updated 06:55 am EDT, Thu March 17, 2011
Android 2.2 comprises 61.3% of share
Nine months after it was released, Google's Android 2.2 (Froyo) OS has become the most widely distributed version of its mobile OS by some margin. Android 2.2 is now on 61.3 percent of Android devices, followed by Android 2.1 on 29 percent. However, more recent distributions of the OS have a much lower adoption rate to date. Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) and 2.3.3 accounts for only 1.7 percent combined, while Google's Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) tablet optimized OS currently accounts for just 0.2 percent of users.
From a developer perspective, the combined share of Android 2.1 and 2.2 now amounts to around 90 percent of current users. Developers have had to grapple with the fragmentation of the OS. News that the vast majority of users are now on Android 2.1 and 2.2 will make it less necessary for them to spend time and money developing lighter versions of their apps.
Conversely, as the Android developer APIs are forward compatible, applications that were built for Android 1.5 are compatible with each successive iteration of the OS. The second chart below, which appears on the Android Developers forum, illustrates how as developers move down the chart, backwards compatibility of their applications decreases.