According to some rumors, Android 12 is set to arrive today but while it is not technically official yet, we asked you what Android version you were running on your device and now we have the results.
As we mentioned, Google no longer provides official up-to-date information on the distribution data of the world’s biggest mobile OS. We’re under no illusions that a quick poll or survey would give us an indication of just what the global spread would be — especially on an enthusiast tech site. However, it’s still interesting to get a feel for our audience and just what Android versions people are running on their smartphones.
It should come as absolutely no surprise to anyone reading or regular to 9to5Google that 58.1% of our readers have Android 11 as the pre-installed or current latest OS version running on their smartphone. That could change over the coming weeks as we start to see OEMs update their flagship lines to Android 12, and the imminent release for Pixel phones could see that change almost overnight too.
We’ve covered Android 12 from its infancy through the entire Developer Preview and Beta phases and while it’s not necessarily surprising, the second largest group accounted for are those with a version of the Android 12 Developer Preview or Beta phase installed on their device. What is a shock is that only 25.5% of our readers do run these preview builds.
Despite a few hiccups, the Android 12 Beta phase has been reasonably stable for pre-release software. It’s still not something we recommend to everyone though, the VPN issues were an annoyance that I personally couldn’t deal with prior to a fix rolling out. In that instance, I just switched back to a device running Android 11 to ensure things worked as they should.
Things start to fall apart here as only 9.3% of our readers said they are running Android 10. Considering it was released back in 2019, it’s maybe less of a shock given its two years old but it’s still a little lower than at least I had anticipated. This can be fine if devices are still receiving regular security patches and bug fixes but as reader Esteban notes, running something like LineageOS extends the lifespan of older hardware by providing those all-important security patches.
According to the latest Android Distribution data from April 2020, Android 9 Pie is the most installed version of the OS but our readers make up just 3.9%. That’s pretty interesting but not all that surprising in a tech-focused audience and although our pool of data is small it’s still notable.
That left the outliers of Android 8.0 Oreo, 7.0 Nougat, 6.0 Marshmallow and 5.0 Lollipop which received 1.37%, 0.61%, 0.35% and 0.43% of the vote share respectively. Some people are still fans of the Holo design introduced back with Ice Cream Sandwich, which might account for the 0.35% who voted “Other”. It would have been sad to see people persevering with extremely out of date Android versions on their main devices. I will note that using these older builds is less of an issue on backup devices or on something like a tablet.
In terms of comparison between the “official” data and this arguably inaccurate poll, it’s probably in line with what you would hope for as an Android fan. We’d wager that the real figures are skewed more heavily to Android 10 and 11 in the wild, especially as Android 12 is only set to be available for a limited number of devices over the coming weeks. Let’s hope that at some point in the future, we’ll see an iOS-like distribution — we’re not confident though.
More on Android:
- Google updates Assistant Reminders on Android with a dark theme
- Android Auto now works in Tesla vehicles through the browser
- YouTube testing Google Assistant integration on Android that offers search suggestions
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