Google Pressures Device Makers to Use KitKat Android 4.4: Reports
Google reportedly wants device makers to use the latest Android KitKat 4.4 version to boost its use and to take advantage of its improved features.The Android rumor mill is alive with reports from anonymous sources that Google is pushing device makers to load the latest version of Android KitKat 4.4 on their new devices to boost the operating system and bring the latest new features to users. The reports are based on what is being called a leaked memo that Google has allegedly sent to "at least one major Android OEM partner from the Android Team," according to a Feb. 16 story by MobileBloom. "Starting February 2014, Google will no longer approve GMS [Google Mobile Services] distribution on new Android products that ship older platform releases," according to the claimed memo. "Each platform release will have a 'GMS approval window' that typically closes nine months after the next Android platform release is publicly available. (In other words, we all have nine months to get new products on the latest platform after its public release.) The policy could only mean good things, especially for the smartphone user." Such a policy could certainly be aimed at helping push device makers to a quicker use of the newest, most feature-filled version of Android that has been released so far. Much of the Android world remains fragmented because device makers continue to load older versions of Android onto their devices that they sell in the marketplace.
The latest market share figures from the Android Developers Website show that KitKat 4.4 is running on 1.8 percent of the Android devices in use today, while the previous Jelly Bean 4.1 is running on about 35.5 percent of devices. Jelly Bean 4.2 is being used on 16.3 percent of devices, while Jelly Bean 4.3 is being used on 8.9 percent of Android devices. Some 16.1 percent of devices are still running versions of Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0, according to the figures. Even ancient Froyo, Version 2.2, is being run on 1.3 percent of the Android devices in use.