Android Diversity

A data visualization illustrating the diversity of Android, the dots represent 1B+ active Android users, colored accordingly to the hardware specs of their device.

For the 2015 Google I/O developers conference Variable worked with Google Data Arts team to prepare a visualization for one of the highlight moments of the keynote delivered by Google CEO Sundar Pichai. In the spirit of "Be Together Not The Same" we envisioned the Android ecosystem as a stream of colors forming one connected globe.

  • Google
    2015 / San Francisco, US


Sundar Pichai has shown the visualization to the 6,000 attendees of I/O and over 1.8M viewers online.

The visualization shows 4000 distinct Android devices available on the marked has been grouped by their hardware specification. From the small, affordable, entry level smartphones phones in the emerging markets (orange) to the high end, high pixel density models (blue).


To understand the information we were working with, Variable developed a range of tools to access, filter and visualize the data provided by Google. These tools were shared and reviewed online by the Data Arts Team and allowed for a seamless collaboration despite different locations and the time difference between Europe and the US.

All simulation and animation is happening in realtime and is computed on the GPU using Pixel Shaders.

Below you can see a 3rd person view of the steams of Android devices forming the globe from one of the simulations using 1M particles.

We also created a tool to preview the screens at the resolution of 19278 x 900 using the same technology - PEX (our in-house 3d engine build on top of WebGL + Plask / Google Chrome). The final visualization was exported as a video and displayed 46 high projectors in order to cover the screen that was 17 feet (5 m) tall by 531 feet (162 m) long.

Realtime experiments

You can see noise particle splash in realtime here.

a,[object Object] /a
a,[object Object] /a
a,[object Object] /a