Google launches Lightweight Android Oreo called ‘Android Go Edition’

Google launches Lightweight Android Oreo called ‘Android Go Edition’

Google is making it easier for low-powered devices to run Android smoothly and its doing so by releasing a lighter version of Android O, with several optimizations for lower power devices.

Some examples of the optimizations thrown out during the keynote:

  • Google’s main apps will have a lighter versions that use less memory, storage, and data.
  • A streamlined Android kernel.
  • Chrome’s data saver is turned on by default. There’s also a new graphic showing how much data you’ve saved right from the menu button.
  • The Google Play Store will highlight lightweight apps “optimized for your device,” such as being under 10MB, having a “useful offline state,” and being frugal with your battery. You can still download whatever you want though.
  • A new YouTube Go app makes it easy to download videos for offline viewing, as well as preview how much data different quality settings will use. The niftyest bit is a P2P sharing feature so you don’t have to use up any of your data if you want to show a friend a funny video.

At its third annual Google for India event in New Delhi today, the company announced that it’s rolling out Android Oreo (Go Edition), a lightweight version of its mobile platform that’s designed to run smoothly on low-end phones.

Google first announced its Go variant at its IO event in May; it’s now ready to release it along with Android Oreo 8.1 tomorrow. The idea is to support devices with 512MB-1GB of RAM, so as to help more people who are coming online for the first experience as many Google products as possible.

The company explained that Android Go features an optimized OS, tuned to launch apps 15 percent faster than the standard version. It also comes with a bunch of Google apps rebuilt for a smoother experience on low-spec devices; together, they take up 50 percent less than a standard Android Nougat install.

At the same time, it comes with all the security features that are standard with Android O. To further streamline the experience, the custom Google highlights apps that are designed specially for Go Edition devices, and the company’s Data Saver feature is enabled by default. Google says that can help cost-conscious users save up to 600MB of mobile data per year on their phones.

Go Edition comes with a bunch of preloaded apps that have been optimized as well, including a new search experience called Google Go, Google Assistant Go, YouTube Go, Google Maps Go, Gmail Go, Gboard, and the recently launched Files Go file management tool.

With that, Google is set to become the most recognizable brand for people experiencing mobile devices and the internet for the first time in developing countries. In addition to making Android Go available, it noted that a number of phones with the OS will hit store shelves in the coming months.

The company stressed that it’s building for India first, where it can tackle real problems and innovate to develop solutions that then scale across the globe. It just added a handy two-wheeler mode to Google Maps for users in India, where 70 percent of registered vehicles are motorbikes.


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