Android 4.x leaps to 54.3% share of Android versions
Google's Android dashboard share numbers for the last two weeks of March appear to show that the most recent Android 4.x versions have leapt to a 54.3% share, from 45.1% the previous month, but there's been a change in methodology that could explain that. The numbers, which are published to help developers identify which versions of Android they should consider, have historically been collected based on the number of devices that checked in to any of Google's servers.
The new numbers are based on user visits to the Google Play Store, a change which would reduce numbers for older Android devices, where users would tend to be happy with their apps, and increase numbers for new devices where owners are more likely to browse and select new applications. Google says that it feels the new methodology "more accurately reflects those users who are most engaged in the Android and Google Play ecosystem".
The numbers for the older versions see the hardy 2.3, Gingerbread, dropping from 44.2% to 39.8%, 2.2, Froyo, down from 7.6% to 4.0%, and the Honeycomb tablet era, 3.x, dropping from 1.2% to 0.2%.
Source: Google Another set of figures that Google hasn't been updating for some months, screen size and DPI information, has now also been updated. The dominant screen form factor is "normal" displays (around 3-5 inches) and from 180 to over 300 dpi, as would be expected with a modern smartphone operating system, with 62.9% of devices falling into that category. Seven to ten inch devices, presumably tablets, take 4.9% of display share, while devices between four and seven inches, including phone-tablets, larger phones and smaller tablets, take 5.7% of the share.
Developers who rely on OpenGL will find life somewhat simpler. According to the latest updated figures, only 0.3% of devices only support OpenGL ES 1.1. The other 99.7% support OpenGL ES 2.0 and 1.1.