Android Jelly Bean finally beats Gingerbread in Google stats

The most recent version of Android is finally more widely used than the years-old Gingerbread, according to the Big G's developer stats.

Luke Westaway Senior editor
Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.
Luke Westaway
2 min read

Android Jelly Bean is finally the most popular version of Android, according to Google's official usage stats.

Ending a years-long battle to make the most recent edition of Android the one that's the most popular, Google's data now shows 37.9 per cent of phones and tablets running the robot-powered OS are using 4.1 or 4.2 Jelly Bean.

Perennial favourite Android 2.3 Gingerbread -- which was released in early 2011 -- still holds a whopping 34.1 per cent of the Android pie, considerably more than Ice Cream Sandwich, which lays claim to just 23.3 per cent.

The regularly released statistics help app developers see which versions of Android they should prioritise, by measuring how many devices are accessing the Google Play store -- it doesn't count Android devices that can't download apps from the Big G's official emporium. The stats have served to highlight the platform's issue with updates over the last few years.

While Android has leapt forward in terms of features and fresh updates, actual phones take much longer to receive those changes, thanks to phone manufacturers and networks tweaking updates to work with their current software.

Google held back on releasing a new version of Android at its I/O conference earlier this year, which may have been a smart move, as it's given Jelly Bean time to catch up.

One analyst speaking to CNET UK reckons the increase in cheap phones running Jelly Bean is behind the version's growth spurt. Another factor could be Google changing its measuring tactics -- it previously used to count those devices checking in with Google's servers, rather than the store, which means more low-cost devices in developing countries would have been counted.

Apple boast

Apple recently stuck a pie chart on its own developer site, boasting that 94 per cent of its shiny gadgets are running iOS 6, which is currently the latest version. That's because new versions of iOS are pushed to all devices simultaneously, with no other companies interfering.

Google is expected to debut Android 4.3 Key Lime Pie later this year, while Apple will release its heavily revamped iOS 7.

Which platform are you rooting for? Has Jelly Bean's dominance been reflected in an upturn in the number of quality apps on Google Play? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook wall.