June 5, 2012
7.1% of Android users can play audio in the browser
Google has released the latest stats on Android version adoption. Ice Cream Sandwich, the only version of Android that includes audio codecs for playback of sound using the <audio> tag, has now reached 7.1% adoption, up from 2.9% at the end of April. This is progress, but let's bear in mind that it took seven months to reach this point, and Jelly Bean -- the next release of Android OS -- is expected only a few months from now. Add to this the fact that Gingerbread is still adding usage share (now at 65%, up from 63.7% at the end of April, a 2% increase) and the news is not very encouraging for audio developers who want to include browser-based sound in Android devices. (It should be noted as a comparison that iOS 5.1.1 took 19 hours to reach 7% adoption and 4 days to reach 30%, with a daily adoption rate of around 7.5%!)
One other parallel item worth noting is that Samsung's Galaxy Player 4.2 (a competitor to the iPod Touch which shipped about two weeks ago) comes with Gingerbread (Android 2.3.5). Clearly, audio on Android is going to remain a far off dream for some time to come.