As we are now well into 2015, we thought it would be a good time to look at some online trends. For this article browser trends.
Over at W3 Schools, they provide a helpful list of current stats that we will look at here. Please note that these stats are only including devices that are browsing the internet.
The trends that we see in 2014 continues into 2015, with Chrome being the dominate web browser for desktops with 61.9% of the usage share, a 0.3% increase from the previous month (December 2014), meaning a 6.2% increase in a year.
Firefox takes second place with 23.4% of the share, but has seen its coverage reduced by 0.2% in a month, while it has seen a decrease of 3.5% in a year.
IE continues to decline in usage, even if you combine versions as far back as IE7 up to IE11, losing more ground than Firefox. Safari is in fourth place as it continues to hover around the 3.8-3.9% mark, while Opera has held firm with 1.6% usage for the last 5 months, but that's still down from 1.8% since this time last year.
Windows 7 is still the most popular OS currently in use with over 50% of people online using this as their OS, down 2.5% in a year. This is down the general cost to upgrade their OS. People tend to only do so when purchasing a new machine and this leads to a delay in everyone moving over to the latest OS.
Windows XP on the other hand, has more users than it's successor, Vista. That's because XP worked so well for everyone, while Vista received a lot of bad press. XP is on the decline though, and the fact that Microsoft stopped supporting it in May will only accelerate this process.
Windows 8, the latest release in the Windows metafamily, has increased 7.6% in a year. We can predict that this will steadily increase as the year progresses. It will be interesting to see the effect Windows 10 has on it once it is released in late 2015.
Mac has remained steady at 9.8%, with Linux seeing a steady year on year increase, currently up to 5.5%.
Mobile Browsing accounts for 5% of the market. Maybe slightly lower than I would have expected. The trend in mobile usage looks slow from the stats, despite the number of Mobile devices at record numbers.
Apple's iOS and Google's Android are the main players here. But even then, it's Android which is the clear winner here, with over 50% of the mobile browsing market. iOS is a distant second at 26%, Windows is at 9% and with the final 7% made up from other devices.
With regard to responsive issues, Android runs Chrome, which pretty much is renders identically to the desktop version, where as iOS runs Safari, which does render things slightly differently when run under Apple's iOS.
Screens are getting bigger. This is where we are seeing the most change, with the majority of screen sizes at above 1920 x 1080 pixels. Second most popular size is 1366 x 768, which is a fairly standard to low end laptop screen size, with the high end laptops are running at 1920 x 1080 which comes in third. 1280 x 1024 is fourth, and below that screens are mostly legacy 1024 x 768 or smaller.
Even mobile devices will contribute to the trend for larger screen sizes with nearly all smart phones boasting full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels).
Basically, this just confirms what we already knew: Google rules.... With Chrome clearly ahead in the Browser stakes, and Android hold monopoly on mobile devices, these are the main players. Although iOS and Mac don't match up in terms of numbers, users tend to be most active on iOS.
Microsoft are the only other winners, with people still sticking to the Windows OS rather than any alternative. Even with this on their side, and the vast improvements IE has taken over the years, it is still falling further behind the industry leaders. Perhaps the release of Windows 10 and the new 'Spartan' browser will increase their market penetration (and the fact that the upgrade will be free for 12 months if you are running Windows 7 or 8).
With Android Lollipop just being released, and getting very good reviews (we love it), we can only see Google tightening their grip on the mobile market.
Screen resolutions we predict will only significantly change when 4k (3840 x 2160 pixels) devices become cheaper (maybe even standard as HD became) and broadcasters start to distribute content at this resolution.
What does this means for web content? We are investigating already.