At the recent I/O Annual Developer Conference, Google proudly announced it now had 2.5bn active Andriod devices with 1.5bn gained over the past four years. According to these figures Google is now bigger than Windows and bigger than iOS, making it by far the largest global operating system by user numbers.
Many of the 2.5bn Andriod devices, which are made by more than 180 manufacturers, operate on older versions of Google’s mobile OS. In 2017 a study estimated that more than one billion Andriod devices were more than two years old.
Google finally updated its Andriod distribution numbers after a six month delay and revealed that the newest version of the OS, Android 9.0 Pie is now running on 10.4% of devices that were connected to the Google Play Store. And added together, the Andriod 8.0 an 8.1 Oreo is now the most wildly used version, accounting for 28% of all Android devices.
Among Google’s rivals Apple estimated it had 900 million active iPhones in use, while it boasted 1.4 billion users across all its products, including macOS and iOS devices. And Microsoft claimed in October that it had 1.5 billion active Windows devices in use with 800 million devices using Windows 10.
In other news Google has launched a new service that allows people to pay for apps without needing a credit card. The new service, called pending transactions, would enable Android users to choose different payment options at the checkout when buying an app or making an in-app purchase.
So, instead of paying with a credit card, the user can request a payment code and then make the payment in a physical store. If you wanted a refund, it will come in the form of Play Store credit.
The launch of pending transactions is primarily aimed at emerging markets where the lack of credit is widespread. Google already supports initiatives such as eWallets and carrier billing in countries such as India but is looking for more ways to overcoming the credit hurdle.