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Are Android Jelly Bean Installs Rising Fast Enough?

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According to newly updated statistics, Android Jelly Bean now accounts for 16% of all of the devices shipping with Google’s mobile operating system.

These statistics, courtesy of the Android Developer Dashboard, show that the latest two updates to Android are gaining steam. Their combined 16% breaks down in favor of Android 4.1 (launched in June 2012) at 14.9% and Android 4.2 (launched in October 2012) accounting for 1.6%. These statistics were compiled by taking a snapshot of all the Android devices that access the Google Play Store over the course of a two week period.

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These numbers imply that not only are the latest and greatest Android devices picking up steam on wireless carriers, more users may be easily getting updates from their wireless carriers, who typically try to steer clear of issuing non-essential fixes for older devices like full operating system upgrades.

Android Jelly Bean’s rise to third largest operating system in the Android ecosystem is good news for Google, as complaints of “fragmentation” and handsets not being upgradable to newer operating systems continue to be leveled at Android. However, these statistics won’t satisfy many critics because Android 2.3 – 2.37, versions of the mobile operating system that launched back in December 2010, continue to dominate the Android ecosystem overall at 44% of the total share.

Getting the latest version of an operating system on as many user’s smartphones as possible is crucial. Application stores have increasingly become the center of smartphone operating system’s advantage. As newer versions of Android are introduced, advances in the way developers create applications are sometimes not compatible with older versions of Android and usually result in developers choosing to only focus their efforts on the newer, easier to program versions, instead of maintaining backwards compatibility with older versions that may need work arounds or additional code to work correctly.

Travis Pope is a Reporter-at-large for GottaBeMobile. He's currently enjoying a romp in the dangerous quicksand that is Microsoft's Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, and Xbox ecosystem.

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