Google: Android Froyo OS is hot, fragmentation remains

Google has released a breakdown of Android releases running on active smartphones, tablets and other devices and the results show that the latest versions are taking off along with Android itself.

Google has released a breakdown of Android releases running on active smartphones, tablets and other devices and the results show that the latest versions are taking off along with Android itself.

The Froyo, or Version 2.2, release of Android issued about four months ago now can be found on about 29% of active devices, including the Motorola Droid, HTC EVO 4G and HTC Droid Incredible. Version 2.2 added features such as voice dialing over Bluetooth, full support for Adobe Flash, more storage room for apps, tethering support and improved browser performance.

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Version 2.1, dubbed Éclair, accounts for 41.7 per cent of devices and that’s down from 55 per cent according to Google’s July figures. The latest numbers were tallied over a two-week period ending Sept. 1. Froyo, had just 3 per cent of the share in July, but it was hardly on the market at that point.

Despite the fact that more than 70 per cent of Android devices run Version 2.1 or 2.2, there remains considerable fragmentation in the Android market, which can be a big hassle for developers trying to figure out where to put their resources. Apple has no such issues since only its devices run iOS, now on Version 4.

Google has taken steps to simplify Android apps development, including through the recent release of its App Inventor for Android, which is designed to enable anyone to build Android smartphone apps.

There’s also some confusion in the market about whether Android is really designed to run on tablets, with Google and Verizon said to be working in this area.

Google is expected to set stricter guidelines for Android device makers in Android 3.0, known as Gingerbread. Reports have stated that Google will require a 1GHz processor, 512MB of RAM and displays of at least 3.5 inches.

Google has released its Android numbers just a week after Gartner issued a report stating that Android will blow past Apple’s iOS and RIM BlackBerry in popularity by year-end.

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Tags smartphonesMotorolaGooglewirelessNetworkingPhonesGoogle Androidconsumer electronicsmobile apps

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Bob Brown

Network World
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