Android's fragmentation problem: Oreo software runs only on 0.3% of devices

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But this week, programmer Dan Luu discovered a worrisome trend after combing through some data: Uptake of new versions of Android appears to be slowing down.

The Android distribution numbers for the month of November have been released by Google.

Android Nougat, that had a share of 17.8% last month, now has a share of 20.6%.

Luu attributes the malaise to a combination of three possible factors; Android growth is slowing down, Android device turnover is slowing down and that fewer devices are receiving updates.


At this point, it's hard to know what Google can do about Android fragmentation, short of convincing everyone to buy Pixel or Android One devices. This feature is activated when a device runs low on storage space, and this is how it works - after a length of time specified by Android, applications that haven't been used in a while are marked as inactive.

Google officially launched Android 8.0 Oreo OS to its Pixel and Nexus series phones in August, and since then only one company-Sony-has released the new software to Xperia XZ Premium and now, HTC is expected to roll-out the update to its flagship phone soon.

To be precise, the stats are based on active devices interacting with Google Play over the period of a week. Things might get better at the beginning of 2018, as more companies will start pushing Oreo updates to devices already available on the market.

Just like Android 8.1, this is still in beta and there is no official announcement on when it will move into the stable stage and be ready to consumers. Indeed, the majority of devices are still on Android 6.0 Marshmallow, though Android 7.0 Nougat is just a fraction of a percentage point behind.

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