Though Android v4.1, also known as Jelly Bean, is the latest version of the operating system, Android v4.0, also called Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) is still going strong. Its presence has increased by more than two-fold in the past two months. The latest distribution stats of different versions of the Android OS released by Google shows that ICS has now spread to 15.9 percent of devices. The ICS user base was only 10.9 percent last month and 7.1 percent in June. Android v2.3 Gingerbread still commands the major share, and runs on 60.3 percent of the devices.

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich

Android v4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich

Android v4.1 Jelly Bean, the latest version, is present only on 0.8 percent of the devices. The reason behind this low start is that mostly Google's own devices are currently running on Jelly Bean. Most of the new devices are shipping with ICS out of the box at the moment, which has further contributed to the growth of ICS.

ICS is now on 16 percent of Android devices

ICS is now on 16 percent of Android devices

The latest distribution stats released were based on data collected during a 14-day period ending on August 1, 2012, marking the number of Android devices that have accessed Google Play within the 14-day data collection period. The Android developers website also provides more figures and stats related to devices running on Google's Android OS, based on various parameters as mentioned below:

  • Historical distribution: This section provides a history of the relative number of active Android devices running different versions of the Android platform, thereby providing valuable information on how many devices your application is compatible with, based on the platform version.
  • Screen sizes and densities: This section provides data about the relative number of active devices that have a particular screen configuration, defined by a combination of screen size and density.
  • OpenGL version: This section provides data about the relative number of active devices that support a particular version of OpenGL ES.

Coming back to ICS, it is worth mentioning that this update has been the most important and impactful Android update yet. ICS was publicly released on October 19, 2011, and carried a vast list of features. The update was theoretically compatible with any Android Gingerbread 2.3.x device in production at that time, as stated by Google's Gabe Cohen at the time of its release. ICS has also been lucky with timely bug fixes, and additional features introduced by Google, which further strengthened its position.

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