Sunday , September 27 2020

Pornhub sheds light on 2019 Android stats that Google refuses to release

Pornhub has released its annual Year in Review blog, and it contains some noteworthy data about, of all things, Android OS usage statistics, as observed by Android Police.

The data is interesting because Google hasn’t updated its own dashboard of how many devices are on each version of Android since May, so for months, there haven’t been any public figures about the current state of Android OS adoption. And with Pornhub being one of the top 50 sites in global Alexa rankings, it’s somewhat plausible that its data is in the ballpark of 2019 Android OS usage.

Pornhub doesn’t know how many devices are on each version of Android, but it reports that for all of 2019, 48 percent of its Android traffic came from Pie (which is last year’s major update, by the way), 23 percent from Oreo (2017’s update), and 12 percent from Nougat (2016’s update). Android 10, or Q on the chart below, apparently only represented 2 percent of the year’s traffic, but that’s not too surprising — Android 10 was released in September and hasn’t even rolled out to a number of phones yet (it only arrived on Galaxy S10 phones in the US this week, for example).

Again, Pornhub’s data only measures how much traffic it got from each version of Android, though, while Google’s dashboard tracks how many devices are running each version of Android (well, up through May of this year), so we can’t directly compare data between the two sources. But Pornhub’s data can at least give us an idea of general Android OS adoption trends.

It’s unclear if Google will ever update its dashboard again — and in fact, Google’s May update to that page was the first since October 2018. A source told Android Police that the lack of updates has been due to “an unexpected loss of the source of usage data,” and that the previously-monthly updates to the page “should have returned to a regular pace,” but so far, they haven’t.

Google seems to be aware of the issue, having pinned a note to the top of the page suggesting that developers use the Google Play console if they want to get a better understanding of device metrics for their apps. But back when the stats were publicly updated, Google was consistently ridiculed about how fragmented Android updates were compared to iOS, so perhaps part of the reason Google is dragging its feet is to avoid giving people more ammunition against Android.

So for now, until Google resumes giving regular updates on Android’s OS statistics, I guess we just have to rely on Pornhub.

This Article was first published on theverge.com

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