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article imageAndroid Marshmallow has miniscule impact, on just 2% of phones

By James Walker     Mar 9, 2016 in Technology
Google released new official figures revealing how the rollout of the latest version of Android, 6.0 Marshmallow, is going. The vast majority of users have yet to experience the new OS as it is present on only 2 percent of phones, months since launch.
The updated statistics can be viewed on Google's Developer Dashboard. It details the overall usage of each released Android version, providing a good indicator of how market adoption is progressing. For Marshmallow, it appears to be agonisingly slowly.
Four months in, only 2.3 percent of Android devices run the new operating system. Updates have been slow in coming for the majority of phones in use, explaining why the latest and greatest version of the OS is still struggling to find its feet in the world.
The report also details the usage of older Android versions. Combined, Lollipop 5.0 and 5.1 remain the most popular Android edition, present on a total of 36.1 percent of devices. 4.4 Kitkat is still on 34.3 percent despite now beginning to show its age. Jelly Bean versions 4.1 and 4.2 account for 22.3 percent of devices.
Ice Cream Sandwich, version 4.0, retains 2.3 percent of the market, less than the ancient 2.3 Gingerbread edition with 2.6 percent. Finally, 2.2 Froyo, one of the earliest versions of Android released to the public, still sees 0.1 percent market share.
Market share of individual Android versions  March 2016
Market share of individual Android versions, March 2016
Google
Marshmallow has less market share than 2010's Gingerbread, a sobering fact given the popularity of Android six years ago compared with its status today. Marshmallow has grown significantly since February though, suggesting it could enjoy wider usage among consumers in the near future.
Last month, it passed the 1 percent mark for the first time, hitting 1.2 percent with a 0.5 percent increase. In the 30 days since, it has grown another 1.1 percent, implying that adoption is starting to pick up even if it is at a sluggish rate.
The rise can be attributed to a wave of new device launches, including Samsung's Galaxy S7 and the LG G5, as well as software updates finally making their way to older phones. Samsung recently pushed Marshmallow out the door to last year's flagship phones, the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge, opening it up to a much wider audience.
Android Marshmallow includes several new features that let users do more on their phone. The interface has received a refresh, including a new app launcher and expanded Google Now integration, and built-in support for hardware including fingerprint sensors and USB Type-C is present for the first time.
A smart power-saving feature, Doze, automatically curbs the background usage of apps, saving so much battery that total drain time can be doubled in some cases. This feature alone would be welcomed by many consumers but it is unlikely that many existing phones will ever be updated unless they are a recent device.
The fragmented nature of Android makes it hard for manufacturers to ship updates in a timely manner, restricting the new features of upgrades to people who bought a premium phone to begin with or can afford to do so now.
More about Google, Android, android marshmallow, Smartphone, Os
 
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