The major advantage that iOS enjoys over Android is that Apple doesn't have to depend on OEMs to pass on new OS updates and fixes to all devices. Apple's iOS has, for this reason, consistently enjoyed much higher adoption rates of new operating systems compared to Android, and which has kept iOS devices less vulnerable than Android ones from malware, Trojans, ransomware and viruses of all kinds.
Android Nougat: From D to N
Consider this. Apple's new iOS 10 operating system was released a couple of months ago but barely a month after it was rolled out, iOS 10 was present in 54% of all iOS devices while iOS 9 still covered 38% of the remaining, which meant that 92% of all iPhones had at least one of the two. In comparison, Google's latest Android 7.0 Nougat OS has, as of today, an adoption rate of 0.3% while Android 6.0 Marshmallow is present in just 24% of all Android phones.
Not surprisingly, Google's latest Android distribution figures reveal that Android 5.0 and 5.1 Lollipop operating systems, which are two years old, are present in 34% of all Android devices but more alarmingly, older operating systems like Android KitKat and Jelly Bean are still present in 25.2% and 13.7% of all Android devices. Android Ice Cream Sandwich and Gingerbread are present in 1.3% devices respectively while the ancient Android Froyo still powers 0.1% of all devices.
Is your phone on an older version of Android? Beware of malware attacks!
Last month, a report from Cheetah Mobile warned that poor adoption rates of new Android operating systems is visibly impacting Android phone users, with a malware named Ghost Push continuing to infect millions of devices. The report added that almost all Android devices infected by the Trojans in question run Android systems older than Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Marshmallow was first released by Google in September of last year but worryingly, the OS could manage an adoption rate of just 13.3% by July of this year. A stat published by the Google Android Developer Dashboard in July stated that the adoption rates of older operating system versions like Lollipop, Kit Kat and JellyBean till July 11 stood at 35.1%, 30.1% and 17.8% respectively.
However, in just four months after July, the distribution figures have slightly improved in favour of the newer ones but overall, around 75% of Android phones still run systems older than Marshmallow which is worrying. However, Google have released an early developer preview of Android 7.0 Nougat for third party devices and reportedly, some manufacturers are already beta testing the new OS in their phones.
With older operating systems unable to tackle increasingly potent malware and rendering devices open to attacks, it will be interesting to see if Google will work with OEMs in a new way to increase the uptake of Android 7.0 Nougat across devices to ensure that older phones do not get vulnerable just because some OEMs weren't too concerned with rolling out new OS updates to their devices.