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The fragmentation situations of Android and iOS couldn’t be any more different — or more embarrassing for Google


Aping Google, Apple has finally started charting the state of iOS fragmentation on its public developer page, and, well, that fragmentation doesn’t actually exist.

iOS 6, for example, which appeared last year, is already on 93 percent of iOS devices, as Apple confirmed at WWDC this month. That doesn’t leave much room for iOS 5, which appears on just six percent of devices.

The situation on Android is still far more grim. With a 36.5  percent share, the most popular version of Android is still Android 2.3  Gingerbread, which was released way back in 2010. Jelly Bean, the most recent  Android install, only commands roughly 33 percent,  justly slightly higher than the 25 percent share of 2012′s Ice  Cream Sandwich.

Very little of this should be surprising if you’ve paid attention to the  world of Android updates. The operating system is notorious for being home  to countless devices with varying degrees of support  from manufacturers and carriers, which don’t have the biggest  incentive to offer timely updates. While Google does a good job of keeping its  Nexus devices updated, the chart above shows that most Android devices are  still languishing the past. And that hurts the platform as whole.

It hurts, because it impairs the overall Android experience: App developers  struggle to build apps that test and function well on every version of the  Android phone, and people using apps get fed up when they don’t work well.

The situation is very different with iOS and Apple, which not only offers new  versions of the operating system to everyone on day one, but also supports those  new versions for at least two years. This makes life a tad easier for iOS  developers, who don’t have to worry about making sure their devices work on  multiple versions of iOS.

The point, in short, is this: Google may control the larger share of the  smartphone market, but Apple’s share is more up-to-date.

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Source: Associated Press


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