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Android version distribution history

Below are a few interesting graphs automatically generated from data collected from Google's Android Dashboards. They provide some insight into the dynamics and evolution of the various Android versions that there are, and may help predict future trends.

Distribution history

The following stacked chart show the history of the relative distribution among Android versions over time. The more recent versions are at the top. At some dates the top of the chart does not exactly reach 100%, this is because Google publishes only statistics for versions that have a 0.1% or greater share, and this small amount is sometimes visible. The data is gathered by Google based on devices accessing the Market / Play Store over a 1 to 2 weeks period prior to the publication date. Hover on the chart to get the exact published percentages at a certain date.

Share by major version

This graph shows the same data but that time the lines are not stacked and the share is summed by major version codename. This makes it easier to see individual variations. It is apparent here that the major versions follow long, relatively similar lifecycle starting with a slow growth in the first few month, then ramping up strongly and climbing for about a year to reach a peak, at which point the next major version is introduced and the share starts to decline slowly. In that light Gingerbread does not seem like an outlier and Jellybean will probably enjoy a similar long slowing down before it is superseded by KitKat.

Adoption rate

This chart is a bit different and shows how quickly the different Android version gained support from the point they were released. It is assumed that any device that supports a given version is also retro-compatible with all versions before that. The horizontal axis is the time in months since release, which is assumed to be the date it first appeared in the statistics.

For clarity versions before Froyo are omitted from this graph and it is truncated to a 3-year period.

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Comment left by tschlief on 2016-10-17 15:37:24 :
Great visualization. Dist. History really shows how the fragmentation have increased over the years.
Comment left by tschlief on 2016-10-17 15:37:11 :
Great visualization. Dist. History really shows how the fragmentation have increased over the years.
Comment left by Yoann on 2016-09-24 23:08:24 :
Amazing data collection and presentation job, thank you !
Comment left by Kami on 2016-08-11 18:26:13 :
Wonderful site! :D
Comment left by Dario on 2016-08-03 11:31:28 :
Man, Marshmallow is pretty bad in terms of adoption....
Comment left by Juan on 2016-07-29 14:50:24 :
Really nice charts, good work. And they are still updated!
Comment left by rahulp on 2015-06-03 19:40:37 :
Ignore my previous comment, I understand now. It shows higher because that includes the 12% of users that have Lollipop because it's presumed they support KitKat as well. Makes sense. Sorry for the dumb question.
Comment left by rahulp on 2015-06-03 19:29:07 :
Why is KitKat shown as just above 50% in the last chart (Adoption Rate), while the Share by Major Version chart shows its peak at about 41%?
Comment left by Fernando on 2015-06-01 21:06:49 :
Would it be possible to have a toggle to change the axis between 100% to number of units?
Reply from the author :
Unfortunately no, Google only publishes distribution percentages.
Comment left by gabriel on 2015-05-05 19:07:22 :
Can you add a version of the last graph that uses the actual release date and not the first appearance on the dashboard as starting point. For the older versions it might be fine, but especially for Lollipop it would make a huge difference. Lollipop is now six months old not 4, so it's rise isn't that much faster.
Reply from the author :
I would like to but I don't know an authoritative, reliable, computer-parseable source of this information.
Comment left by manish mohanta on 2015-03-24 22:41:49 :
Jelly Bean4.1.2
API 16
Comment left by manish mohanta on 2015-03-24 22:39:15 :
Android 4.1.2 to 4.4.4 developed
Comment left by Manish Mohanta on 2015-03-24 22:37:44 :
how toAndroid 4.4.4
Comment left by Manish Mohanta on 2015-03-24 22:37:03 :
how toAndroid 4.3.1 OTA
Comment left by Somon on 2015-03-19 21:14:02 :
Is it possible to get this data in tabular format?
Reply from the author :
The raw data is available here :
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