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Android distribution November: Who's having Oreo for dinner?

The latest Android distribution report from Google shows strong growth for Android Nougat but a minuscule increase in the adoption of Android 8.0 Oreo, which lingers in the low figures. 

New month, new numbers. It's nice to see that Android Nougat has grown since last month, reaching 20.6% (17.6% in version 7.0 and 3.0% in version 7.1). Marshmallow (30.9%) and Lollipop (27.2%) are still more widely used while the latest version, Oreo, is still practically a mirage. Three months after its release, it is still only present on 0.3% of the devices. Google's cookie is still struggling to assert itself and, for now, leaves a bitter taste in the mouth.

android novembre
Disappointingly, is Oreo present in only 0.3% of devices. / © Google

 This continues the trend we saw last month, which saw Nougat adoption growing but an incredibly underwhelming start for Oreo. The unreliability of OS updates is a historical weakness of Android, often cited as the price paid for the advantage of freedom and contrasted to the 'Walled Garden' approach of Apple.

Android users generally understand this and accept the wait for updates with patience, but it really seems like the rate of updates is really slowing down, leaving most users running an OS two generations behind or even older. 

This could be a factor of software outpacing hardware in many cases. New versions of Android OS are coming more frequently, but many users can keep their trusty smartphone for many years. This means most smartphones out there in the wild are somewhat underpowered for Oreo, a key reason why Google is pushing Android Go, a version for lower-end devices.

Opinion by Nicholas Montegriffo
If my phone's hardware is reliable over many years, I'm not going to replace it just to get new OS updates.
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We expected the release of the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL to give a boost to Oreo numbers, since they come Oreo ready and will no doubt be the smartphone of choice for users who prioritize swift software updates. But, perhaps because of some controversial display issues on the larger device, or simply the premium price range, the impact of the new Pixel generation has been just a drop in the ocean.

What do you think? Are new OS versions coming out too fast for users to keep up with? Do you get frustrated waiting for updates from the manufacturer?

 

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  • Got the Oreo 8 update Thursday morning on my Mate 9.


  • PESRMS 3 days ago Link to comment

    Will the Samsung s8 active get oreo?


    • Mark
      • Admin
      3 days ago Link to comment

      I am sure it will since it is a new phone. Just do not hold your breath for it, Samsung take their sweet time with updates


      • That is true. But even the pixels on Verizon get their updates delayed due to the carrier bloat ware. Only Apple doesn't allow carrier bloat ware. But if the users were allowed to install stock Android rather than a skinned one regardless of carrier the updates might get distributed faster.


      • Maybe some day down the road, Google will split the OS between the core, and the UI. Let Google handle the core of the OS, along with security patches, and leave it to the manufacturers to do the UI/bloat.


  • Wider adoption doesn't happen because handset makers are slow to roll out new versions. If it's carrier branded then they need to stick on their bloat. This doesn't happen with Apple.


  • It's not that the recently released (meaning mid range and flagship) phones aren't able to run Android 8, but it's the lack of manufacturers allowing stock Android to be installed on their phones. Sure there are features which may be Pixel or Nexus specific but those could be turned off. It would be nice to see users given a choice to install stock Android or the skinned version.


  • Should be Android 8


  • The only reason for slow uptake of Android is stupidly obvious- it is not available outside Google Pixel. Very few phone makers are anywhere near bringing it out on their phones, still getting their two bobs worth of overlay stitched in.

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