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21 January 2018

COMMENT: Android Go - What You Need to Know


Android is the world's most widely used smartphone operating system. Today, more than two-thirds of smartphones run the Android operating system, making it the dominant force in the world of smartphones. But this widespread use has led to the fragmentation of the versions installed on active devices. Right now, Google doesn't officially support anything released before Android 4.3 (JellyBean), yet there are still more than enough devices that are incapable of running a newer version of the popular operating system.



This exposes many users to eventual security issues. Even if most of the services available for older Android versions, like Sultans Mobile casino games are user-friendly, reliable, and safe, the exploits and security holes are still there in the OS ran by many devices that are not strong enough to handle anything newer.


Now Google seems to have found a solution to this problem at least for part of Android users having older or less capable devices. It has released Android Go, a lightweight version of Android 8.0 Oreo, that will be capable of running on devices with 1GB of RAM or even less. The company presented the project at this year's Google I/O conference and has started to roll it out to OEMs a few days ago.

Supported hardware

At the time this article was written, there were just a handful of chips that were confirmed to support Android Oreo (Go Edition). Qualcomm has let the world know in a press release that its "low- and mid-tier" Qualcomm Snapdragon chips will be "ready to be used by device manufacturers shortly after the latest version of Android (in this case Android 8.1 Oreo ) is released to the Android Open Source Project". "Entry-level devices are the gateway to the internet for many people, and we want to make sure everyone has a great experience when they use these devices," said Sameer Samat, vice president of product management, Android and Google Play. "We’re excited that Android Oreo (Go edition) will significantly improve storage, performance, data management, and security."

MediaTek, a manufacturer of affordable smartphone processors, has also announced that its entry-level chips MT6739 (quad-core 1.5GHz), MT6737 (quad-core 1.1-1.3GHz) and MT6580 (quad-core 1.3GHz) all support hardware running Android Go.


Apps

Google has created a set of its own apps to work with Android Go. Apps in the G-Suite will be able to better use the devices' memory and will take up far less storage space compared to regular versions. Google Assistant will also be able to run on devices with less than 1GB of RAM. Besides, there will be new Google apps to go with the new version of the OS: Google Go, Files Go, and others. The phones running Android Go will also have an exclusive version of the Play Store on them, with a storefront adapted to the needs of lower-performance devices and recommendations and featured apps that will work best on a handset running Android Go.

While Android Go is unlikely to be released on older CPUs (Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800/801 didn't even receive the Android 7.0 update, despite being perfectly capable of handling the new operating system) it will allow more affordable handsets to perform better and benefit of the increased security of Android 8.0, even if in a limited fashion. More information about how the operating system behaves itself will surely become available next year.




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