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Android 4.4 KitKat on 1.1 percent of handsets

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Android 4.4 KitKat, the latest version of Google’s mobile OS, is now on 1.1 percent of all Android handsets.

That’s the figure touted on the regularly updated official Android Developers blog.

It might not sound like a particularly encouraging figure, but coming just a little over two weeks after it began rolling out to Google’s existing Nexus devices (though KitKat launched officially on October 31, alongside the Nexus 5), that’s not too bad.

Not when you consider the Android platform’s history of sluggish updates and software fragmentation, at least.

Stacked up against iOS, of course, the whole Android software update situation remains pretty pitiful. Apple estimated that 64 percent of all active iOS devices upgraded to iOS 7 within the first five days of its availability.

Compare that to the previous version of Android, Jelly Bean, which incorporates three core iterations and has taken over 16 months to reach just 54 percent of all Android devices.

Google will be hoping that Android 4.4 KitKat will be the one to improve this situation, as its core attribute is its lightweight nature. It’s been built to run soundly on relatively low-end handsets, which should help boost its adoption rate by manufacturers.

The issue of bloated customs UIs is an entirely separate issue, of course, and one that’s unlikely to completely disappear.

Elsewhere, older versions of Android are predictably dropping in usage, with Ice Cream Sandwich going from 19.8 to 18.6 percent, and Gingerbread dropping from 26.3 to 24.1 percent.

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Next, read our pick of the best Android phones of 2013.

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