It looks like Android 11 has the fastest adoption rate yet for a major new software release, albeit barely.
The news comes as part of Google and Qualcomm announcing a longer update window for the latter company’s chipsets. In short, new Qualcomm Snapdragon chipsets will allow for up to three major Android updates — you can learn more about that announcement here.
As part of that announcement, Google also shared that Android 11 took the title of fastest-deployed Android update from last year’s Android 10 release. However, the graph Google shared showing the adoption also makes it clear that Android 11’s adoption is barely more than Android 10’s.
Google’s graph shows the 28-day active users (in millions) compared to the number of days since launch. Android 11 trends just slightly higher than Android 10 along the line. However, the current trajectory looks like Android 11 will dip below Android 10 soon.
Regardless, the increased speed of the Android 11 rollout can be attributed to much of Google’s work on improving that very issue. Things like Project Treble, Mainline and Generic System Images (GSIs) have done a lot to help increase the speed of Android updates.
At the same time, the graph Google shared does have some flaws. Android Police points out that it shows a unit-based number instead of a percentage. That makes it difficult to measure the improvement against the general growth of the smartphone industry. For example, the graph shows that Android 11 is on more active units than Android 10 was at the same time last year, but market growth could mean that Android 11 is on a smaller percentage of phones despite the higher number of active units.
Without better data, it’s hard to tell — and Google stopped providing version distribution numbers a while back (although some third-party tools have cropped that try to provide the information instead). Still, if this is any indication, the Android update process is getting better and will continue to improve in time.
Source: Android Police