That’s right if you look at the Android Dashboard Charts for the current period (period ending April 2, 2013 as of this writing) you’ll find that the combination of 4.0, 4.1, & 4.2 devices is 54.3%.
If you looked at the chart for the previous period you find that same family of devices had only 45% of all Android devices. How does one account for such a huge jump?
Well – one way is to change the way one counts. 🙂
You’ll find the following note on the Android Dashboard Page:
Note: Beginning in April, 2013, these charts are now built using data collected from each device when the user visits the Google Play Store. Previously, the data was collected when the device simply checked-in to Google servers. We believe the new data more accurately reflects those users who are most engaged in the Android and Google Play ecosystem.
So basically .. they now count devices that actually attach to Google Play rather than counting every single device that just happens to wake up periodically and send a heartbeat to the Google servers.
So the cynic might say that Google is skewing things for their own advantage (I’m not saying they’re unhappy with this new way of counting) but I don’t really think that’s the case here.
Honestly, most of us looking at those charts are interested in seeing what versions of the platform we should target with our apps. Those apps are distributed via Google Play … so, I agree that this is the “right way” to count.
For information on creating apps for Android 4.x, checkout Jim’s Pluralsight Course