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.