The Android Developers site has offered its latest data on Android version adoption, for the purposes of helping developers to choose which forward-compatible version to design for. Based on the devices that visited Google's Android Market during the two weeks ending Nov. 3, more than 44% are now running version 2.3, known as "Gingerbread."
That's up from the 39% running Gingerbread during the two-week period ending Oct. 3, when it still played second-fiddle to "Froyo," version 2.2, which had a leading 45.3% share (MDP: Android 'Gingerbread' Uptake Now at 39%).
Froyo is now at nearly 41%, while Eclair (v. 2.1) fell to 10.7%, from 13.3%.
The news is good for Google, which has been criticized for users' slow uptake to the latest versions — which in themselves can become complicated.
A recent WDS report, while emphasizing the important role Android has played in "democratizing" the smartphone experience for consumers and carriers alike (CP: Android could cost operators an avoidable $2 billion a year), described customers' unawareness of the capabilities — or lack thereof — of the different versions which, coupled with other Android-related issues, are creating unnecessary costs for carriers in the neighborhood of $2 billion annually.
Costs were also a topic for Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt this week, who while visiting South Korea told reporters that the Android OS will remain "free" to Google's handset manufacturing partners.
He added, according to reports, that Motorola — which Google is in the process of purchasing — will receive no more special treatment than other Android-supporting phone makers.
"We told [all our partners] that the Motorola deal will close and we will run it sufficiently and independently, that it will not violate the openness of Android..." Schmidt said. "We're not going to change in any material way the way we operate."