Ice Cream Sandwich now on a quarter of Android phones

Most Android phones are still two generations behind, but figures reveal Ice Cream Sandwich is on a quarter of Android blowers.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Richard Trenholm
2 min read

Most Android phones are still two generations of software behind, but Google's latest figures also reveal Ice Cream Sandwich has reached a quarter of Android blowers.

The two-year-old Gingerbread version of Google's Android software is still found on 54 per cent of Android-powered phones and tablets. Subsequent updates have taken a while to spread to Android phones: Ice Cream Sandwich powers 25.8 per cent of devices, despite having arrived over a year ago.

Ice Cream Sandwich was the latest version of Android until version 4.1 Jelly Bean came along this summer, followed by version 4.2 in the brand-new Google Nexus 4 smart phone and Google Nexus 10 tablet. Jelly Bean is still on a mere fraction of phones: just 2.7 per cent, in fact. That number should improve with the arrival of the Jelly Bean update for the best-selling Samsung Galaxy S3.

Older version Froyo is still hanging around on 12 per cent of phones. Cupcake and Donut have all but disappeared, while tablet-focus update Honeycomb never really took off in the first place.

For more on the different updates, each named alphabetically for different tasty treats, check out our guide to every version of Android.

Updates can take a while to get to every phone because there are so many devices in so many different shapes and sizes, which means manufacturers have to test the software extensively -- and the networks have to then test it again because of the extra apps they add that have to interact with the new software. That means Android is severely fragmented -- which some argue is the biggest problem facing the platform

Do you think Android updates take too long, or should we be happy to keep our phones the way they are when we buy them? Update your thinking in the comments or on our Facebook page.