Google released its latest Android Go mobile platform at its annual I/O developers conference in Mountain View, California, and critics took the opportunity to throw a punch or two at Google claiming that Android Go is an attempt to revive the not so popular Android One.
This is not the case as Android O is nothing like Android One. Android Go is a new variant of Android O that has been designed specifically for low-cost smartphones such that the code has been optimised for smartphones powered by low-performance processors, less memory, and lower battery backup.
One of the key aspects of any smartphone is the cost. People go for smartphones that fit their budget and while hardware can be purchased at a relatively low price, when it comes to data Google or any other smartphone vendor has not control over their costs. But that’s where Google wants to jump in with Android Go. People might believe that it is like Android One, but that’s not the case as Android Go is different from Android One.
Android One was a specific project that focused on hardware with Google enforcing its requirements on hardware vendors and smartphone manufacturers to stick to a prescribed set of specifications for them to run Android One. Secondly any device with an Android One brand ran a Google UI that could not be modified by the partner. Finally, the OEM had to send regular security updates.
While the Android One attempt may not have yielded the desired results, Google did learn an important lesson that there are users who preferred a clean, bloatware-free interface, and there are those who want regular security updates.
Learning from experiences, Google is now taking a different stand with Android Go. It no longer specifies the hardware, although Google does recommend the phone’s specifications. With Android Go, users won’t get a different version Android. The OS that OEMs will ship will be Android O. To be clear, there’s no separate OS called Android Go. The new platform has been designed for entry-level smartphones with between 512MB and 1GB RAM.
Android Go stands for three things; first is to continue optimising Android operating system on an entry-level smartphones starting with “O” (Android O). According to Google, Android O is very much part of Android Go project. Second will be to make sure Google apps on these devices are also optimised. To achieve this, the company is already working on rebuilding many of these apps. YouTube Go, for instance, is an entirely new app which is much smaller in APK size; it uses less data and give users much more control over the data. Finally, it’s also optimising the Play store to highlight the apps that uses less data, storage and memory.