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July 13th, 2016

Android 6.0 Marshmallow Distribution Continues Sedate Rollout

Marshmallow’s distribution rate is over 13%.

Google may have passed over the opportunity to call its Android N operating system Namey McNameface in favor of the underwhelming Nougat, but Android version 6.0 Marshmallow is slowly making its way onto more devices.

The release of the Android distribution rates for July show that Marshmallow is installed on 13.3% of all devices, which represents a 3.2% rise from June, reported Android Authority. The latest version of the Android operating system has not passed either of the previous two iterations—Android version 4.4 KitKat and Android versions 5.0/5.1 Lollipop—with the latter still relatively dominant in terms of device distribution.

Over its two versions, Android Lollipop now touches 35.1% of all devices—a small decrease of 0.3% from June. Android version 4.4 KitKat has a distribution rate of 31.6%, which is unchanged from the previous month.

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Older versions of the operating system are still hanging in. The three versions of the four-year-old Android Jelly Bean cumulatively touch 17.8% of all Android devices—a drop of 1.1% from the previous month.

Three archaic Android versions remain on enough devices to beat the 0.1% limit required by Google’s device data collection policy. Ice Cream Sandwich and Gingerbread touch 1.7% and 1.9% of devices, respectively, with Froyo stubbornly holding on to 0.1% of devices as it did in June.

July_2016_Android_Distribution_Now_Pits_Marshmallow_at_13_3____Androidheadlines_com

The distribution figures are usually released at the start of every month and are based on the total number of devices that visited the Google Play Store in the past seven days. The information is geared towards developers who want to know what versions are still relatively active so they can weigh up how far back their apps or games need to go. Only devices that touch or access Google’s servers are eligible for consideration.

The data reflects the devices that run the latest Google Play Store app—compatible with Android version 2.2 Froyo or above. Any device that is based on the Android Open Source Project (ASOP) but are blocked or don’t touch Google servers do not count. These devices are estimated to account for 20% of global Android shipments and number anywhere between 300 million and 500 million active devices. Many white labeled Android devices or devices in China cannot access the Google Play Store.

Marshmallow has been rolling out since October 2015, although more smartphones now have the operating system pre-installed.

The imminent arrival of Android  Nougat could mean that Marshmallow’s distribution rate within the ecosystem becomes more glacial but it remains the newest version for the moment. On the flip side, Nougat will need to start from scratch, which may give Marshmallow a chance to catch up with the older versions of Android.

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