While 91% of Apple users run iOS 7, five different versions of Android hold 10%+ share

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  • Reply 21 of 184
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,742member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

    I compare this to buy a nice leather sofa for $1500.

    Then another guy goes to a rent to own store to rent a POS sofa for $45 a month.

    An idiot might think the $45 month situation is saving him money.


     

    I agree. That's a reason why many poor people continue to remain poor in my opinion. They have terrible financial skills.

     

    Some cheap people buy a product that they believe is cheap and they believe that they're getting a great deal, but in the long run, it actually ends up costing them more money than the person who bought the higher quality and more expensive product to begin with.

  • Reply 22 of 184
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,148moderator
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jkichline View Post

     

    Yes, but no. Version number has nothing to do with it. iOS 7 came out last year and it's minor versions were to correct issues, security fixes, performance. Otherwise the OS was the same.

     

    Android has been stuck on 4.x for a while now. Ice Cream Sandwich, the first 4.x release was unveiled on October 19, 2011, about the same time that Apple released iOS 4.0.  If you look at Jelly Bean, that has been in development now for 2 years as it was unveiled in June 2012.  While it's named the same, it's still an old version of the operating system.  The latest and greatest Android flavor, KitKat is only installed on about 20% of devices.



    OK, so.... Apple has 91% of it's devices running the LATEST version.  Android has 20% running the LATEST version.



    Those are the facts presented in the story.  Apple would have nearly 100% OS penetration if the original iPad and older iPhones could be updated to the latest, but the hardware doesn't support it.


     

    Another way of seeing this is that the point versions of Android 4 are either minor updates and therefore some 85% of Android installs are running the latest major version, or that each of the point versions of Android 4 are major new versions, in which case there is the fragmentation suggested by this article and many others.  So take your pick, 85%+ of Android devices are running the latest major version, but that version is from 2011, or there's tremendous fragmentation.  My question to the Fandroids is, which is it?  Pick your poison, but don't imagine you'll fool us by trying to have it both ways.

  • Reply 23 of 184
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,148moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post



    I thought most of Google's updates were going through the play store? Aren't their apps updated independent from major OS releases?

     

    In which case you have fragmentation because some devices (Amazon, Chinese vendors) don't connect to Google Play, and others aren't updated even though they conceivably could be.  Which is just another dimension of fragmentation introduced in an effort to roll out security updates across a fragmented core OS that cannot be updated on many devices for either device compatibility reasons or device vendor negligence (they don;t work to offer the updates, preferring their customers to be forced to buy a new handset or tablet).  

  • Reply 24 of 184

    FWIW, I'm a developer and Android user, I choose to sidestep fragmentation issues by using Nexus phones. No fragmentation issues for me. Everything works, and it works well. $350 purchase, $30/month unlimited data month-to-month with T-Mobile, and I'm doing fine.

     

    The nice thing about iOS is that any limited-intelligence users are going to be brought along with the crowd (for the most part), and kept current. The same group buying Android devices end up running a provider-mangled version of Gingerbread for an entire phone contract because they go for the cheap phones.

     

    I think you have to be fairly intentional and thoughtful to have a high-end experience with Android. Occasionally, one of my non-tech friends will ask me if they should switch from iOS to Android, and I tell them "no." Most of my high-tech friends don't need to ask, and they're split pretty evenly between iOS/Android. We'll see if Google is able to bring more phones into the Google Android experience like Nexus over the next couple of years, but I don't see them overcoming the marketing from the cheaper/compromised brands.

  • Reply 25 of 184
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    Wow, that white line on the last graph is brutal. This (and lack of app spending on Android) is why I'm finishing up my game for iOS and then will start throwing my spare time (darned day job!) right at my next game idea%u2014instead of throwing that time toward porting--or answering support requests!--for Android. I'd like to dabble in Android development some time, but the nature of that market has to change first. I could be waiting a while...
  • Reply 26 of 184
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member
    iOS development is certainly easier the Android development but Android fragment isn't the apocalyptic problem that some suggest.

    Developers have successfully managed to cater for different hardware and OS setups on desktop for a very long time. Android is no different.
  • Reply 27 of 184
    dewmedewme Posts: 2,193member
    I think ALL attempts to compare a Product against a Platform are fundamentally flawed. The fragmentation argument is just the inverse of the market share argument. Comparing the market share of a single product or product line like the iPhone against all products that are built on Android doesn't make sense. Same goes for iOS versus Android. Commercially iOS is only used by one vendor so it's really just a product and not a platform.

    At the end of the day it's every company competing against every other company for profits. Do you think all those vendors who are using Android in their profit-less products are basking in the glory of being on the market share leading platform? What does that buy them when they have nothing to show for their efforts? Likewise do you think Apple is crying in their beer because they can't figure out how to manage their massive profits even though they have such a small market share versus the competing platform?

    Who cares if Android is or isn't fragmented? What does this have anything at all to do with paying customers choosing an Apple iPhone over a Samsung Galaxy phone? It's all just chaff meant to distract you from seeing that this is a product level battle and not a platform leave battle. If Apple was using Android in their products and was still able to deliver the same quality of service, design excellence, security, and ecosystem value that they are delivering with iOS their products would be no less compelling. It really comes down to Apple products being better, not just being different.
  • Reply 28 of 184
    gatorguy wrote: »
    Wrong sir.
    http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2014/06/google-play-services-delivers-security.html

    http://www.techradar.com/us/news/software/applications/updated-google-play-services-5-0-rolls-out-to-nearly-every-android-device-1255989
    As of v5 of Google Play Services "the updates services also adds a dynamic security provider allowing developers to rapidly deliver security patches. A necessity in today's world when it seems like some other app has been breached every week."

    ...and with zero dependence on OEM's or carriers for approval.

    FWIW Google reports that 93% of Google Android devices are on version 5.

    No, he was right. Until the latest version of Google Play, security updates required a patch to be released which then went to OEMs and then out to your phone. This was time consuming. Now Google has updated Google Play Services to allow more of the OS to be updated directly.

    Which also makes you a liar. You previously stated very clearly that Google Play Services ensures security updates are delivered to Android devices when in fact only high-level items would get updates. I argued this against you more than once and you continued to lie and state GPS updates Android. Just like you claimed that Verify Apps stops malware when it continues to miss things.
  • Reply 29 of 184
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    No, he was right. Until the latest version of Google Play, security updates required a patch to be released which then went to OEMs and then out to your phone. This was time consuming. Now Google has updated Google Play Services to allow more of the OS to be updated directly.

    Which also makes you a liar. You previously stated very clearly that Google Play Services ensures security updates are delivered to Android devices when in fact only high-level items would get updates. I argued this against you more than once and you continued to lie and state GPS updates Android. Just like you claimed that Verify Apps stops malware when it continues to miss things.

    Let him lie.

    It may just be all he has left in life.

    (>_<)
  • Reply 30 of 184
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,283member
    No, he was right. Until the latest version of Google Play, security updates required a patch to be released which then went to OEMs and then out to your phone. This was time consuming. Now Google has updated Google Play Services to allow more of the OS to be updated directly.

    Which also makes you a liar. You previously stated very clearly that Google Play Services ensures security updates are delivered to Android devices when in fact only high-level items would get updates. I argued this against you more than once and you continued to lie and state GPS updates Android. Just like you claimed that Verify Apps stops malware when it continues to miss things.

    I'm not even going to bother asking you again for any citations of these supposed claims I made as you always duck and hide afterwards. And you too sir are incorrect. Google Play Services currently installed on 93% of active Google Android devices does deliver security updates. Going back to some old GPS version to make yourself appear correct with what you want folks to believe today is kinda dishonest isn't it?

    And yes Verify Apps stops malware which you already knew. That it doesn't immediately block every piece of previously unknown malware ( it may take a couple weeks in some instances) does not make that statement untrue anymore than "seat-belts save lives" means no lives are ever lost.

    Try being a little less deceptive/dishonest. You'll be trusted more.

    To be completely clear I am not claiming these efforts from Google have resulted in a 100% secure OS. They are huge improvements over years past but like with any OS the provider needs to constantly be on guard. That's why nearly every update from Apple, MS, Google etc includes security fixes, proof that no OS today is really completely secure from those that want what we have for themselves.
  • Reply 31 of 184
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,148moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post





    Which is another way of saying these newer APIs can't be used without a lot of retooling.

     

     

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DewMe View Post



    I think ALL attempts to compare a Product against a Platform are fundamentally flawed. The fragmentation argument is just the inverse of the market share argument. Comparing the market share of a single product or product line like the iPhone against all products that are built on Android doesn't make sense. Same goes for iOS versus Android. Commercially iOS is only used by one vendor so it's really just a product and not a platform.



    At the end of the day it's every company competing against every other company for profits. Do you think all those vendors who are using Android in their profit-less products are basking in the glory of being on the market share leading platform? What does that buy them when they have nothing to show for their efforts? Likewise do you think Apple is crying in their beer because they can't figure out how to manage their massive profits even though they have such a small market share versus the competing platform?



    Who cares if Android is or isn't fragmented? What does this have anything at all to do with paying customers choosing an Apple iPhone over a Samsung Galaxy phone? It's all just chaff meant to distract you from seeing that this is a product level battle and not a platform leave battle. If Apple was using Android in their products and was still able to deliver the same quality of service, design excellence, security, and ecosystem value that they are delivering with iOS their products would be no less compelling. It really comes down to Apple products being better, not just being different.

     

    Well... the fragmentation issue does not entirely go away from a consumer's perspective just because that consumer has selected only one Android vendor.  Samsung is subject to the reality that Android is not being developed and optimized only for their products.  It's being developed with an express goal of owning the most market share, and as such is necessarily not optimized for any specific segment of the market, such as the enterprise market where built-in security, for example, is highly valued.  Few could make a reasonable argument that Google's patch-via-Google-Play approach to security updates is ideal; it's pragmatic given the security situation created by the OS fragmentation situation Google has found itself faced with, but it's not ideal.  Apple has the better approach, for all phones running iOS; it's incidental to the argument that all those phones happen to come from a single company.

  • Reply 32 of 184
    cash907cash907 Posts: 893member
    Many devices from multiple manufacturers run different versions of software compared a single manufacturer? Wow. Stop the presses. Can already tell what kind of news day this is going to be.
  • Reply 33 of 184
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by DewMe View Post



    Who cares if Android is or isn't fragmented? What does this have anything at all to do with paying customers choosing an Apple iPhone over a Samsung Galaxy phone? It's all just chaff meant to distract you from seeing that this is a product level battle and not a platform leave battle. If Apple was using Android in their products and was still able to deliver the same quality of service, design excellence, security, and ecosystem value that they are delivering with iOS their products would be no less compelling. It really comes down to Apple products being better, not just being different.

     

    Ok, wait a second there. There is a very specific reason why this becomes relevant. The market share argument is invalid because Apple give a flying f&#@ about market share. Their business model doesn't depend on market share, and that is why that argument is invalid. Now, the "inverse" as you call it being fragmentation *IS* important, that being to developers and customers. I will prove this with a very specific argument that any developer can understand: The Browser Wars of the mid-2000s.

     

    For a long time you had two major players in the Browser Wars: Internet Explorer and Netscape/Mozilla. Mozilla had the courage to break off their browser to become Firefox, and part of that was that it was going to be standards-based. This was all well and good, but it was hell on developers. Developers had to do hacks and quirks, css-differing rules, and server-side conditionals to try to get the one page they were working on to work in both environments. It became so difficult that many decided to just focus on either Internet Explorer or Firefox, and it hurt the web for years.

     

    It is this cautionary tale that is happening to Android right now. Since carriers can lock the users into a particular version, you have API fragmentation. The fragmentation makes it incredibly difficult for developers to try to target anyone in the Android universe. Also, since some manufacturers can create a version of Android with their own specific things embedded into it, that just adds to the noise. All of those concerns are what make Android an inferior development platform, even though Google says that it is "Open". iOS may be a closed eco-system, but it is consistent, and it makes sure that you can be kept up to date easily; making the lives of developers that much easier.

  • Reply 34 of 184
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,494member
    gatorguy wrote: »
    Google Plays Services currently installed on 93% of active Google Android devices...

    Now I don't know what to make of it all. Are you saying that the 'Google Plays Services' are installed on 93% of HW developed/designed/manufactured by Google? So not on, say, Samsung devices? Though Samsung has a way with putting their name on other brands as well, but this is just completely OT:

    http://www.samsung.com/us/news/newsRead.do?news_seq=2828

    1000

    edit: replaced pic with a better one
  • Reply 35 of 184
    bradipao wrote: »
    From a "developer" point of view today android fragmentation is extremely low. It was a problem ith GingerBread (2.3.x), but API difference between all 4.x versions are negligible. Basically all the functions/services/effects are available across the 4.x releases. It means you can target about 85% of Android devices with a single binary. It could be a problem again with next release (Android-L) that should contain an under-the-hood overhaul of the UI framework, with several incompatibilities.

    You're right... 85% of Android users can take advantage of the features across Android 4.X dating back to 2011.

    So to be safe... a developer should target Android 4.0 to reach the most users. You have to appeal to the lowest common denominator.

    But if there was some amazing feature introduced in Android 4.4.... the audience is MUCH smaller since not many people have Android 4.4

    And that's the struggle. Android has a lot of users... but not many of them can use the latest features in the current version of Android. Developers are forced to look back instead of moving forward.

    And it will only get worse. Google announced 5,000 new APIs with Android L. Great, right?

    But if a developer wanted to use those APIs in their apps... the devices would need Android L

    Looking back at history... it takes YEARS for any particular version of Android to reach a meaningful percentage of Android users.

    Developers will ignore those 5,000 new APIs in Android L and continue to support Android 4.X instead.

    It might take until 2016 or 2017 until enough phones can support the features of Android L and above.
  • Reply 36 of 184
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,283member
    philboogie wrote: »
    Now I don't know what to make of it all. Are you saying that the 'Google Plays Services' are installed on 93% of HW developed/designed/manufactured by Google? So not on, say, Samsung devices? Though Samsung has a way with putting their name on other brands as well, but this is just completely OT:

    http://www.samsung.com/us/news/newsRead.do?news_seq=2828

    1000

    edit: replaced pic with a better one

    Devices running Google Android. That would include those from Samsung. And HTC. And Motorola. And etc. It would NOT include Amazon or Nokia (Microsoft) or Xiaomi or various knock-off's with forked OS's.
  • Reply 37 of 184
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,283member


    Well... the fragmentation issue does not entirely go away from a consumer's perspective just because that consumer has selected only one Android vendor.  Samsung is subject to the reality that Android is not being developed and optimized only for their products.  It's being developed with an express goal of owning the most market share, and as such is necessarily not optimized for any specific segment of the market, such as the enterprise market where built-in security, for example, is highly valued.  Few could make a reasonable argument that Google's patch-via-Google-Play approach to security updates is ideal; it's pragmatic given the security situation created by the OS fragmentation situation Google has found itself faced with, but it's not ideal.  Apple has the better approach, for all phones running iOS; it's incidental to the argument that all those phones happen to come from a single company.

    Both solutions have their strengths. Apple could see benefits from a "Google Play Services" approach to speed updates to core services rather than waiting until an OS update is finalized.
  • Reply 38 of 184
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by kpluck View Post



    IOS 7, 91% of IOS users. Android 4, 85.7% of Android users. Of course, that doesn't have the click bait ring to it does it?



    -kpluck

    As a developer, I care more about API numbers than the marketing versions numbers.  Apple only revises their API levels on the major marketing releases (6.0, 7.0, etc), with a few exceptions like 3.2 adding iPad support .  Android can change their API level on a .0.1 update, although recently I will give Google that they are trying to limit API level changes to the .1 updates.  

     

    For your example 91% of IOS users are on the current API level, however 85.7% of Android users are spread across the last 6 API levels.  

     

    If you want to support at least 50% of the android market with a single app you need to go back to API level 16 released July 2012 (current is 19).  That means that either you don't support the features in the last 3 APIs or you have to start implementing branching based on API level.  Not impossible, but definitely adds to the development cost, complexity and time.

  • Reply 39 of 184
    mknoppmknopp Posts: 257member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by kpluck View Post



    IOS 7, 91% of IOS users. Android 4, 85.7% of Android users. Of course, that doesn't have the click bait ring to it does it?



    -kpluck

     

    Straight from the article, "The OpenSignal data breaks down mobile operating system installations based on new application programming interfaces made available to developers ..."

     

    So, it doesn't work that way. The API is what is really important since if you use a new API released in 4.4 it won't work on anything lower.

  • Reply 40 of 184
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    gatorguy wrote: »
    Devices running Google Android. That would include those from Samsung. And HTC. And Motorola. And etc. It would NOT include Amazon or Nokia (Microsoft) or Xiaomi or various knock-off's with forked OS's.

    That's part of the problem with pretty much everything Google does that I have to assume it's purposely done to avoid transparency. You say Google Android to refer to non-forked versions of Android but the forked version are still using Android which comes from Google. To not cal it Android is like saying Android doesn't use Linux simply because Google did their own thing with it.

    This issue goes further when they do API changes but still refer to Android by a specific version number which only looks like it's done so they can claim a higher install base for a given arbitrary value to help obfuscate the amount of fragmentation they really have.

    But I don't think it's all from a choice to muddle the facts, I think the other part is simply from bad planning, like with their size chart which has a lot of overlap for the various size categories.

    I look at all this and think what a nightmare for developers and customers alike.
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