Half of all Android phones and tablets run Jelly Bean

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Over half of all currently active Android devices are running the up-to-date Jelly Bean operating system, according to Google. It isn't all good news, though, with a quarter of all devices still stuck on the three-year-old Gingerbread platform.

Google's pie chart for different Android device versions.
(Credit: Google)

The data, collected from any device that visited or accessed the Google Play store app in the seven days before 1 November, shows that 52.1 per cent of all Android devices are running one of the three variants of Jelly Bean: most (37.3 per cent) are running the original 4.1 Jelly Bean from July 2012, while less (12.5 per cent) are running the November 2012 4.2 and less again (2.3 per cent) are completely up to date with the latest 4.3.

Devices running Android 4.4 KitKat don't feature in the rankings; Google doesn't include devices with less than 0.1 per cent penetration, and the Google Nexus 5, the flagship phone for 4.4, has only been available for a few days.

After the combined Jelly Bean count, most other Android devices (26 per cent) are stuck on the almost three-year-old 2.3 Gingerbread update, which was the first Android version to support a front-facing camera and large, high-resolution displays. Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich also accounts for around a 20 per cent share.

It's unlikely that these older devices will ever be updated to Jelly Bean, since phone and tablet manufacturers generally stop supporting their devices within a couple of years. With the 4.4 KitKat update, though, Google is pushing many of its in-house app updates directly through the Play store, so older devices can access updated features even on older versions like Ice Cream Sandwich.

Different screen sizes and display resolution variants on Android.
(Credit: Google)

Also in Google's Android Developer dashboard figures is the distribution of screen sizes among Android devices. "Normal" screen sizes, between approximately 3 and 5 inches, account for 80 per cent of all active devices, while small screens (less than 3 inches) make up 9 per cent, large (5 to 7 inches) are 6 per cent and extra large (7 inches and above) account for 5 per cent.

This data goes to show how much more popular Android is for smartphone use than for tablets; almost 90 per cent of Android devices have a screen smaller than 5 inches in size, and a fair proportion of screens in that 5-inch-plus tablet territory are "phablets", such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and the Sony Xperia Z Ultra.

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