Updated on: 13 May 2020
Software testing on Android can be a little more tedious than testing other mobile operating systems like iOS. Android does not force operating system updates on users like Apple, causing the percentage of Android version users to be quite diverse. For a software tester, these means research needs to be conducted into the percentage market share of each version of Android. This allows software testers and developers to make a judgement call on what versions matter for the testing and development purposes.
For the more dedicated software testing engineers, researching Android version market share in the country their applications will be used in is a smart idea.
Android OS Versions for Software Testing in 2020
The latest version of Android is 10.0, which is released last year in September 2019 on Google’s Pixel devices. It is the first time that an Android version steps away from its loved naming conventions and doesn’t have a dessert name or other type of name beside the version number. So, it is just Android 10. Despite the updates to Android 10.0 on other Android devices of various brands and with a market share of 16.12%, the previous version 9.0 (Pie) still has the most significant market share of 37.4% even though it is declining slightly since the beginning of this year. Version 9.0 still has the largest share due to only the newest flagship (max. 2 years old) models get the version 10.0 either as standard or as an update.
In general, every year there is a release of a new Android version. Taking into the account that people renew their mobile devices every four to six years, testing at least five older versions still considered the best practice when software testing for different Android versions. April 2020 data shows that Android version 6.0 Marshmallow still has more market share than the newer version 7.0 Nougat.
Android Version Market Share (largest to smallest)
9.0 (Pie) – 37.4%
10.0 (10) – 16.12%
8.1 (Oreo) – 11.29%
6.0 (Marshmallow) – 8.72%
8.0 (Oreo) – 7.37%
7.0 (Nougat) – 6.24%