There is a enormous range of Android devices in the market, each with a particular combination of physical properties e.g. performance, screen size and the installed version of the Android Operating System. This fragmented landscape has been visualized here. At App Studio, our aspiration is to support the widest possible range of Android devices with a superior digital experience. To achieve that our quality assurance will be focused on the most popular devices with sufficient compute power to provide good user experiences to allow us to iterate the product in a timely way. While we cannot test every device available, those that are not tested may work fine. Devices with low compute power, typically discount or older devices, may provide less responsive experiences or other issues. The following page specifies the current set of Android devices and operating systems which we currently certify. This criteria is a living list which will evolve as the market evolves and applies to all Android applications produced by the App Studio team (including Custom apps we develop).
|1st August 2013||Initial Release|
|29th August 2013||Text updates|
|11th September 2013||Text updates|
|25th November 2013||Text updates|
|28th March 2014||Text updates|
|25th September 2014||Text updates|
|3rd November 2014|| Text updates
|21st May 2015||Text updates|
|4rh April 2016||Text updates|
|4th July 2018||Text updates|
- 4.4 KitKat (API level 19)
- 5.0 Lollipop (API level 21)
- 5.1 Lollipop (API level 22)
- 6.0 Marshmallow (API level 23)
- 7.0 Nougat (API level 24)
- 7.1 Nougat (API level 25)
- 8.0 Oreo (API level 26)
As of 4th July 2018 Android 4.4 or later is now used by over 90% of the market. By focusing on Android 4.4 or later we are able to take advantage of key Android platform features and design patterns that are very strongly advocated by Google, specifically with regard to Play Store promotion. Additionally Android 4.3 has now dropped below 10% market share. Our analysis of end-of-life of all previous versions of Android shows that 4.3 should drop below 5% within 6 months and less than 3% within the next 12 months. We believe that is the tipping point to focus development on current and future releases of Android.
There are now more than 10,000 distinct Android devices. Fragmentation has reached the point where it is impractical to guarantee functional parity on all devices. The platform is in theory designed to be consistent across all installs and provide a framework to all a write once, deploy anywhere strategy. The reality is that both hardware differences and OS modifications by manufacturers frequently cause unpredictable implementation problems.
The below link provides some guidance on device support strategy:
- We will maintain a repository of target devices for development and quality assurance
- We will review the list of supported devices on a bi-monthly basis
- Strategically important devices may be added to the supported list on an ad-hoc basis as they are released
- We will upgrade our devices to the latest available operating system as updates are rolled out
- Google do not provide developer betas, feature previews or API specifications for upcoming Android OS releases. As updates are rolled out to a supported device we will run a basic feature check on all supported Apps. This will not be a full regression test.
- Support tickets raised against devices with an older version of the operating system, where OS updates are available, will not be a priority.
- Releases of an App will be guaranteed against a specific revision of the supported device list. Devices added to the list will not be fully supported against an App until such time that the App undergoes a full regression against that device. That usually would occur when an update is being released for the App.
- We reserve the right to drop support for a device during product development and quality assurance. Experience has shown that despite reasonable endeavours and original expectations a device may not be able to deliver satisfactory performance for an application feature.
- We reserve the right to drop support for a device where we find that specific revisions of the device cause problems that cannot be validated against our repository version of the device.
- Samsung devices account for almost 50% of the market
- Some devices are more strategically important than their market share may indicate - for instance Google Nexus devices will be used by Google when they perform reviews of the app for marketing or promotion.
- Kindle devices are strategically important for the same reason within the Amazon ecosystem.
- The market share of any other specific device is very small but we endeavour to cover a small set of other manufacturers, usually targeting their flagship devices.
- Google Nexus devices may cover support for another manufacturer - eg Nexus 4 is made by LG, Nexus
- Our device set will cover smartphone, mini tablet (approximately 7 inch devices), and tablet (approximately 10 inch devices)
Where a support ticket is raised against other devices we will not escalate that ticket for immediate attention. However we may validate the ticket against other supported devices at our discretion.
There are some devices which are known to have specific hardware or software problems that have caused us to drop any support for the device. Our Apps may run on these devices without issue, but we will not accept support tickets against these devices.
- Google Nexus 7 version 1
- HTC Sensation XE