystem." The change does actually make sense - reflecting the kind of usage developers are interested in - but the fact that this also makes Jelly Bean jump from 16% to 25% surely played an important role here too. This means that Ice Cream Sandwich and later now account for about 54% of Android devices in use.
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But
by Deviate_X on Wed 3rd Apr 2013 13:44 UTC
Deviate_X
Member since:
2005-07-11

Interesting, will they still be publishing the real figures vs the 'massaged' number?

Reply Score: 3

RE: But
by r_a_trip on Wed 3rd Apr 2013 14:13 UTC in reply to "But"
r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

What more information do those numbers give us than what the OS statistics of active Android users do?

I can understand Google's viewpoint. Any Android 2.x phone out there, used as a dumbphone, is uninteresting to the Android ecosystem. For a developer, there is no use in targetting a certain "strain" of "dominant" Android 2.x, if the users of that version never show up in the Play Store. To move the the App ecosystem forward, developers can't maintain compatibility with the lowest (and as it turns out, not the common) denominator forever.

The new numbers seem to suggest that the lowest common denominator is API level 10. Anything below that is too small to invest effort in.

Yes, that is bad news for anybody, active in the playstore, on a phone that runs any version of Android below 2.3.3. Better get an ICS phone soon, as newer Apps might not work anymore. (Or go custom rom with a higher API level).

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: But
by jared_wilkes on Wed 3rd Apr 2013 14:22 UTC in reply to "RE: But"
jared_wilkes Member since:
2011-04-25

These %s are of those accessing the Play Store. We have estimated data for the size of the Android market. We do not have estimates for the size of the Android market that actively accesses Play. So we no longer have a more definite way to estimate an actual addressable market.

Or rather we can do some bad math that we can then subtract some not insignificant number from.

Also, this completely devalues the ability to install apps from other sources and even other stores. If Google and Fandroids are telling me that other means of accessing the market for Android are irrelevant, then they are in fact irrelevant as far as I'm concerned.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: But
by r_a_trip on Wed 3rd Apr 2013 22:12 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: But"
r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

I don't think that makes Google lie awake at night.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: But
by jared_wilkes on Wed 3rd Apr 2013 22:20 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: But"
jared_wilkes Member since:
2011-04-25

Why do you think I care what Google thinks?

As Thom says, it's clear that they're doing this to put the best spin they can on their data. I'm sure they love this. That doesn't make it a good thing for everyone else.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: But
by tkeith on Wed 3rd Apr 2013 16:01 UTC in reply to "RE: But"
tkeith Member since:
2010-09-01

Keep in mind that with two year contracts there are a lot of people that have a gingerbread phone that are not "novice" users. 4.0 was a big change and most phones with 2.3 will not be upgraded due mainly to the size of the partitions on the phone. I bought my wife get the Samsung stratosphere(basically an slightly upgraded Galaxy S) because it the best phone available on Verizon with a Keyboard. Apps need to support older version, and often it's not really that hard with Android. Especially if it's a simple app that doesn't need the newer APIs.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: But
by r_a_trip on Wed 3rd Apr 2013 22:14 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: But"
r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

Well, API Level 10 is still a significant chunk, so developers better not ignore Android 2.3.3 to 2.3.7.

The lower versions? Looks like fair game.

Reply Score: 2

Comment from Sisora
by sisora on Wed 3rd Apr 2013 14:09 UTC
sisora
Member since:
2011-08-26

This sounds more like "the way" they count Google+ users.

Reply Score: 3

One way or the other, not both.
by dsmogor on Mon 8th Apr 2013 07:58 UTC
dsmogor
Member since:
2005-09-01

If they count Android versions this way, then the market share of the OS should be counted this way as well.

Reply Score: 2