Google may have released Android version 7 (aka Nougat) today, but unless you have a Nexus device, expect a lengthy wait. The updated has over 250 major features according to Google, but that does nothing for the revenue of carriers and manufacturers. Ultimately the reason so many Android devices still run old versions of the OS is thanks to carriers wanting to sell you a new plan and new phone and device makers wanting to ship new hardware.
If you do have a Google Nexus product, expect an over the air update soon that allows you to upgrade to Android 7.0 (Nougat). Only when Google own the hardware and software end-to-end chain can they seamlessly deliver OS updates to customers. This is the precise reason Apple loves to own the end-to-end distribution and back in 2007, getting carriers to agree was one of the biggest innovations the industry had experienced.
The graph above from statista shows the current market share for each version of Android. KitKat (4.4) still leads with 32.5%, followed by Lollipop 5.1 at 19.4% and the latest version before Nougat (Mashmallow) only accounts for 7.5% of the market.
Those manufacturers that don’t ship stock Android on their devices also have the additional testing and development of their software implementations on top of standard OS and hardware compatibility checks which all adds time.
Check out the video below on what’s new in Android Nougat before hating your Samsung, HTC, LG, Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo, Lenovo or other.