Android has always had an issue with fragmentation and even though Google are doing their best to make it easier for manufacturers to update their smartphones with the latest version of Android it still does not seem to be happening.
It has been a while since Google updated their Android distribution numbers for the public but now it appears that the distribution numbers are located in Android Studio — specifically for developers — in the Create New Project Wizard designed to help developers decide which version to target their app towards.
Using these figures 9to5Google were able to recreate the old distribution pie chart that Google used to provide for us — and unfortunately the results are not flattering for Google and their ability to insist on manufacturers keeping their devices up to date.
As we can see above, even though Android 10 was announced at the beginning of September, the latest version of Android is languishing below 10% — 8.2% to be exact. Android Pie (9) released an entire year earlier than that is still only sitting at 31%. That means that less than 40% of Android phones are running software released in the last two years — you would expect that this is not great for security and not great for Android as a whole considering the amount of features and functionality that have been added since then.
It is disappointing that so many manufacturers seem to neglect their devices once they are out in the wild, occasionally throwing a security patch at them but rarely a full Android version update. I could list the manufacturers who update their versions on one hand… and have fingers left over.
Next we need Google to publish a list of manufacturers who do not update their devices to the latest version of Android in a name and shame list. That may be the only way to get them to do it because all of their other efforts do not seem to be working.