Get ready, get excited, it's time for the monthly Android distribution numbers.
As you're no doubt aware by now, Google releases monthly statistics related to the fragmentation of its Android operating system, and these provide a helpful look at just how the various iterations of the OS are coming and going in the present-day Android ecosystem.
It should come as little surprise that Google's Jelly Bean iteration of the OS (versions 4.1, 4.2, and 4.3) is currently enjoying the greatest distribution on measured Android devices. As for what defines a measured Android device, Google's version-tracking dashboard takes into account the operating system of all Android devices that visited the Google Play store for the seven-day period ending 8 January.
Obviously, that only works for devices running Android 2.2 or greater — the latest iteration of the Google Play Store app, which Google uses to track Android OS counts, doesn't work on anything older than Android 2.2.
Google's latest version of Android, KitKat, currently only finds a home on approximately 1.4 percent of all Android devices Google's measured. That's just a smidge up from last month's 1.1 percent. With KitKat basically running on only Nexus or Motorola phones at this point, it's clear that manufacturers have yet to unleash the Android 4.4 floodgates.
Still, there's plenty of promise that more devices should receive KitKat at some undetermined point in the future, so it'll be interesting to see how (or if) adoption spikes in the next few months or so. (As an Android HTC owner, I'm practically ready to root and custom ROM his device just to avoid having to wait for HTC to push KitKit out.)
As for specifics, Jelly Bean now enjoys a 60 per cent distribution rate among the Android devices Google measured, which is around a 5 per cent increase from last month's stats. Naturally, those moving to Jelly Bean likely took away from the share of previous iterations of the OS: Gingerbread and Ice Cream Sandwich users dropped approximately 2 per cent each to just over 21 per cent and just under 17 per cent, respectively.
Android 2.2 users (Froyo) still cling to their antiquated operating systems with a 1.3 per cent share, whereas Honeycomb users are practically extinct at a 0.1 per cent share — that's probably not tablet users who have been unwilling to upgrade, rather, it's likely that it's Google TV users that haven't yet been given the opportunity to.