Fragmentation caused by the different versions of the Android operating system – a cause of concern among developers – is on the decline. The Android OS is coalescing around three major flavors: Android 1.5, aka Cupcake; Android 1.6, or Donut; and Android 2.1, nicknamed Eclair.
Among those, Android 2.1 has the maximum share. About 37.2 percent of Android phones today have the Android 2.1 operating system, up from 27.3 percent in April.
Android 1.5 comes next with about 34.1 percent of Android phones sporting it, followed by Android 1.6 at 28 percent.
The data comes from Android Developers, the official Android developers’ community website, and is based on OS data reported by devices accessing the Android Market during a 2-week period ending May 17.
In the 16 months since the first Android phone hit the market, Google has made four major upgrades to the operating system. But smartphone makers unable to keep up with that pace have continued to introduce new cellphones with older versions of the OS, leading to consumer confusion about what capabilities various Android phones have. But in the past four months, many handset makers, including Motorola and HTC, have been steadily updating the OSes on their older phones. In most cases, they’re upgrading to the latest version, Android 2.1.
Still, in the rapidly changing Android world it is not enough. At its developer conference later this week, Google is likely to release the next update to Android called Android 2.2 or FroYo.
FroYo will support an updated Android Market, Flash Player 10.1, and tethering.