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Jelly Bean jumps to a quarter of Android devices

Jelly Bean has jumped to appear on a quarter of Android phones as Google adopts a new way of compiling the figures.

Jumpin' Jelly Bean! Android Jelly Bean has jumped in numbers to appear on a quarter of Android phones -- although that could be down to Google's new way of compiling the figures.

In the latest hit parade measuring the popularity of Android updates, Jelly Bean, the latest version of Google's software for phones and tablets, has jumped to 25 per cent of devices, up from 16 per cent last month.

23 per cent of Android devices run Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, while 2 per cent are on the very latest cutting edge Android 4.2 software. 

Jelly Bean has been increasing steadily as more and more phones packing the latest software sell like hot cakes, such as the Samsung Galaxy S3 and bargain-tastic Google Nexus 4. But such a dramatic jump seems likely to be down to the new system of measuring.

Google has compiled charts for ages showing how many people are using the different versions of Android, to give app builders an idea of which versions are the priority for an app to work with because they're used by more people. Up until now the data counted every time an Android phone or tablet checked in to Google servers.

But from this month, the charts are worked out by recording a device when the owner visits the Google Play Store. Although that won't count people who aren't bothered about apps, it does give a more accurate reflection of the numbers of users who are most engaged in the Android and Google Play ecosystem.

Despite the big hike in numbers, Jelly Bean hasn't yet overtaken previous version Ice Cream Sandwich, which still takes 29 per cent of the Android pie.

The new methodology for tracking Android users hasn't seen a huge change in the pie chart for the other versions of the software outside of Jelly Bean. Ice Cream Sandwich has an almost identical slice of the pie compared to last month, while Gingerbread drops around 5 per cent. Older updates Donut, Eclair and Froyo continue to cling on by their bare fingernails, as does Honeycomb, which was designed specifically for tablets.

The next version of Android is expected to be Key Lime Pie, which will -- if previous form is anything to go by -- be unveiled at developer get-together Google I/O next month. For more on the various versions of Android, check out our guide to every update and their coolest features.