Google’s efforts are finally starting to pay off. Android 10 is the most quickly adopted version of Android, announces its creator. Five months after its launch in September 2019, Android 10 was installed on 100 million devices. It's 28% faster than its predecessor, Android 9 Pie.
Note on the graph that Android 10 has passed the milestone of 400 million active users in 300 days. The total fleet of active Android terminals being 2.5 billion devices, Android 10 accounts for around 16% of the market.
The Google system is still far from its competitor's statistics: launched around the same time, iOS 13 is installed on 81% of iPhone and 73% of iPad.
As a reminder, the adoption of Android is not completely comparable to that of iOS. While iOS updates are monolithic, Android updates are fragmented: most Google apps are available on Google Play and APIs are released via Google Play Services, independent of the operating system. However, the system itself is still of major importance. Android 10, for example, introduced new gesture navigation, a dark theme, and additional privacy controls.
Unlike Apple, which controls the entire chain of iOS updates, new versions of Android must pass into the hands of manufacturers and operators before being distributed to users. It is for this reason that apart from Google smartphones and a few exceptions (OnePlus and Essential), there is a delay of several months between the official release and the actual distribution.
To improve this, Google has taken multiple initiatives over the years: Project Treble makes the system more modular by decoupling manufacturers' dependencies from the rest; Generic System Images allow developers to test their apps on “pure” versions of Android; Project Mainline passes security updates through Google Play, etc.
Google does not intend to stop there. Android 11, which is in its second beta, will also make improvements in this area. More components will be updated via Google Play, generic kernel images will be made available, and installing the system update will require less storage space.
Updates distributed quickly is good, updates distributed for a long time would be even better. In this blog post, Google does not announce anything regarding the duration of support, the other pitfall of its ecosystem. When iPhones are entitled to major iOS updates for four to five years, Android smartphones have to settle for half the support – although again, you have to put that in perspective with app and app updates. APIs that are system independent. Hopefully these efforts on speed have a ripple effect on longevity.