Android L 5.0 Update: Only 0.1 Percent of Android Devices Running OS Two Months After Release

( [email protected] ) Jan 08, 2015 01:46 PM EST
Android OS
Android 5.0 Lollipop isn't even registering on this graph of usage from Google. Photo: Google

Almost two months after the release of the Android Lollipop 5.0 mobile operating system software, almost no one is actually using it, according to Google's own research.

Officially, Google's Android 5.0 Lollipop OS is only available for a handful of Nexus, LG, and Motorola devices, but Google's latest Google Play Store research shows that only 0.1 percent of all Android devices are running Lollipop. The research was done to help Android developers learn more about target demographics according to operating system, screen size, openGL version, and other important factors.

Surprisingly, the most popular version of Android isn't even Kitkat 4.4.4, but Jellybean 4.1 through 4.3 running on 46% of those devices polled. Kitkat was a close second at 39.1%, with Gingerbread (7.8%), Ice Cream Sandwich (6.7%), and Froyo (0.4%) finishing up the list. Google notes that there is no data for any version of Android earlier than 2.2 since the Google Play Store is only available to that version and higher.

So what would cause Android users to avoid the latest operating system despite it having the most enticing new features? 

Availability is a big one. With Android, users not only have to wait until Google releases the latest update, but they then have to wait for each device manufacturer to approve the update, and then they have to wait for specific carriers to approve the update on that device for their network. In addition to this, many carriers and manufacturers customize the software to their own liking, which takes up even more time before customers see the software hit their devices.

Bugs and performance issues is also a big reason. Any early adopter will tell you that it's not always worth grabbing software the day it hits the over-the-air (OTA) update cycle, but many do it anyway because having the latest and greatest sounds like fun. Many of the launch-day issues with Lollipop included wi-fi and cell connectivity conflicts, passwords not being recognized, and much more. Subsequent patches, including 5.0.1 and 5.0.2 aim to fix those bugs, but those patches are not available to all devices running the original 5.0.

And finally, many users just want to remain in their comfort zone. It's like the old saying goes, "If it's not broke, don't fix it." Jellybean and KitKat are both stable releases of the Android OS, and in fact, several devices only just recently received the KiktKat 4.4.4 update in anticipation of Lollipop. So even KitKat is new to many Android users at this point.

The majority of Android users are waiting patiently for the OTA update to pop up on their screen and don't really care about figuring out a manual installation, but that's still a possibility. The next few months will really be the biggest determiner as to how the Android user base at large will embrace Lollipop from here.