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Pornhub just confirmed Google has yet to fix the worst thing about Android

Published Dec 19th, 2019 6:53PM EST
Android 10 Update
Image: Google

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Pornhub just did something that Google doesn’t, and I’m not talking about Pornhub’s main business, although it is connected to that. The company reviewed its 2019, and the extensive report contains an unexpected gem that highlights something about Android that Google has been trying to fix for years, and still hasn’t.

From its inception, Android had a huge fragmentation problem. Google denied it publicly, but actions speak louder than words, and Project Treble is proof. Project Treble, by the way, seems to work, as more smartphone makers provide access to Google’s Android betas, and Android updates are rolled out faster than before.

However, Android updates are still not fast enough, especially compared to iOS. Google has also stopped providing frequent updates about the state of Android when it comes to the breakdown of platform versions:

Google’s last distribution numbers came in May 2019, well before Android 10 rolled out (image above), and that’s definitely surprising. Google has yet to explain why it stopped updating the site. The company does say on its site that it’s working on improving the way it provides insight into Android’s stats, however.

This brings us to Pornhub’s stats, which paint an interesting story for the mobile landscape. According to the graphs below, Android 9 Pie runs on 48% of Android devices that accessed Pornhub this year — and mobile devices have seen increased usage on PornHub, the company disclosed. Android 10 (or Q) sits at just 2%.

Image source: PornHub

Over on iOS, some 71% of the iPhones and iPads that are used for Pornhub surfing run iOS 13. Pornhub makes a point to note the difference between the two platforms when it comes to upgrades:

If we break the results down to the particular version of a mobile operating system being used, we find that Apple users tend to be more up-to-date than their Android counterparts. 71% of Apple visitors are using iOS 13 (released September 2019), while only 48% of Android visitors are on the latest Pie (released a year earlier on August 2018). 17% of Android visitors still use an OS that is more than 4 years old.

Separately, Android Police compared Google’s October 2018 distribution numbers against Pornhub to give us an idea of a year-over-year Android update evolution. By the way, Google’s numbers usually refer to the previous month, while Pornhub’s data accounts for a full year:

Image source: AndroidPolice

One other conclusion of all this data is that Pixel phones still don’t sell in meaningful numbers. Pixel hardware runs the latest Google software, so if Google were to sell tens of millions of Pixel phones, they’d definitely affect these statistics — Android 10 would have a much higher market share.

Also of note is the impressive Android 9 bump. Pornhub only has access to a fraction of the data Google uses for its distribution reports, as Pornhub only looks at devices that visit its site, but the fact that Android 9 makes up nearly 50% of Android users who go to is still revelatory for Google’s Android upgrade efforts. It shows that Project Treble is working, even though we might have to wait a couple more years to see it pay off.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.