The Big Picture: Android 13 debuted on the distribution charts this month. While Google has made it somewhat more difficult to track changes in release market share in recent years, its latest OS appears to be off to a healthy start thanks to platform partners.
The latest chart from Google showing the distribution of Android versions across devices is the first since Android 13 was released last August. The company’s latest mobile operating system is already running just over five percent of Android phones. Version 12 has also increased its share in the past five months.
Originally, Google periodically and publicly released its Android version market share comparison data to inform developers of which versions their software should target. However, in 2018, the company restricted this information to its internal development platform, as updates became erratic. Since 2020, 9to5Google has been able to access and release updates through it AndroidDistribution.io.
Another item to consider is that, unlike iOS devices, Android phones don’t uniformly upgrade to new versions once Google releases them. Manufacturers like Samsung and Sony update their systems on their own schedule, which is reflected in Google’s distribution data.
When Android 13 launched in August, it was exclusive to Google’s Pixel phones. Samsung released its OneUI 5 running Android 13 shortly after. OnePlus, Sony and other manufacturers also released Android 13-supported phones last year, which helped the operating system’s relatively rapid growth.
Android 12 debuted on Google’s charts in the previous update last August — just before Android 13 launched — with 13.5 percent of the total Android market share. Since then, that number has increased to 18.9%, while Android 11 has dropped from 27% to 24.4%. Versions 10 and 9 also still maintain significant user bases.
The Android team has delivered many features and updates since 13 years ago, with more to come. Support for the popular Backbone One handheld game console Arrive on Android late last year, and Google recently gave Android Auto its first major Repair. In addition, Google and Windows have partnered with broadens Communication between Android and Windows 11.
Qualcomm is making big advancements in Android, too. In November, the company reveal Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip with Wi-Fi 7 support, enhanced AI performance, hardware-accelerated ray tracing, Unreal Engine 5, and more. Qualcomm too an introduction A satellite communication service for Android phones to respond to Apple SOS for iPhones.