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Google's Android mobile software piles on more users

New figures shared by the tech giant show that Android's reach extends to almost 20 percent of the world's population.

Google's Android mobile operating system continues to rule the world of smartphones. Google

Google is getting even bigger.

During a press event Tuesday in San Francisco, at which it unveiled the new Nexus 5X and 6P phones, the search giant revealed numbers showing the popularity of its software.

About 1.4 billion devices around the world now use the Android mobile operating system, said Google CEO Sundar Pichai. The figure is up from the 1 billion that Google announced in May. Pichai said many of those users are in emerging economies such as Vietnam and Indonesia. The US Census Bureau estimates about 7.3 billion people live around the world, which means Google has extended the reach of its Android software to more than 19 percent of the Earth's inhabitants.

"These are people adopting a smartphone for the first time," Pichai said. "We try to push the state of the art and the state of computing."

Meanwhile, the Chromecast streaming stick has surpassed 20 million in unit sales globally, said Mario Queiroz, Google's Chromecast chief.

In addition, about 10,000 companies are using Android for Work, which helps businesses secure and manage Android devices that access corporate data.

Google has a commanding presence in the market for mobile operating systems, where it competes primarily against Apple's iOS software. In the second quarter of 2015, people around the world bought more than 271 million smartphones running Android. That means eight out of every 10 smartphones sold during that three-month period run on Android, according to research firm Gartner.

The numbers are critical as the Mountain View, California, company wants more people around the world to rely on its software for performing nearly any kind of task. Unveiling new gadgets like its Nexus smartphones gives Google a way to extend its core products, like Search, Maps, YouTube and its Google Play app store, deeper and further into the mobile market. Google's Chromecast devices, which offer users easy access to wireless video and audio streaming at a low price, could become an integral part of consumers' homes.