iOS 7 now installed on 78% of active Apple devices

Last Friday, we posted a link to a graphic that detailed the process HTC goes through to vet new versions of Android. The multi-company hoops that need leaping, as well as the incredible number of devices that need to be tested, are both barriers to adoption of new Android revs and contributors to fragmentation.

Apple has announced their latest adoption rates for iOS 7. 78% is a huge number. Compare that to the KitKat adoption rates:

In contrast, though Google has not updated its own official developer statistics since Dec. 2, its most recent data showed that just 1.1 percent of Android devices were running that mobile operating system’s latest version, known as Android 4.4 “KitKat.”

And then compare to the percentage of users who are not even at Jelly Bean:

The largest share of Android users are running some form of “Jelly Bean,” which ranges from 4.1.x to 4.3. But a significant 24.1 percent of Android users are still running versions 2.3.3 to 2.3.7, also known as “Gingerbread” — an operating system version that was last updated in September of 2011.

To me, this is the biggest hurdle to developing for Android. Modern apps are built for iOS 7. They may be written for iPhone or for iPad, or for both. That’s the vast majority. Pretty simple, right?

If you want to build for Android, you have a much more complex tree to explore. Which translates to either a smaller market for you or a much bigger budget.

  • It’s not that serious Dave. The Support Library allows you to write 4.x code against older versions. Play Services is backwards compatible as well.

    Sure it is a concern but a bigger budget simply isn’t needed, speaking from experience as we’re building our Android app alongside our iOS and the one Android Dev is keeping with my speed on the iOS version.

    • Dave Mark

      What about testing on all the different devices? Isn’t that necessary? Or does it “just work”? Appreciate the feedback.

    • Sebastian Paul

      But unlike Android, Google Play Services is proprietary and most likely part solution to the fragmentation problem and part solution to the problem that other companies like Amazon used Android as the basis for their own ecosystem.

      It is – again – a club to force manufacturers to make Android-based devices that use Google’s services and not services from Baidu or Amazon or even Samsung. If you (as a manufacturer) want to profit from compatibility with Android apps, you’ll have to install Youtube, Gmail, Google Play Store etc…

      It’s the end of “open” Android.

      • The above references to Android numbers do not refer to non-Play Services versions. Non-Play Services versions have their own approaches to app installs; ie – Amazon apps are bundled differently but the same Android/java code can be used.

        How is it the end of Android when this is the same approach as it began? It isn’t a club by any means. It is simply: if you want Google apps, sign up. If not, take Android and do what you wish [ex – Amazon].

        Compat w/ installing Android apps has nothing to do with Play Services. Access to the Play Store just provides a marketplace, not compat.

        • Sebastian Paul

          Google moving all the interesting features/APIs to Google Play Services means Android will become nothing more than a “kernel” on which the real ecosystem (compat and marketplace) will run.

          Just like Linux which doesn’t run Android applications, even tho it’s the basis for Android.

          • Android has always been the core with Google’s services built on top of it. They just officially, several versions ago, removed their specifics out. It’s way better this way and I wish Apple would do it as well. App updates don’t require whole OS upgrades.

            Android itself is still worked on/upgraded. It’s the apps/services Google pulled out.

        • JohnDoey

          Again, he said “Android,” not “Google Play.” The promise of Android was not that you would one day be able to make a Google app in addition to an Apple app. The promise was making an Android app that runs on phones from many manufacturers.

          Also, what you are saying is severely limited by the type of app you happen to make. If your app is Web app -class then of course it is easy to get it up and running on various platforms. But if your app uses the camera or records multichannel audio or anything remotely sophisticated, good luck deploying on Android for the same price as deploying on iOS.

          • Based on, your words, the “promise of Android”, Google has succeeded. There are tons of manufacturers and building one app works across numerous devices. That’s a non-issue.

            Our app isn’t a “web app” by any measure. It has sophisticated rendering of custom document types, custom authentication/api services, etc, etc, etc.

            Are you a developer building Android and iOS apps? If not, it is really hard for you to comment as to the dev costs.

            Since you mentioned media, here’s Shift Jelly illuminating the fallacy of iOS dev being easier/faster than Android: Bjango was also mentioned in there regarding Skala View being 10x easier.

            Each situation is different, of course [see BBC iPlayer woes on Android], but blanket statements like “iOS dev is easier” simply are not true.

    • JohnDoey

      He didn’t say “Google Play,” he said “Android.”

      Just seeding an Android app to the majority of Android-based app stores is more than 1 full-time job.

  • JohnDoey

    iOS 7 now installed on 78% of active Apple devices

    Another way to say this is: “22% of iOS users have rejected iOS 7 more than 3 times each.” That’s about 150 million users who said no again and again and again.


    Comparing iOS to Android in order to divine the success of iOS is like feeling good about your 100 meter sprint time compared to a dude who just had a car accident and is laid up in traction in the hospital.

    • Actually, it doesn’t mean they rejected it. There are a lot of old iOS devices out there that can’t support 7 so they’re stuck. My brother has an old iPod, me an old iPhone, etc, etc, etc.