KitKat chews up more than 20% of Android devices

But Jelly Bean remains the most popular flavor as fragmentation continues to dog Google's Android mobile OS.

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Android 4.4 KitKat keeps flavoring more devices. Google

Android 4.4 KitKat continues to climb up the food chain of Android devices.

In Google's latest Android Developer Dashboard released on Wednesday, version 4.4 of Google's Android mobile operating system, called KitKat, scooped up a market share of 20.9 percent. Using data collected via visits to the Google Play store over a seven-day period ending August 12, the latest figures showed a rise for KitKat from 17.9 percent in July and 13 percent in June.

Mobile carriers have been striving to roll out Android 4.4 KitKat, which debuted in October 2013, to more customers. But the Android update process is fraught with challenges, especially in comparison with Apple's iOS. Updating the iPhone or iPad requires just one player -- Apple. So the process tends to be relatively quick and simple. Creating an update for an Android phone or tablet requires the initial work of Google followed by testing and customization by phone makers. Wireless carriers then have the final word, performing their own testing as well as planning and implementing the actual rollout. With so many cooks in the kitchen, Android fragmentation is a frustrating but inevitable part of the process.

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Google's August Android Developers Dashboard Google

Jelly Bean remains the top dog among Android devices with more than half of the market at 54.2 percent. That number breaks down into 26.5 percent for version 4.1.x, 19.8 percent for version 4.2.x, and 7.9 percent for version 4.3.x.

Android Gingerbread, which was unveiled back in 2010, is still hanging tough with a 13.6 slice of the market, a clue that a lot of older Android devices have not or more likely simply cannot be updated to a newer version due to compatibility issues. Ice Cream Sandwich slurped onto the list in fourth place with a share of 10.6 percent.

Froyo's days on the Developers Dashboard are most likely numbered as the 2.2 version of Android eked out only a 0.7 percent share. The Dashboard automatically cuts out any versions with a share less than 0.1 percent.

 

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