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Android fragmentation A Quick Guide To Android Versions & Updates [Android] A Quick Guide To Android Versions & Updates [Android] If someone tells you they’re running Android, they’re not saying as much as you’d think. Unlike the major computer operating systems, Android is a broad OS that covers numerous versions and platforms. If you’d like... Read More is a serious problem, and one which Google needs to address if it hopes to continue dominating the mobile operating system market in the future. We know lots of MakeUseOf readers use Android, but we have never asked what version of Android you’re currently using. Until now.

And don’t worry if you’re a fan of iOS, Windows Phone, or even BlackBerry, as this week’s poll also includes an option for you, as well as a chance to vent your spleen in the comments section at the end of this post. Stand up for your mobile operating system of choice! If you don’t, then who will?

4-5 Inches Is Normal

To answer this week’s question please scroll down the page until you see the poll staring back at you. But first, we need to look at the results from last week, when we asked, “How Big Is Your Main Mobile Device?

Out of a total of 280 votes, 9.3% chose Less than 4-inches, 50.7% chose Between 4-inches and 5-inches, 26.8% chose Between 5-inches and 7-inches, 5% chose Between 7-inches and 9-inches, 3.9% chose Between 9-inches and 11-inches, 1.4% chose Between 11-inches and 13-inches, and 3% chose More than 13-inches.

This means that just over half of those who voted use a smartphone around the same size (4-5 inches). While this isn’t revelatory right now, it will be interesting to see whether those numbers change with the proliferation of phablets Fabulous Phablets: The 5 Best Big-Screen Smartphones You Can Buy Fabulous Phablets: The 5 Best Big-Screen Smartphones You Can Buy If you're going to buy a big-screen phone now, and by that, we mean something that's larger than a 5.5-inch screen and smaller than a 7-inch tablet, these are your best options. Read More , especially as even Apple is expected to go bigger with the next iPhone.



Comment Of The Week

We received a lot of great comments, including those from Angi G., Jon, and Peter F. Comment Of The Week goes to Vipul J, who won with this comment How Big Is Your Main Mobile Device? [MakeUseOf Poll] How Big Is Your Main Mobile Device? [MakeUseOf Poll] Mobile devices come in all different shapes and sizes. Actually, they're almost always rectangular, but the sizes range from smallish smartphones, through fantastic phablets, all the way up to gigantic tablets. Read More :

I currently use a Samsung Galaxy S2.
At 4.3? it’s the best screen size I can ask for.
The primary condition for my main device is single handed use. I should be able to get to the extreme left letter on the keyboard, swipe the notification bar, increase the volume and lock the screen all without involving my other hand.

So in the near future if and when I upgrade, I’ll most definitely stick to this screen size or at max 4.5? (I say ‘if’ because, a dual core is quite sufficing all my needs for now, maybe I’d need a quad core later, but I cannot imagine why I’d need anything more than that, ever!)
It fits in the hand perfectly, in the pocket easily, large enough for seamless typing as well as video playing!

I don’t like the idea of buying a device that can work as both a tablet & phone (i.e. the current breed of phones flooding the market with 5?+ screens). In fact quite honestly anyone I see talking on one of these ‘phablet’ devices, looks like he is rubbing his device against his entire face! XD

Fretsome Fragmentation Floundering

Android grew rapidly from humble beginnings to become the most popular mobile operating system in the world. However, due to Android being used to power such a vast range of devices, there’s a high degree of fragmentation.

This means you may be using a different version of Android than your friends. And it means an app which works on your smartphone may not work on their smartphone. Apple’s iOS may not be as widely used as Android, but it also doesn’t have anywhere near the level of fragmentation.

Google recently unveiled a new version of Android — Android L or Android 5.0 — at Google I/O 2014 Google I/O Reveals Android Is Everywhere, Aereo Loses Big Fight, And More... [Tech News Digest] Google I/O Reveals Android Is Everywhere, Aereo Loses Big Fight, And More... [Tech News Digest] Also, Microsoft could be planning to give Windows 9 away for free, Europe is halving mobile roaming charges, Rock Simulator 2014 has arrived to blow your mind, and CollegeHumor demonstrates how the Internet has killed... Read More . The Android L Developer Preview Your USB Charger Wants To Kill You, Download Android 5.0 Now, and More... [Tech News Digest] Your USB Charger Wants To Kill You, Download Android 5.0 Now, and More... [Tech News Digest] Also, the MPAA popularizes a resource for sharing movies, YouTube spoils content creators, Google Cardboard clones are now available, Uber offers weddings on demand, and Monty Python does a silly walk all over your smartphone. Read More is already available to download, though we obviously recommend only those people who know what they’re doing actually test it out.

With the new version of Android in mind, we want to know what version of Android you are currently using. If you own more than one Android handset then a) you’re just greedy, and b) just focus on the handset you use the most.

If you’re not sure what version of Android you’re using just go into your Settings, click About Phone or About Device, and then find the droids information you’re looking for.

Please use the poll above to tell us what version of Android you’re currently using, and then take to the comments section below to tell us why you chose Android over the alternatives. Or if you use a rival mobile operating system, tell us what made you choose iOS, Windows Phone, etc. over Android.

Get involved in the discussion and possibly win yourself a geeky T-shirt!

Image Credit: Scott Akerman via Flickr

  1. Sedaray
    May 16, 2016 at 1:27 am

    I want a tablet 8 1/2 x 11" - you know, like a sheet of paper! How impossible is that?

    So I have a 131/2 x 8 1/2 and am stuck with 4.0.1 because that's all that was available.

    Sure would like to search for text inside files, tho. - you know, like a computer?

    I'm asking too much.

  2. Zoran
    August 11, 2015 at 7:17 am

    Phone: Android 5.0.1
    Tablet: Android 4.4.2

    Until couple of months ago, I was using Android 2.3.6 on my older phone. I don't see so many difference between 2.3.6 and 5.0.1, so I think v5 should be v3 :D (and, I have to say, that 2.3.6 @ Samsung looks soooo much better than this flat 5.0.1 @ LG ;) )

  3. Matthew
    March 8, 2015 at 4:22 pm

    4.2 on my current cheapie tablet.
    Been given a phone that is 2.1 - may root and Cyanogenmod to 2.3 (CM7), not sure it's worth going any higher on hardware with low RAM - there are firmwares all the way to ICS & JB, even a very "work in progress" Kitkat.

    There were a LOT of devices with 2.3, still being sold even while 4.0 was out, and 2.3 is one of the main requirement breakpoints ... drop below that to 2.1, and your choices of supported apps tails off dramatically

  4. R A Myers
    March 6, 2015 at 8:07 pm

    We use Android 4.2. We have ruggegdized phones because of a physical problem in the immediate family. It's not financially practical to get a new phone every time Android publishes a new version and the manufacture implements it. Implementation is dependent the chip set in the phone means some new versions are not backward compatible. As new users of smart phones, about 6 months, we're still learning and haven't found time to find fault with the phone or Android 4.2

  5. jonencloud
    July 4, 2014 at 8:41 pm

    No Android L(5.0) option? I'm using the preview om my Nexus 5 and have no intention of going back to Kitkat.

  6. Sam
    July 1, 2014 at 4:28 am

    4.4.4 on my Galaxy Note 3 using Temasek's Cyanogenmod build.

  7. Ben S
    June 30, 2014 at 6:23 pm

    I'm honestly amazed at how many people here are using KitKat. It's awesome to see! Though I'm saddened that some folks are still on Gingerbread. That's a tragedy.

    My Nexus 5 is running 4.4.4 currently.

    • Dave P
      July 4, 2014 at 6:42 pm

      I must say I was pleasantly surprised too. It either means that the MakeUseOf readership are a lot more up-to-date than we gave them credit for, fragmentation isn't as big a problem as Android naysayers would have us believe, or that people running older versions of Android have avoided taking part in the poll.

  8. nachiketa
    June 30, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    Samsung don't give updates :-
    So using custom rom slimcat 4.4.4 :D

  9. Michelle T
    June 30, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    I love my Google, but hey I am Google girl. I have kit kat on my Nexus 7 and jelly bean on my old Moto Droid Razr (no HD).

    I have had an iPhone and an iPad. I feel they are for the simple minded, Which I am not. Everyone in my house with the exception of my husband and dog (simple minded) use Android in one form or another and will continue as long as keeps doing what I want it to do.

    • Dave P
      July 4, 2014 at 6:40 pm

      I have to ask, what mobile operating system does the dog favor?!

  10. South Jersey Droid
    June 30, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    I am using Android L. Although only a developer release, it is quite functional and works great. There are a few bumps, but that can be expected. On my Nexus 7 (2013), I am using 4.4.4

    • Dave P
      July 4, 2014 at 6:39 pm

      Does the Material Design make a big difference to the look? I've also seen reports of extended battery life as a result of running Android L, which is interesting.

    • South Jersey Droid
      July 4, 2014 at 8:53 pm

      I do not believe that the full use of Material is implemented yet, but from what is there so far, it looks a lot nicer. Today, for the first time, I was doing something on my phone when I received a call, and the Pop Up to answer it (based on Material Design) showed.

      From what you can gather from a Developer Preview, and this being Google's first, it is very stable, looks a lot nicer, feels a lot smoother (although some issues do pop up), and is stable enough to use everyday.

      This is my work phone, and I haven't had any issues that would make me go back yet.

  11. Vferg
    June 30, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    Kit Kat 4.4.2 just upgraded about a month ago after Motorola shocked us all with the update from Jelly Bean for our HD Razr phones. Always try to be on the latest if I can, especially now since a few applications may actually require newer versions to be installed.

    Looking forward to the new LG G3 in less than a month, That is also running Kit Kat.

  12. Douglas
    June 30, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    OmniRom 4.4.4 on my s3

  13. Alexander Irving
    June 30, 2014 at 11:43 am

    KitKat 4.4.2 on my Galaxy S4

  14. The Doctor
    June 30, 2014 at 11:13 am

    Android L which i dual boot with KitKat 4.4.4.

    • Dave P
      July 4, 2014 at 6:38 pm

      How are you finding the Android L beta so far?

  15. Krishnapriya
    June 30, 2014 at 9:09 am

    Gingerbread. Pathetic, I know. But it does the job.

    • Dave P
      July 4, 2014 at 6:38 pm

      If you're happy with it then it shouldn't be a problem :)

  16. Milindalaknath
    June 30, 2014 at 7:50 am

    KitKat 4.4.2 on my Galaxy S-IV[GT-19505]

  17. John C
    June 30, 2014 at 5:09 am

    4.4.2 on my Galaxy SIII with a Custom ROM.

  18. Caroline W
    June 30, 2014 at 12:51 am

    I think I must have a Kit-Kat version, which? I am not sure. The phone is an S3mini and since less than a year of having it, it has had about 2 or 3 updates.

    My ultimate phone would be an iPhone with about a 5" screen so I can see more. The only reason I do not have an iPhone is basically because it's an extravagance I can't afford.

    The 3.5"? screen on my S3mini is just too small for my liking... a 'Phablet' - forget it - I think that they look ridiculous. 5" is a nice size :-)

    • Dave P
      July 4, 2014 at 6:37 pm

      That's interesting because just a couple of years ago a 5" screen would have been seen as bigger than average, and possibly even a phablet. People are increasingly wanting more screen real estate, which is why Apple has been forced to up its screen size with the iPhone 6 (we think).

  19. John
    June 30, 2014 at 12:07 am

    I don't understand why people post "Android sucks" in a poll about what version of Android you use. Trolls, I guess. If not, then don't stick with it. There are other options for you. Those of us who enjoy Android, really couldn't give a rodents rearend if you think it sucks. We don't, move on.
    Samsung took it's sweet time doing so but I finally got the update on my S III. It works, I like it. Now back to be ing productive with my device of choice (key word there for those of you still following along, choice).

    • Dave P
      July 4, 2014 at 6:35 pm

      I had to include that option to be as inclusive as possible. As long as it's a healthy, respectful debate I don't see too much of a problem with it.

  20. mark487
    June 29, 2014 at 9:39 pm

    Cyanogenmod 7.

  21. Clayton
    June 29, 2014 at 9:22 pm

    Android 4.4.4 on Motorola Moto G

  22. Alexandra Kellow
    June 29, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    Android (Lagroid ) sucks, I use Windows Phone 8.

    • Dave P
      July 4, 2014 at 6:34 pm

      How are you finding Windows Phone 8? I quite like it myself but it's failing to grab a significant share of the market.

  23. Dmitry T
    June 29, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    4.0.3 on my Huawei Honor 2
    Everything i need works, so why bother?

    • Dave P
      July 4, 2014 at 6:33 pm

      Are you not even curious about what has changed in the latest version?

    • Dmitry T
      July 5, 2014 at 6:42 pm

      There's no official KitKat for U9508 Honor 2 - 4.2.2 is latest available firmware. And judging by feature lists i've read (and my 'slate) neither 4.1 nor 4.2 worth the trouble . Though i would really like to get KitKat upgrade, the only way to get it is to change phone - not something i look forward to yet.
      Fragmentation in large part produced by manufacturers who abandon their devices, there's lots of 'once top tier' phones that could benefit from 4.4 but will never get it.

      PS As for features - Gingerbread on my previous phone was adequate for my needs, it's only this spring that lack of support could became a problem - there's no Google Keep )

  24. Hildy J
    June 29, 2014 at 6:27 pm

    Nexus 5 and hoping for a Nexus 6 Lollipop in my Halloween trick or treat bag.

  25. Chris
    June 29, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    KitKat 4.4.2 on my Galaxy SII.

  26. Andrew Jones
    June 29, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    Sorta wondering the merits of a poll on a technology website of the Android OS. Most people are likely to be averagely tech savvy if they're on this website, so it'd make sense that most likely the newer OS's. I have many friends that are still running 2.3 and 4.0, probably more than have updated to the latest OS's.

    • Daneel Olivaw
      June 30, 2014 at 11:14 am

      you'd be surprised how many "tech-savvy" people there are running Gingerbread and Cupcake

    • Sheldon J
      June 30, 2014 at 4:34 pm

      Well apparently it's only about 12% right now.

    • Dave P
      July 4, 2014 at 6:32 pm

      If the poll shows that the majority of people are using 4.4 (which is how it's looking) then that suggests Android fragmentation isn't as bad as some people have suggested. So it's still well worth running this poll.

  27. Rick
    June 29, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    4.4.4 on my Nexus 7 and a custom ROM with 4.1.2 on my Samsung Galaxy Victory phone.

  28. Ankit
    June 29, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    Android sucks but am already invested.
    I know that I am totally exposed.
    Waiting for a good opportunity to dump google and its ecosystem.

    • Dave P
      July 4, 2014 at 6:31 pm

      Why do you want to dump Google? And who are you going to dump them for?

    • Ankit
      July 14, 2014 at 5:57 am

      Dump Google because there is too much dependency, too much snooping, sub standard user interface experiences. Focus is on numerous products/services, leaving almost everything incomplete.

      I have my eyes on Jolla right now. Don't know yet if it would stand tall.

  29. Kenson
    June 29, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    Android 4.4 on my Nexus Seven, and 4.2 on my s4 knockoff.

  30. Chinmay S
    June 29, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    There is no need for me to use Android because it is crap. Last year I bought Samsung Galaxy S4 and since its launch I didn't got any update. Google has released Android 5.0 L Preview and my S4 didn't even got KitKat.

    • Dave P
      July 4, 2014 at 6:31 pm

      What do you use instead of Android?

    • Chinmay S
      July 5, 2014 at 2:06 am

      iPhone 5.

  31. Indronil M
    June 29, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    4.4.4 on my tab 2 (slim kat weekly)
    when you are out of warranty ..and get no updates from my oem I find sticking to them is useless when you can have the latest and greatest why not have it .
    I simply use it for watching movies, reading books ,organizing photos and downloading stuffs ..
    And I use a WP as my primary device simply because of the swift eye candy which gets the work done and goes for around 2 days with a single charge and moderate usage (Facebook, messaging, and phone calls )

    • Dave P
      July 4, 2014 at 6:30 pm

      How are you finding Windows Phone? It's struggling to get a foothold despite being a very capable mobile OS.

    • Indronil M
      July 27, 2014 at 7:13 pm

      Well cant say Its simply great ,
      Things I miss are
      -A proper browser with a Proper Download manager ,Cant use IE for Downloading Stuffs or even watching YouTube (it crashes every time after the 8.1 Update)
      though I use UC Web but I simply cant use it for doing stuffs (loading pages downloading music or videos ) in the background.

      -another great draw back I found is apps like pdf reader cant use the document folder provided to the users(once u load a document it is loaded inside the app creating two copies)
      -lack of all in one media player
      -cant send multiple files at ones with Bluetooth
      Just using It simply because of the great camera and photo editing apps ,great battery life unlike the android devices I have owned .

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