For anyone following our Labs Series, you know that we’ve gotten our hands on a lot of Android phones. Samsung Galaxies, a Droid Turbo, and even the much maligned Amazon Fire Phone. Not to mention the Xiaomi MI3 that we currently have in testing. While these phones certainly have their differences in both form and function, they all have one thing in common. None of them have an official install of Android Lollipop available yet. The full source code for Lollipop was pushed to the AOSP (Android Open Source Project) on November 3, 2014. Adoption currently sits at a whopping 1.6%. In comparison iOS 8 was released on September 17, 2014, and on December 17, 2014 it had achieved a 65% adoption rate. iOS currently has a 72% adoption rate. Why exactly is the adoption of Android so especially sluggish in the case of Lollipop? The first issue is the very nature of the Android ecosystem. While maintaining and utilizing an open source OS certainly has it’s benefits, there are also it’s drawbacks. When Google releases a new version of Android, there are several hurdles that have to be cleared before users start installing the OS on their handset. Because there is no standardization of hardware specs for Android devices, they are all over the place. To accommodate all of the hardware variance, each device needs it’s own unique installer. Furthermore, many devices are utilized by multiple cellular carriers. In these situations, each device needs a unique installer for each carrier iteration. None of this is done by Google, of course. The burden falls in the hands of the device manufacturer first, and the carrier second. Sounds like too many cooks in the kitchen! Either way it make for a very extended release cycle, dictated by three independent parties. In the specific case Lollipop, the first official releases for the Google Nexus were plagued with a few major issues forcing it back into development. This shook both consumer and developer confidence. In turn, we have 5 devices sitting on our labs bench none of which have an official update for Android Lollipop just yet. Both the device manufacturers and the carriers are promising something soon. In the mean time we’re not holding our breath.