The tech press continually harps on Google's Android operating system and the search company's manufacturing partners for fragmentation in the Android install base, but the cofounder of the Android platform says the issue is relatively overblown. Speaking at
the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council's technology forum, where Xconomy
was in attendance, Rich Miner said it's not terribly important that more than 60 percent of Android devices are running Ice Cream Sandwich or earlier.
"I think this is a bit of an overblown issue, frankly," Minder said. "Don't forget, there are 1.5 million Android phones being activated every single day. There are 900 million devices out in the market."
"Clearly in the early days of Android, there was some learning that had to be done between Google and the ecosystem," Miner continued. "I think Google is much better, as we've seen with the latest security release."
Google recently changed the way it calculates Android version ratios, tailoring the presentation to where it is more focused on which users are regularly accessing the Play Store app repository. By that measure, Android 2.3 Gingerbread is still the most widely installed version, even though it is two years old. The most recent versions, 4.1 and 4.2 Jelly Bean, recently became the second-most installed version, thanks to rapid adoption of newer handsets.
Still, Miner says the issue typically doesn't affect most consumers.
"Us techies read the blogs and know what features we may be missing," he said. "I think if you asked a consumer, 'do you feel like your phone OS needs to be updated today?' they're pretty happy with the results and the performance they're seeing."