Google, today, at its annual developer conference, I/O announced an entirely new project called “Android Go”. The latest venture is the search engine giant’s yet another attempt, after Android One, at improving Android’s experience on low-end smartphones. Unlike Android One, though, Google this time is focusing more on optimizing the software’s various components for running more smoothly on underpowered handsets.
For starters, Google will be refining every latest version of Android (starting with the ‘O’ release) itself for devices running on 1 GB of RAM or less. Furthermore, this edition of Android will feature a rebuilt set of Google apps that are designed to consume lesser data, power, and energy for avoiding any sort of performance issues. This will also include a toned down version of the Play store which the company first showed off at an event in India a few months ago. The play store that will be available on Android Go will also highlight apps that the developers have finetuned for it.
To put it in perspective, there are roughly 150M current Android devices that sport less than 1 GB of RAM and they account for 12% of the total share which is still quite significant among the two Billion. The top country to have these is India where Google has been aggressively pushing its services like YouTube Go which is also designed for areas with poor connectivity. Additionally, YouTube Go will also allow Google to tighten its lease over the fragmentation issue which is especially serious in the case of cheap phones.
“Android Go is designed with features relevant for people who have limited data connectivity and speak multiple languages.“, said a Google representative on stage during the launch. Android Go’s will be first arriving next year which essentially means manufacturers will potentially start making handsets with the lighter OS after that.
Android Go certainly sounds substantially more promising than Android One mainly due to the fact that they are now realizing how Android is on entry level smartphones. Optimizing every major component will allow the handset to function a lot better when it comes to daily tasks and most users who buy products in this price range never go past calling, searching the web and watching videos, two of which are done using Google’s services.