In an apparent jab at Google’s highly fragmented Android platform, AppleInsider notes that Apple has updated their “Optimizing Apps” page for iOS 6 with a shiny new pie chart, noting the profound lack of fragmentation in iOS devices. Notably, the chart shows that 93% of all users are running iOS 6, while just 1% are using a version earlier than iOS 5.
Google is well known for keeping their own similar chart covering Android device coverage. So, how does Android’s fragmentation compare? Not well. According to Google’s latest data, only 33% of Android devices are running the latest version of the operating system, and the majority of users are still stuck on the now 3 year old Android Gingerbread release.
Why is fragmentation even an issue? For one, it makes things much more difficult for developers – aside from testing their apps on a wide variety of Android devices, they also have to ensure that it works with multiple versions of the Android OS. That’s a whole lot of work compared to iOS devs, who target their apps at only the latest version of the OS, and a small handful of devices.
There’s no doubt that this is bad news for users of Android handsets, especially considering that most Android devices never get updated to new versions of the platform, let alone in a timely manner.
It’s a key difference between iOS and Android – and as the figures clearly show, one of Apple biggest advantages.