Believe it or not, Google made an interesting announcement today on the Android Developers blog (you know, the source of the monthly Android distribution data that is no longer available). It seems that after five months, 100 million Android devices are running Android 10 making it the fastest adoption in the history of the open-source operating system; with those figures, Android 10 was running 28% ahead of Android 9 (Pie).
Motorola DROID (first model powered by Android 2.0), we've been writing about the "F" word in relation to Android updates, fragmentation. Apple has a huge advantage since it makes both the software and the hardware for the iPhone. Google, on the other hand, has to develop each build Android to work with hundreds of different phones from a myriad of manufacturers.Ever since Android starting taking off with the November 2009 launch of the
Over the years, Google has tried different ways to speed up the updating process. Project Treble separates low-level code made by SoC manufacturers from the main Android OS. This allows updates to take place without waiting for the chip makers to change the lower-level code. This helped speed up the adoption of Android 9 Pie by 2.5X. In Android 10, parts of the OS were updated through Google Play system updates using Google's Project Mainline technology. Google says, "Mainline provides security and privacy updates for the OS in a way that’s similar to apps – through Google Play. For example, in our most recent deployment, we directly updated 285 million devices with fixes for security vulnerabilities."
Google Play is also used by Google to update critical applications and services. As an example, it points out that back in May it launched the Exposure Notification API for the COVID-19 contact tracking app. Using Google Play, Google was able to disseminate the API to over two billion devices in just 10 weeks.
The company says, "We’re excited by the increased adoption of Android and are grateful for the close collaborations with our chipset and OEM partners to deploy updates earlier. We continue to work on a number of enhancements in the platform and infrastructure to make it easier for developers and users to benefit from the latest versions of Android."