30% Android users are still stuck with an old version of Android OS

By Shehryar Ahmed on
July 24, 2018
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Google has released their monthly user distribution report. The report has revealed a number of interesting things. For example, it shows that out of the total number of Android users, 30.8% are on Android Nougat, i.e. Android 7.0 and 7.1, putting it miles ahead of the latest version of Android, Oreo 8.0 and 8.1, which has a share of 12.1%.

The data in question has been collected during a 7 day period, ending 23rd July 2018. Here is an important takeaway from the report:

Google’s Project Treble isn’t really that useful

Google launched Project Treble as part of an effort to dispatch new software updates to users on different smartphones within the shortest time frame possible. However, looking at the numbers of Android Oreo 8.0 and 8.1, it’s safe to say that Project Treble hasn’t really been successful in performings its duties.

Android Oreo launched last year and even after roughly 11 months, the OS makes up a meager 12.1% of total Android devices. This is a jump up from the distribution of Nougat, which managed to take up roughly 11.7% of the total share of Android devices after 11 months of its launch. While the jump might not be that significant, it is a jump nonetheless.

One of the major obstacles in Project Treble’s success is the slow adoption by third-party manufacturers. It is available in OEMs launching devices with Android Oreo pre-installed so users on previous software versions are not even entitled to the benefits of Treble.

As of now, more users are operating their phones on Android Lollipop 5.0, 5.1 and Android Marshmallow 6.0 than Oreo. The total share of users on both of these versions is 20.4% and 23.5% respectively.

Updates on Android smartphones are renowned for being slow but here, Google isn’t the one to blame. Google releases the updates on their phones and to smartphone manufacturers within a short time frame; it’s the manufacturers that take time to tweak the software to their liking and to implement their custom skins on the software, i.e. Huawei’s EMUI and Samsung’s TouchWiz Home.

Experts are predicting a rise in Android P’s distribution numbers by the same time period next year, courtesy of mass-scale adoption of Project Treble. Besides, adoption of Project Treble is essential to Android manufacturers as software is considered one of the main downfalls of Android in face of Apple’s iOS. New updates mean lesser bugs and better performance, inevitably meaning improved performance in the face of iOS.

 
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