Tuesday, July 03, 2012

ICS use rises over 50 percent, but still on less than 11 percent of devices overall

What a difference a week makes. Last week, as Google introduced Android 4.1, or Jelly Bean, we noted that only 7.1 percent of Android devices had the prior OS version, Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) on them - and that was after seven months. Since then, ICS risen over 50 percent, with more than 10 percent (10.7 percent at the time of this writing) of devices now using it.

Credit, at least in part, the rollout late last week of ICS to the Droid Razr and Razr MAXX.

Admittedly, that is still an embarrassingly low number, and points directly at Android fragmentation and IO skins that make it difficult to port a new ROM to a device (we mean Sense, Blur, and TouchWiz).

It is further embarrassing because Google is set to roll out a new version, Jelly Bean, in a matter of weeks, when the Nexus 7 tablet begins shipping. In addition, older devices such as the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Samsung Nexus S will begin seeing ROM updates distributed to them.

The Motorola Xoom will also get a Jelly Bean update. How soon that will happen remains to be seen. The Verizon version of the Xoom received its Ice Cream Sandwich update only about a month ago.

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Among the changes in Jelly Bean are Project Butter, aimed at making UI transitions and use in Android as "smooth as butter." However, also highly anticipated is Google Now, which - according to some tests - already surpasses Apple's Siri despite its youth.

Problematic, of course, is that self-same Android fragmentation. If Google cannot get its act together - along with its OEMs, of course - and get Jelly Bean to a higher percentage of people, Siri will dominate to the point that people don't remember that Google Now surpasses it - or care.

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