Android 6.0 Marshmallow now powers over 1% of active devices, says Google

Google's Android 6.0 Marshmallow is now powering 1.2 per cent of active devices worldwide, up from 0.7 per cent in January.

Powering the latest Nexus 5X and 6P phones, Google's Android 6.0 Marshmallow also got updated in older Nexus phones and tablets like the Nexus 5,6 7 and 9, a number of HTC phones, the LG G4 and a range of other phones in the last few months.

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Google's new Android distribution chart, which revealed the figures, also revealed that Android 5.0 Lollipop and Android 5.1 Lollipop operating systems are now present in 17 and 17.1 per cent of devices respectively. Sadly, over 35.5 per cent of Android devices are still running the old Android 4.4 KitKat.

To make matters worse, the distribution chart also says that owners of up to 23.9 per cent of all Android devices, or one in every four devices, are still stuck with the old Android Jelly Bean OS. The Android 4.1, Android 4.2 and Android 4.3 operating systems are powering 8.8, 11.7 and 3.4 per cent devices across the world.

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Google created the chart based on the number of Android devices that were used to visit the Google Play app which is available on devices with Android 2.2 and later versions. Some of the oldest Android versions like Android 2.2 Froyo (0.1 per cent) and Android Gingerbread (2.7 per cent) are still present in a number of devices. However, thanks to the increasing adoption rate of newer OS versions, the share of older versions is steadily decreasing as we speak.

For example, the share of Android Jelly Bean has gone down from 24.7 per cent to 23.9 per cent in one month, and that of Android KitKat has come down from 36.1 to 35.5 per cent in the same period.

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Back in July of last year, it came to light that an Android superbug named Stagefright let hackers bury malware in phones running older versions of Android OS, especially older than Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Hackers could easily deposit malware in your phone through video text messages and then take control of your phone's mic and camera.

A large number of hackers still feed on phones running older versions of Android whose security aren't as strong as the ones in Android 6.0 Marshmallow or Android 5.1 Lollipop OS.

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On the contrary, as per data released in December, over 70 per cent of iOS devices that visited Apple's App Store were running the latest iOS 9 operating system. Only 22 per cent and 8 per cent of all iOS devices were running the older iOS 8 and iOS 7 operation systems respectively.

The share of Android 6.0 Marshmallow is set to increase in the coming months thanks to a number of flagship Android phones waiting to be launched at Mobile World Congress later this month and manufacturers announcing a large number of phones that will be upgraded to the latest OS in the coming days.

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