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Operating Systems

Marshmallow spreads to 7.5% of all Android devices

But Lollipop remains the most favored flavor. It's on nearly five times as many gadgets as the newer Marshmallow.

More Android device makers are bringing Marshmallow to their users.

CNET

Android 6.0 Marshmallow is slowly but surely sticking on more devices.

Marshmallow is now nestled on 7.5 percent of all Android devices, according to the latest stats served up on Google's Android Developer Dashboard, which counted all the devices that visited the Google Play Store during the seven-day period ending May 2. That number is up from 4.6 percent a month ago and 2.3 percent a month before that.

Released in early October, Marshmallow has been taking its sweet time spreading onto the vast number of Android devices. Only over the past couple of months has the uptake begun to accelerate.

By contrast, the adoption rate of Apple's iOS 9 surged to 11 percent within a day of its release, and as of mid-April that version was on 84 percent of iPads, iPhones and iPod Touches.

The lethargic rate for Marshmallow stems from the time-consuming and often frustrating upgrade process in the Android world. After Google develops a new version of its mobile operating system, smartphone makers and mobile carriers must test it for every device before planning and executing a rollout. That means Android users often have to wait months to receive the latest version and its new features.

Certain Android device makers, including Motorola, LG, and Google itself, got an early start in rolling out the new version last year. But Samsung, which dominates the smartphone market, only began pushing Marshmallow to its Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge phones in February. As more Galaxy devices bite into Marshmallow, the software's adoption should grow at a quicker rate.

Among other versions of Android, Lollipop remained in first place with a 35.6 percent slice, followed by KitKat with 32.5 percent and Jelly Bean with 20.1 percent. Older versions such as Ice Cream Sandwich and Gingerbread hung onto the charts with shares of 2 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively. Typically, older phones aren't compatible with the newer versions of Android, so they remain stuck on an older edition of the software.