What Is Android Go and Why It Matters?
Android is the widely used mobile operating system (OS) in the world with a global mobile OS market share in sales to end users of more than 80%. Android was initially developed by Google on the 23rd of September, 2008.
The company licenses the core Android source code to smartphone manufacturers and that is how we end up with different smartphones from different manufacturers running Android.
Android Go is a tweaked version of Android that is meant to run on entry-level devices, mostly with between 512MB and 1GB of Random Access Memory (RAM).
When Google first introduced Android Go, the company said that its main aim was to bring more affordable devices to emerging markets.
These are the markets where a good number of the population are still using feature phones. This was not an easy thing to do as Google is involved in the software and the hardware is equally important when it comes to pricing.
Android Go is the same version of Android that you would get on any other smartphone running the OS but it is just tweaked to ensure it runs smoothly on budget smartphones.
Most people always refer to Android Go as a different version of Android but that is not the case, it is the same one optimized to work perfectly on entry-level devices.
Google bundles some of its Go Application with Android Go. These applications are lighter versions of its popular apps such as Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube etc.
Instead of these, on Android Go you get Gmail Go, Google Maps Go, YouTube Go, Google Assistant Go, Files Go etc. These apps take less space and are designed to work with low-end hardware like the one you will find on an Android Go smartphone.
With Android Go applications, you do get the basic functionality of the app but may miss some of the features of the full-fledged app.
Some things such as animations are also excluded so you do get the basic things. This is not that bad if you want a smartphone that is not very powerful.
When you visit the Play Store, there will be a recommended Android Go app for you to download. This helps you save on space as you download the smaller Go application if there is one.
At the moment, most of the Go apps you can get are owned by Google but the company hopes developers will start developing versions of their apps targeting those using Android Go.
This should be the priority for developers who make apps specifically targeting users in emerging markets.
According to Google, the next billion smartphone users will come from emerging markets such as developing countries. This is why the company wants to ensure these users still have a good experience even if they do not have the money to buy expensive smartphones.
If you have had a bad experience with an entry-level smartphone, Google hopes with its partnerships with smartphone manufacturers, Android Go will make the experience better. Android Go is not just about better performance but also promises reduced data consumption and more storage space.
Smartphones running Android GO
For the African market, Transsion Holdings (Chinese manufacturer of smartphones) announced that it will be releasing Android Go models across its various brands including TECNO, itel, Spice, and others. The phones are primarily for Africa, but they will be available in select other markets.
Alcatel 1X, Nokia 1, General Mobile GM 8 Go, LAVA Z50, ZTE Tempo Go, Micromax BHARAT GO.