Google Introduces Android 8.1 Go Edition for Low End Smartphones

With Android 8.1 preview release, we already knew Google was working on optimizations for Android Go for devices with 512MB to 1GB memory, and a new Neural Networks API to accelerate on-device machine intelligence.

Android 8.1 will be released tomorrow, and Google has now officially introduced Android Oreo Go Edition that will be part of the release tomorrow.

Optimizations cover three main components

  • Operating System – Performance and storage improvements with data management features and security benefits built-in. The company now claims the operating system will take much less space, and actually double free space on a typical 8GB eMMC flash.
  • Google Apps – New set of Google apps designed to be lighter and relevant to people who are coming online for the first time. App size will be reduced by around 50% on Android Go.
  • Google Play Store – A tuned version of the Google Play Store that works with any apps, but also highlights the apps designed to work best on low-end devices.

Apps are said to be around 15% faster on average on low end devices running Android 8.1 Go Edition instead of Android 8.1.

Android Go also comes with Google’s data saver features turned on by default, and appears to include the same security as Android 8.1 including Google Play Protect. GMS apps have been optimized for Go, and will have “Go” appended to their name for example Google Go, YouTube Go, Gmail Go, Google Maps Go, and so on. The apps are smaller and faster to run on memory constrained devices, and consume less data. File Go is a new file management app which can help users clean up space and organize their files and folders, and I could install it on my Android 7.1 phone.

Android Oreo GO Edition will be launched tomorrow, but it’s unclear whether any current device will get the optimized OS at that time, and Google instead refers to partners that will soon ship the new release on their entry-level devices in the coming months. Visit Android Oreo Go Edition product page for more details.

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13 Comments on "Google Introduces Android 8.1 Go Edition for Low End Smartphones"

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Dr. Azrael Tod

Sounds good, I just don’t get the reasoning for the secondary android version and parallel development.

If everything is better, faster, smaller, … why not use that everywhere?


Hopefully lineageos takes up the go version so older smartphones can benefit from it.


In the past Android assumed flash in awfully slow so they avoided swap. Now flash is faster I guess they are trying to introduce swap in the form of this go version.


@Dr. Azrael Tod
Just like Facebook lite, Line lite and all other “lite” edition of bloated apps out there: there’s so much “features” going on the main thing that you don’t even use or even hate…


This could work on Jelly / Jelly Pro phones with more battery optimization?


Good to hear, thanks 4 report, Google assistant is properly not available, isn’t it?


They should rename the current Android to “Android JS”, lol. And yeah, actually we need Android Rust.


That does not answer the question from Dr. Azrael Tod lol. If everything is better in all senses, where’s the catch? I will be installing that even on my high end phones, because Android is a piece of brick compared most of phone OSes. Maybe the Go edition will be the true performance boost on Android more than any other thing they’ve released so far.


2 out of 3 (gms and apps) will be surely available on other oreo based phones. Maybe Google will also backport the go apps to older Android, so lets wait and wi’ll see….