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Google Introduces Android 8.1 Go Edition for Low End Smartphones

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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.

  1. December 5th, 2017 at 16:45 | #1

    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?

  2. December 5th, 2017 at 16:51 | #2

    @Dr. Azrael Tod
    They may have removed some features in Go apps and OS that many people do not need.

  3. roel
    December 5th, 2017 at 17:48 | #3

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

  4. dx
    December 5th, 2017 at 21:46 | #4

    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.

  5. KopiJahe
    December 6th, 2017 at 04:25 | #5

    @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…

  6. Tomm
    December 6th, 2017 at 04:32 | #6

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

  7. rebeL_M
    December 7th, 2017 at 02:00 | #7

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

  8. December 7th, 2017 at 09:19 | #8

    It’s called Assistant Go, see screenshot at the top.

    • rebeL_M
      December 7th, 2017 at 09:32 | #9

      Jean I know but go is the light vers8on, perhaps you remember, I’m that nervy guy with the 3D_Mic_speach_recognitation in some cheap China TV-google-box’es for Africa and other Destinations…

    • rebeL_M
      December 7th, 2017 at 09:34 | #10

      Jean, yes I know. But “go” is the light version, perhaps you remember? Yes, I’m that nervy guy with the “3D_Mic_speach_recognitation” in some cheap “China TV-google-box’es” for Africa and other Destinations… Sorry 4 that missunderstanding. Mini Android with only T9 sorry, 4 double post.

  9. anon
    December 7th, 2017 at 13:23 | #11

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

  10. nobitakun
    December 8th, 2017 at 23:12 | #12

    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.

    • L.Peter
      December 9th, 2017 at 01:39 | #13

      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….

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