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May 18, 2017

Android Go is Google’s latest attempt at optimising budget Android phones

by John_A

Google has introduced a new type of Android.

It’s not like the Android OS you’d find on a high-end smartphone such as the Google Pixel. The important thing to realise here is that Android Go is basically a light version of Android O that’s meant for budget, entry-level phones with about 512MB to 1GB of memory (RAM). So, it’s designed for devices like the just-announced Moto C, which has a low-resolution 5-inch screen and 8GB of storage. 

Keep in mind Google is trying to get more Android devices into the hands of people in developing communities: “There are now more Android users in India than there are in the US,” said Sameer Samat, the VP of product management for Android and Google Play, while on stage at the Google I/O 2017 conference on Wednesday. “Every minute seven Brazilians come online for the first time.”

  • Google Photos gets better at sharing, creates actual photo books
  • Google Home can now make hands-free phone calls like Amazon Echo
  • Google Home can now give you visual responses on phones and Chromecast

Low-end devices sometimes can’t handle heavy apps, but with Android Go, which is different from Google’s similar Android One initiative, a budget phone’s software will be optimised for low-performing processors, small amounts of memory, and minimal mobile data consumption. It’ll basically make apps lighter – and Google Play Store will serve up apps and games that work best on budget phones.

Android Go will come with a data management tool in the quick settings, so that device owners can easily see how much data they have left, and the Chrome browser will enable Android’s data-saver feature by default. YouTube Go will preview videos before loading a data-heavy video, and you’ll be able to select a lower-streaming quality and see how much data each option will eat up.

Google said the first Android Go will arrive in 2018. Check out Pocket-lint’s Google I/O guide to see what else Google has announced.

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