Google, owned by Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL), has estimated that at the end of 2018, the number of devices running Android Pie will be more than the number of devices that were running Android Oreo at the end of 2017. This has come across as an extremely odd claim to make when considering the very few devices having the latest Android version at this point in time. Now, let us try and analyse the news in detail.
Share of Android Pie > Android Oreo = Too Big to Target?
Now Google claimed that Android Pie will outpace Android Oreo by the end of 2018. However, the numbers say a completely different story. As of now, the share of Android smartphones running Android Pie is even less than 0.1%. Compared to last year, the adoption of Android Oreo reached 0.5% in December and 0.7% in January 2018. Therefore, to reach its target as claimed by Google, Android Pie will have to get its usage percentage to somewhere between 0.5% and 0.7%. And if things weren’t already too hard, it has to do it in the next 40 days of 2018. Hence, let us look into the potential problems ahead of them, along with the reasons behind Google making this claim.
Aiming For the New With the Past Still Intact
Google has been known to come up with new variants of its Android at regular intervals of time. Such timely modifications might be beneficial, but they do come with their own set of issues. One of the most prevalent issues that surround the latest Android Nougat is the fact that its older variants are still pretty much out there. In fact, the suppliers continue shipping with the older Android Oreo till now, even after a newer variant has already been released. Moreover, this trend is scheduled to continue until at least mid to late 2019. As of 26th October 2018, Android Oreo runs on 21.5% of all active Android devices. And that isn’t even the best part. The variant of Android which is most popular is the predecessor of Oreo – Nougat. Android Nougat continues to run on 28.2% of all active Android devices.
Trend Not Something New for Android
However, this isn’t something which hasn’t been seen before. Android variants usually receive a boost just before or after the release of its successive variant. It can also be observed in the case of Android Oreo. While the number of users of Android Nougat has been stagnating in recent months, it is the Oreo which has been flourishing. In July, it almost doubled its usage. In the next month, we witnessed the release of Android Oreo. Coincidence? I think not.
Integration of Project Treble In the Latest Devices
One of the major problems faced by Android devices is their updates. With varying devices in varying regions, the timing of software updates also varies accordingly. This can happen to such an extent that while some Android users might be getting to upgrade to the next variant, others might not receive it until months later. This is one of the main reasons that Android Nougat is the most used Android variant out there.
However, this might all change with the introduction of Project Treble, by Google. Xda-developers describe it as something which, “separates the Android operating system (the Android ‘framework’) from the vendor Hardware Abstraction Layers (‘HALs’) that allow for the OS to work with the device’s hardware” In short, it makes the communication of the Android framework more standardized, allowing for quicker updates. Among other things, Project Treble will be massively helpful in removing the delays and discrepancies seen in the updates today. This might have been a factor in Google making the claim as it did.