The web is constantly changing and developing; innovative new technologies, new platforms, and new uses are a regular occurrence. Factor in the growing use of mobile devices, and it can be tricky to identify online trends. We use StatCounter; which is great for helping us see the web in a new way. We've collected data from the last three months to find out which are the most popular web browsers, social networks, operating systems, and more. Please read our last web stats article if you'd like to see how things have changed.
Keeping track of web browser versions is one of the main reasons we use StatCounter. Modern browsers are now used by a large number of UK users. The latest version of Google Chrome, version 21.0, is used by 29% of UK users. Chrome uses an auto-update facility which means users of Chrome will always have the latest version. Internet Explorer 9, the latest version available on Windows 7, has a consistent 22% share which it has held for the last few months. Mozilla Firefox has seen a drop in users - down to 6%, this drop coincides with a rise in users of Google Chrome.
Take a look at the figures here - Web Browser Versions on StatCounter
There is a lot of choice when it comes to mobile browsers, take a look at our Top 5 Android browsers post for some examples. In the UK the stock iPhone web browser is the most popular choice, used by 38% of users. The stock Android browser has seen a gradual rise over the last few months and takes second place, used by 25% of users. As use of the Android browser rose there was a drop in use of BlackBerry's browser, from 27% in June to 22% at the start of September, making it the third most popular option. Use of Opera's mobile browser has remained consistent at the 3% mark.
See the figures on mobile browsers here - Mobile Browser Usage on StatCounter
Windows remains the dominant force when it comes to desktop operating systems. The previous three versions of Windows combined are used by 78% of UK users. The latest version, Windows 7, is now used on more than 50% of Worldwide and UK computers. Windows XP is the second most common operating system, used by around 15% of UK users. The number of users is steadily dropping over time as users upgrade. Use of MacOS has grown over time to 11%, it is now just below the falling number of Windows Vista users at 13%. A new version of Microsoft's popular operating system, Windows 8, is due for release in October; it will be interesting to see how this changes the landscape.
See the data on Operating Systems - StatCounter Operating Systems data
In the UK more than 40% of mobile phones are running iOS which is only available on Apple devices such as the iPhone. Android has steadily risen to 27% use, overtaking BlackBerry in August to become the second most popular mobile OS in the UK. Worldwide is a different story with Android being most popular, there was also a jump in Android use coupled with a drop in iOS. This jump came in July, shortly after the release of the Android powered Samsung Galaxy S3. An announcement on the new Apple iPhone 5 is due soon which could have a big affect on the statistics.
See StatCounter's information on Mobile Operating Systems - Mobile Operating Systems on StatCounter
Screen resolutions can be used to gauge how up to date a computer is. From the statistics we can see that widescreen displays are now very common in the UK as they are currently used by more than 50% of users. The most common resolution, used by nearly 25% of users, is 1366x768 which is a common resolution for widescreen laptops. 1280x800 is the second most popular resolution in the UK, used by 13% of users. Use of the 1024x768 resolution is steadily dropping in both the UK and Worldwide as older computers are phased out; use of a 1024x768 display is now under 9% in the UK.
See StatCounter's screen resolution data here - StatCounter screen resolution data
Mobile Screen Resolution
The mobile screen resolution statistics give a similar picture to the Mobile OS data. The iPhone, with its 320x480 resolution, is the most popular and used by 41% of users. Around 23% of phones fall into the Other category; this category is probably made up of the wide range of Android phones with varying screen resolutions. The 320x240 resolution used by BlackBerry has steadily decreased in use over the last few months; it is currently used on 10% of mobile phones.
See the full stats on mobile screen resolutions at StatCounter - StatCounter on mobile screen resolutions
The social media landscape has remained relatively unchanged over the last few months. Facebook is used by around 60% of UK users; there have been no drastic changes in use during the last few months. YouTube has seen a small rise recently, currently used by 8% of UK users. Micro-blogging service Twitter has seen a small drop in users recently but still holds steady at around 12%. There are two surprises in social media, Google's own social network, Google+, does not appear in the graph despite having 150 million monthly users. While Pinterest, a social bookmarking service, has seen steady growth in UK, overtaking use of the professional network LinkedIn.
View the graph here - Social Media on StatCounter
From the statistics we can see a few trends forming; widescreen monitors are being used by a growing number of users. The number of users running Windows 7 has reached a fairly constant level for the last few months; the upcoming release of Windows 8 should have a profound impact on the statistics as the release will also come with Internet Explorer 10. Apple will soon announce the iPhone 5; depending on when this is set for release we may see this have an impact on the mobile statistics. Alternatively we may see Android mimic its worldwide success in the UK with it overtaking Apple's usage figures.