Up until a few years ago, Google regularly published figures that gave a good indication of how quickly a new Android version spreads. In the meantime, this data is only published very rarely – as happened again now. The updates are by no means smooth.
Android Distribution: Most smartphones are outdated
Although smartphone manufacturers like Google and Samsung are quick to distribute Android updates, things aren’t looking too good. After a long time, Google has published numbers in Android Studio again and clearly showed the whole problem there (source: heise). According to this, most Android devices are still running Android 11 and therefore an outdated version, although Android 12 has been available for a year and Android 13 is now being rolled out. Below are the numbers:
- Android 11 with 27 percent
- Android 10 with 22 percent
- Android 9 with 14.5 percent
- Android 12 with 13.5 percent
Android 13 isn’t even listed yet because it’s too new. Google collects the numbers from really active deviceswho had access to the Play Store. So these are really devices that are actively used. So the majority of Android devices are running an old or very old version of Android.
Google has repeatedly tried to ensure that manufacturers distribute software updates in recent years. None of this really worked, as these figures clearly show. Very few manufacturers of Android cell phones actually distribute regular and long updates. Compared to Apple, that’s a real smack for Google.
Android 13 is here and brings some new features:
EU wants update obligation for all smartphone manufacturers
In the future, the manufacturers will probably no longer be able to completely shirk their responsibility. The EU is planning important changes, including simpler repairs and a five-year update requirement. That could have a big impact on the numbers. All of this is still under discussion and has not yet been officially decided.