KitKat continues to grow as Lollipop makes its debut

KitKat isn't quite the biggest, but it's getting there. Photo: Google

KitKat isn’t quite the biggest, but it’s getting there. Photo: Google

Android 4.4 KitKat might be old news now that Lollipop has made its consumer debut with the Nexus 9, but it’s still new software for a massive number of Android users. More than a year since the first KitKat release was delivered by Google, the platform continues to grow, now powering more than 30% of Android-powered devices.

The actual figure for KitKat distribution as of November 3 is 30.2%, according to Google’s latest figures, which is a nice improvement over last month’s 24.5%. Jelly Bean continues to be the biggest Android release, however, still accounting for more than half (50.9%) of all Android devices that have access to Google Play.

Jelly Bean distribution continues to fall as KitKat grows — as do predecessors Ice Cream Sandwich, Gingerbread, and Froyo. That’s taking a lot longer than users, and indeed Google, would like, but it shows that hardware manufacturers are slowly but surely making the latest Android software available to their users.


Of course, as of yesterday, KitKat is no longer the latest Android software. Android 5.0 Lollipop make its consumer debut alongside the Nexus 9, introducing a major design overhaul, stacks of new features, and much-improved apps.

Some manufacturers — including Motorola, Sony, HTC, and LG — have already promised Lollipop upgrades for their devices, and a number of them say they’ll deliver their first within 90 days. However, it’ll likely be some time yet before Lollipop can enjoy the same distribution figures as Jelly Bean or even KitKat.