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Android 2.2 gets real use after four months, trails iOS 4

updated 03:20 pm EDT, Sat September 11, 2010

Android 2.2 adoption lagging behind iOS upgrades

New data from Google has revealed that Android 2.2 is at last getting significant adoption four months after it was released. The OS jumped from just 4.5 percent of Android phones in July to 28.7 percent last month. It still remains in the minority with Android 2.1 on 41.7 percent of devices.

Almost a fifth of users, at 19.5 percent, are still using Android 1.6 or earlier versions that are now about a year old, Google said.

Most of the more recent adoption is owed to devices like the Motorola Droid 2 shipping with Android 2.2 from the start as well as HTC's first round of Android 2.2 updates for the Desire, Evo 4G and Nexus One.

The upgrade speed, while an improvement over earlier in the year, highlights the fragmentation of the platform. In many cases, those who have yet to update to 2.2 either don't have sufficient hardware, even after less than a year of being on the market, or else have been shut out by handset builders that can't or won't upgrade after a certain point. Samsung, as one example, has given no indication that it will upgrade the Galaxy Spica to a version past 2.1 and has claimed T-Mobile's Behold II can't go past 1.6 despite touting its raw performance less than a year ago. Some phone makers, particularly Dell, are shipping devices with Android 1.6 or even 1.5 and promising upgrades sometime later.

Google is expected to try and minimize fragmentation Android 3.0 by pushing many of the core app updates through Android Market rather than requiring entirely new firmware. The OS is likewise maturing and should slow down its update rate, giving more companies a chance to release devices on the same platform.

The situation nonetheless contrasts sharply with that for iOS 4, which Chitika research said was already at 50 percent just a month after Apple posted the update in late June. While Apple has not been aggressive as Google in sheer frequency, its control over both the hardware and software and lack of obstacles from carriers has meant it could provide the latest features to every compatible device at once. Apple has also been less willing to cut off devices early and is still supporting the iPhone 3G and second-generation iPod touch with most of the iOS 4.1 feature set.

by MacNN Staff



  1. MadGoat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Froyo is Good...

    I've been using 2.2 for several weeks and while it's good, it's still clunky in comparison to iOS.

  1. SockRolid

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What a mess

    "Some phone makers, particularly Dell, are shipping devices with Android 1.6 or even 1.5 and promising upgrades sometime later."

    They're probably taking a wait-and-see attitude. That Oracle lawsuit has merit, it has legal precedent in Microsoft knuckling and paying Sun $20 million for a similar Java license infraction, but Larry Ellison will not be bought off. Android software will be "impounded and destroyed" as per the language in the suit, and all Google will have going forward is Chrome OS.

    And we'll see the same cycle of Chrome OS device makers locking their customers in with custom versions and proprietary tweaks. This is what happens when no one company controls the OS and the hardware. The very definition of "fragmentation" with respect to platforms.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. facebook_Ben

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Sep 2010


    comment title

    Oh that's a load of garbage .. it's like saying Linux is fragmented because Redhat, Ubuntu, SuSE and others put their spin on it.

    What will the Apple Fanboi's say when the 2G/3G iPhones are STILL in use a year from now but Apple no long updates them? Fragmentation? I should say not. If you have an old phone or a cheap low featured phone (ie. Moto Devour) then of course when the "new shiny" comes out and you don't have enough hardware to run it ... you ain't getting it.

    All this talk of Fragmentation is a red herring and quite stupid.

  1. Spacemoose

    Joined: Dec 1969



    "All this talk of Fragmentation is a red herring and quite stupid."

    If you're a developer, you have a lot fewer people on the latest OS on Android. You have *much* more people on versions that are a year or more old. That has a very serious impact if you're looking to deliver a product.

    If your product requires some of the new functionality of the latest OS, then your Android market is in reality a much smaller demographic than it would be if there was less fragmentation.

  1. grdaven

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Just left Android after 11 months

    The problems outweigh the advantages of Android. Carriers do not update you operating system quickly and give up on a phone less than a year old. Syncing is horrible, even worse if you have a Mac. There are great apps by Google. Sky, Navigation etc. the rest of app store is full of junk. Glad to switch to IOS4 everything is seamless and you can do what need to fast. Android is not a complete package, the focus is on hardware and glitter but no substance and user experience. When Iphone goes on other carriers people will jump ship.

  1. VValdo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Fragmentation... riiight...

    FWIW, "Fragmentation" when it comes to Android does not refer to the differences between 2.1 and 2.2.... it's about how each wireless carrier can customize the UI (or really whatever they want--it's an open source OS) and the theory was that apps were going to eventually become incompatible.

    That hasn't happened.

    But anyway-- as a former mac loyalist (apple ][ forever, anyone?) I just want to point out that I'm running 2.2 on my G1 phone, which came out 2 years ago. I wouldn't give up my 2 year old unlocked Android phone (which also worked great in Europe) for a new iPhone 4 as I prefer to run whatever programs I want on it and not have to ask anyone for permission. That said, as soon as the HTC G2s come out later this month, I'm all over it.

  1. Telekinesis

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Love my phone.

    I've had it since, well, before it was even released and love the Flash

  1. wrenchy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    All ok here!

    No problems on my Android phone.

    Those guys with issues must be using their phone wrong.

  1. ruel24

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Just recently saw

    I just recently saw where certain manufacturers are just now releasing Android 2.1 updates for certain phones! Seriously? The Android market is somewhat of a mess, and this is what happens when you let too many people have too much control. Everyone has their own agenda, and none of it is good for the consumer.

    I'm a Verizon user, and I've decided that Android is too much of a headache. I'll wait for the phantom Veriozon iPhone or I just won't bother with a smartphone at all.

  1. facebook_Tom

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Sep 2010


    IOS4 has it's update problems too

    My wife has a HTC Incredible. Some things are better and some things are worse. Overall I like it better and I'm certainly glad for the competition. Can't wait for Windows 7 phone. If Android and Windows 7 have flash and start cutting into Steve's profits then we'll see how committed he is to html 5. He doesn't mind inconveniencing customers especially when they have no other option, but we'll see how it is when the profits start going away.

    Anyway she got updated to 2.2 about 3 weeks ago. No problem with the update.

    I on the other hand have an Iphone 3Gs. I attempted to install the 4.1 update this week. Got about three quarters of the way through and just died. I tried it again same thing. I was able to update the phone on my computer at work, but all my stuff is on my computer at home. So I go back home and try to restore the phone from a backup. Guess what it dies again. So now I have to go back to work and restore the phone again then come home and sync with my home computer. I have so much stuff it takes about an hour to sync.

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