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Android Nougat usage doubles, but adoption is still embarrassingly low

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Android 7.0 Nougat

The Android Nougat operating system, the seventh major version, is now running on 7 in every 1,000 Google-based devices.

The newly-outed Android distribution numbers for January make more grim reading for Google, especially given Nougat was released earlier than usual, in August 2016.

Those handsets running 7.0 have hit 0.5 per cent, almost doubling last month’s tally, while 0.2 per cent of device owners are on Android 7.1.

The latter represents Google Pixel users, suggesting there was no mad rush to snap up the Made by Google handsets over the festive period.

Related: Android 7.0 tips and tricks

The situation may improve in the coming weeks and months with Samsung, LG, Moto, Sony and HTC plotting roll-outs for their flagship devices.

Also, the forthcoming Mobile World Congress expo should see a wealth of handsets launched with Android 7.0 out of the box.

So far, the Pixel phones and the LG V20 are the only major handsets to launch carrying the latest version.

However, updates and new handsets are unlikely to see the number of phones running Nougat immediately skyrocket.

Within today’s distribution numbers, 2015’s Android 6.0 Marshmallow still sits at 29.6%.

2014’s Android Lollipop (versions 5.0 and 5.1) still leads the way, installed on a combined 33.4% of Android phones.

Head-to-Head: Are the Google Pixel phones overpriced?

Does having the latest version of Android matter to you? Or are the differences too few to even notice these days? Share your thoughts below.

iFrank

January 11, 2017, 2:06 am

Many/some people avoid updates. See your own article on Windows 10 updates.
"Obnoxious" if I recall correctly.

I am unanimous in that

January 11, 2017, 4:04 am

It would be useful if tablet makers actually got round to updating their products with the latest version of android but presumably they would rather sell you a new tablet. Google need to be a bit more proactive to encourage to do the former

Jeff Penver

January 11, 2017, 10:47 am

I don't really understand why they didn't standardise the android models so the same update can be sent as-is to every handset.

Phil

January 11, 2017, 1:00 pm

My girlfriend had a tablet which got updated to the latest version of Android and it basically bricked it. The whole thing ground to a halt and became unusable. There is an argument for keeping devices on the version of Android which they were optimised for, especially older ones as the OS will become more demanding as the average device specification improves over time. In the case of that tablet, it must have never been tested or it would never have been released - it wasn't an isolated problem. Anyone who updated seemed to get a useless tablet in return with no easy way of rolling back (unless you're an uber, l33t nerd which most of us aren't). It might have been a way of forcing people to buy new tablets but I wouldn't buy from that company ever again if that was the case.

Phil

January 11, 2017, 1:02 pm

Far too complex - it would require practically identical models or an OS like windows with a huge driver database and maybe even going back to the days of a hardware abstraction layer. Standardisation to that degree would basically make it pointless having different manufacturers and competition would evaporate as they'd be all the same except for the casing.

Phil

January 11, 2017, 1:04 pm

Indeed. If you're willing to accept the security risk (many people are as they don't do anything really secure on their phones) and don't care about feature updates there's a fine argument for not bothering updating. Microsoft are trying to avoid making the same mistake as Google and want to keep everyone at the same level which is fine until they do things like bricking printers with updates and so on....
...which they routinely do. Printers, network adaptors, etc etc.

Phil

January 11, 2017, 1:05 pm

The other issue is it takes "Apps" a while to catch up. Only recently have many, even well known apps, been optimised for Android 7.0. No point in having the latest OS when the whole point of a smartphone is the Apps and you can't use half of them or they don't work properly.

jeff the chef

January 11, 2017, 5:15 pm

I don't wait for carriers to release updates anymore. If you have a computer, just adb sideload it when it comes to XDA.

sao_paulo

January 13, 2017, 12:11 am

Google themselves have to take some of the blame. My Sony Xperia Z3 is capable of running Nougat, as shown by various ROMs & it was even chosen to run the Developer Preview version. But will now not get officially updated for not meeting some of their obsure requirements for Nougat. Seeing as the phone runs perfectly for me still on Marshmallow, so it will stay for me.

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