It’s that time of the month again, when Google updates their developer page to help app makers understand their audience better. The latest figures show that over 36% of Android devices that access the Google Play Store are using Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. The latest version of Android, 4.2, is being accessed by 8.5% of the Android population. Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is a bit over 21%, and then there’s a big 30.7% chunk of folks still stuck on Android 2.3 Gingerbread.
If you’re a developer, what should this tell you? Stop supporting older versions of Android. There’s simply no point anymore when such a huge swath of the population is using a fairly recent version of the OS.
Now there are some caveats, of course. Those millions of Android phones being sold in China, most of them don’t come with access to the Google Play Store, so they’re not counted in these figures. You shouldn’t even be targeting those devices anyway, so it’s a null point.
And if you’re a user, I hope you realize that which version of Android you’re using is quickly becoming meaningless. More and more of the key Google services are being decoupled from Android itself and are being updated via the Google Play Store as separate apps.
Update: Whoops! The latest version of Android is 4.3, not 4.2.