Google Announces Android Oreo Go For Low-end Phones

Google is delivering on its promise of developing a customized Android version for low-end devices. On Tuesday, the search giant made available the Android Oreo Go edition to developers and device manufacturers.

Android Oreo Go
Image Source: Google (screenshot)

Premium experience on low-end phones

Making an OS that works on both high-end, as well as, low-cost phones was a challenge, but with Android Go, Google has successfully overcome it.

“We’re excited to announce that this software experience—Android Oreo (Go edition)—is ready, and launching as a part of the Android 8.1 release tomorrow,” Google said in a blog post.

Android Oreo Go would be compatible with devices having RAM of 512 MB or 1GB. The idea is to increase the performance speed of the low-end phones, which do not have massive ROMs and the high-end components. The basic apps in this version of the Oreo would be 50% smaller and 15% faster than their counterparts.

Apart from making the apps lighter, Google has also worked on improving the performance and storage of the Go edition. However, it might come with limitations, where apps might actually take comparatively longer to launch, notes The Verge. In addition, to make sure less data is used in opening an app, Google has announced that the entire content on the Chrome will run through its servers, and users would eventually get reduced file size on their handset.

“You can also manage which apps can use background data with our built-in data saver feature, giving you more control over how your data is used,” Google says.

Customized apps for Android Oreo Go

There are over two million activated Android devices across the Globe. Therefore, the Android Oreo Go is an effort to give budget users a similar mobile experience that the high-end users are used to. Google has optimized several basic apps for the GO version such as YouTube Go, Google Maps Go, Gmail Go, Gboard, Chrome, Files Go, Assistant Go, Google Go and so on. Google even has a Go version of the Play Store that will have lightweight apps.

Talking of Google Go, the stripped down version of the Google Search app, the company said, “Built from the ground up for new smartphone owners just discovering the web, Google Go makes it easy to find popular queries, top websites and apps, trending images and gifs at blazing speed, with minimal typing.”

Users would also be able to see the popular searches as they type the query. The app would be less than 5MB.

Google announced the Android Oreo Go at an event in India, one of the most important markets for the new, lighter version of the operating system. According to the U.S. company, there are more Android users in India than in the U.S.

Google does not want to leave any opportunity of expanding its reach into India, where hundreds of millions of people still use feature phones. Along with announcing the Android Oreo Go, Google also unveiled a customized version of the Assistant for the feature phones. The interface could be different from the one in the high-end phones, but the core functionality is expected to be same.