During the keynote that kicked off Google’s annual developers conference Google I/O on Tuesday, the company unveiled Android P, the forthcoming edition of the world’s largest mobile operating system. Android P, which will eventually be given the name of a sweet starting with the letter P in line with Google’s curious naming convention, comes with a number of new features, including AI-powered battery management and several applications designed to help users keep track of their device usage and limit the risk of smartphone addiction.
While many of the announced features sound sensible and useful, Android users probably shouldn’t get too excited just yet. As our chart illustrates, the Android universe remains highly fragmented and only a small fraction of devices are running the latest version of the popular OS. This is owed to the fact that Android is used by countless manufacturers (also known as OEMs) who often fail to provide their users with timely updates and patches.
This has long been one of the major disadvantage of Android compared to Apple's mobile ecosystem. While Apple's "walled garden" approach certainly isn't for everyone, iPhone users can at least rely on getting the latest version of iOS for a couple of years.
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