I really, really like Android 5.0 (or “Lollipop” as it’s known by those of us who probably care too much about these things). It cemented my preference for Android, and has earned the Nexus 5 another few months as my go-to phone.
Alas, most Android devices still aren’t running 5.0. In the grand scheme, really, hardly any are.
Google has just updated its official version-by-version usage chart, which breaks down what share of the Android market each release has.
Lollipop’s current count, almost exactly three months after its public launch: 1.6%.
The only version of Android with less of the pie is Android 2.2 (Froyo) — the oldest build that Google still tracks. The overwhelming bulk of the handsets out there are running Android 4.1/4.2/4.3 (collectively known as “Jelly Bean”) with 44.5 percent, and Android 4.4 (KitKat) with 39.7 percent.
If there’s an upside, it’s that a good chunk of important user-facing stuff once built directly into Android (things like Gmail, Google Maps, Google Wallet, etc.) is now distributed through Google Play. This allows them to be upgraded without a full OS update — and, more importantly, without the phone makers having to do anything.
You won’t get the OS-level changes, Lollipop’s new look, the performance/security tweaks, the battery improvements, etc. — but most apps should work all the same.