Google changes Android dashboard numbers to count active users, not just pings

The Android device dashboard has been providing a picture of OS version distribution since before Froyo pushed aside Eclair, but now it's seeing some changes. A post on the Android Developers Google+ page indicates that starting this month, numbers are based on devices whose users actively checked Google Play during the reporting period. Previously, it counted all devices that pinged Google servers. The latest stats, updated today, show a jump in the amount of actives (previously devices, now users) on Jelly Bean (Android 4.1 or higher), up to 25 percent from 16.5 percent last month when it counted the old way. The number of devices recorded running Froyo and Gingerbread have taken the biggest hit, down 3.6 and 4 percentage points, respectively.

There are a few ways to react to this, particularly remembering that these numbers are meant to help developers figure out how many users are available to target on the various versions of Android and types of hardware. It may help give a clearer picture of what setups the active users that developers hope to reach are using, without being muddied by little-used zombie hardware. On the other hand, it could be seen as a way to juke stats which have been used against Google's mobile OS by its competitors like Apple. Whichever side of the line one finds themselves on, more data is available by clicking on the source link below.