Android Go was earlier teased by Google as a smaller version of Android for phones that pack entry-level specs. While the company remained silent on the matter over the months, Google has officially launched the light-weight OS alongside Android Oreo 8.1 at a recent conference in India.
The OS is aimed at powering devices with low RAM use such as 1GB and 512MB configurations. Google wants Android to be more accessible to developing nations such as Brazil and India. Android Go will pack the entirety of the Android experience as much as possible without being a load on low-end devices essentially. Android Go works on specific areas in the Operating System that will allow the phone to run smoothly on low-powered phones. This means that the software will come at a smaller size, at half of what Android Nougat 7.0 was. This will take up less storage space and will also come with Go versions of apps for Google Maps, Gmail and the Google app as well. These apps are said to run 15 percent faster than regular apps.
Go editions of Android updates will be released along the same timeframe as the regular updates. The software also supposedly offers 30 percent faster start-up time and storage optimization by twice as much. Starting today, the Go version of Android should be available globally and devices with compatibility for Go Android OS should start shipping from the beginning of next year. The changes to the original OS are minimal at best, with optimizations being made mostly under the hood. Noticeable changes will include the way apps are shown, recent previews and multi-user settings as well. Google has tried its best not to tone down the Android experience too much, which will be an appreciated feature to consider.
Over two billion users run Android on their smartphones, with the majority that number coming from the US alone. Having said that most entry-level phones being released nowadays run on at least 2GB of RAM and also come with capable quad-core and octa-core processors. While not as strong as flagship phones, these phones should still have no problem running the Go variant of Android Oreo, and it will be exciting to see how entry level smartphones will now be able to compete with the flagships on more optimized and better efficient versions of the OS.