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04 May 2010, 15:53

Google: Android 2.1 is catching up

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Android Fragmented Logo Google has published an updated breakdown of the number of active devices running a given version of its Android mobile operating system platform. According to the Platform Versions device dashboard on the Android Developer portal, the latest 2.1 release of Android is gaining market share with 32.4% – up over five percentage points compared to last month (27%). The increase comes at the expense of Android 2.0.1 (0.6%) and 1.6 (29.4%) devices, both of which lost more than two per cent. However, in total with 66% versions 1.5 and 1.6 still make up a majority of the overall devices.

It's not too surprising that Android 2.0 and 2.0.1 numbers have begun to shrink, especially considering the fact that Motorola recently released the 2.1 update for it's popular Droid (also known in Europe as the Motorola Milestone) devices – one of the few phones to include the 2.0.x branch of Android. By comparison, the first smartphone to use Android, the T-Mobile G1, will not officially run versions later than 1.6 for technical reasons. Although Google says that it simply doesn't have enough internal memory, unofficial releases of Android 2.1 are available online.

The information provided by Google is based on the number of Android devices that have accessed the Android Market within a 14-day period ending on the data collection date of the 3rd of May, 2010. While many users may not know, or care, what version of Android their devices run, older versions are often limited in that they don't include support for the latest features or can't run the latest software. Twitter's new Official Android app, for example, requires Android 2.1 or above.

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