Data & Research

Localytics reckons Android is less fragmented than you'd think; 73% of handsets run Gingerbread

OS and form factor not such big issues

Localytics reckons Android is less fragmented than you'd think; 73% of handsets run Gingerbread
According to analytics firm Localytics' new study, Android developers shouldn't really be that worried about fragmentation.

The study shows that device form factors and OS builds are pretty concurrent throughout the Android user base.

In fact, Localytics believes that 73 percent of the apps using its analytics package run on the same OS version, namely Android 2.3 (Gingerbread).

A further 22 percent of apps run across Android 2.2 (Froyo), leading Localytics to state that "between the two, Android developers can be confident that they only need to actively target two Android OS builds in order to achieve 96 percent compatibility with the Android ecosystem."

According to Google's most recent figures, 54.9 percent of Android devices are running Android 2.3.

Size matters

In terms of form factor the study also found that 41 percent of apps ran across devices packing 4.3-inch screens, while 4-inch screens accounted for 22 percent of the userbase, followed by 3.2-inch (11 percent) and 3.7-inch (9 percent).

Screen resolution was slightly less fragmented.

62 percent of the study's sessions came through 800 x 480 pixels handsets. Following that were screens in 480 x 320 (14 percent), 960 x 540 (6 percent), 480 x 854 (5 percent) and 320 x 240 resolutions (5 percent).

"For both screen size and resolution, Android developers have more to deal with than iOS developers, thanks to Apple's single handset form factor," admitted the report.

"However, with five options accounting for more than 90 percent of all Android app usage, the fragmentation is not particularly daunting."

No big lOSs

Tablets were also considered in the study, with 7-inch, 1024 x 600 resolution devices powering 74 percent of sessions and 10.1-inch devices with 1280 x 800 resolutions powering another 22 percent.

OS usage is split similarly to handsets, with 71 percent of Android tablets running Android 2.3 (Gingerbread). Android (Honeycomb) variations 3.2 (14 percent) and 3.1 (7 percent) follow, with Froyo making up the numbers.

"In all, while Android developers do have to think about an element of fragmentation foreign to iOS developers, the problem seems to be much smaller than made out to be," argues the report.

[source: Localytics]

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.

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