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Google introduces Android Go
By Thom Holwerda on 2017-05-18 21:31:54

During I/O, Google also announced Android Go, a version of the mobile operating system optimised for lower-end devices. From Google's announcement:

  • OS: We're optimizing Android O to run smoothly and efficiently on entry-level devices.
  • Apps: We're also designing Google apps to use less memory, storage space, and mobile data, including apps such as YouTube Go, Chrome, and Gboard.
  • Play: On entry-level devices, Play store will promote a better user experience by highlighting apps that are specifically designed for these devices -- such as apps that use less memory, storage space, and mobile data -- while still giving users access to the entire app catalog.

If a device has less than 1 GB of RAM, it will automatically use the Android Go version of Android. In addition, Google has set up a set of guidelines applications must adhere to in order to qualify for the special highlighting mentioned above.

The first question that popped into my mind was - why isn't every device getting this supposedly faster, and more lightweight version of Android? Will we be able to 'force' our devices to use Android Go, even if they don't officially qualify? The second question is - why would a developer go the lengths of creating additional versions of their application, instead of what they ought to do, which is slim down their existing application?

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Read Comments: 1-10 -- 11-15
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Finally
By JLF65 on 2017-05-18 21:44:31
I might be able to update the OS on my 4 year-old phone. The latest Android I could use on it (because of limited memory) was 4.0.4. Hopefully this will have a way to install on older phones that need it.
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Comment by iampivot
By iampivot on 2017-05-19 00:44:58
They have to take something away to make it leaner. Some functions will be reduced.
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Revival of Old Devices?
By shinkou on 2017-05-19 01:35:08
I'm wondering if it means I can finally resurrect my Nexus 7 (1st gen.) which has been sitting in the drawer for years. I'm not holding my breath though.
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RE: Revival of Old Devices?
By nicubunu on 2017-05-19 06:01:37
Unlikely, since the Nexus 7 slowness is due mainly to the poor memory Asus had put inside
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RE: Comment by iampivot
By nicubunu on 2017-05-19 06:06:20
In an ideal world they would take away the bloat.
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RE: Revival of Old Devices?
By kurkosdr on 2017-05-19 10:03:47
> I'm wondering if it means I can finally resurrect my Nexus 7 (1st gen.) which has been sitting in the drawer for years. I'm not holding my breath though.
> Unlikely, since the Nexus 7 slowness is due mainly to the poor memory Asus had put inside

There was this app called Forever Gone, which wrote garbage files in the empty space to do a full erase, but had the side-effect of triggering the trim command in the flash storage, which fixed the problem of slowness in 1st-gen Nexus 7 tablets. People who have used it say the difference is betwen night and day.

Edited 2017-05-19 10:04 UTC
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Its all about security
By robertojdohnert on 2017-05-19 15:39:42
Android Go is basically their answer for the security issues of phones running Android 4.0. There are still a bunch. But this highlights the issues with Apps. I remember back in the day (before kids started messing with my lawn and my phone battery died while I was walking to school uphill both ways) when mobile apps were 1 to 2 mb and you were hard pressed to find one that was 5 mb. Now they are almost as heavy as desktop apps. I dont use Facebook Mobile or the messenger app because its over 150 mb's to download and even on my Nexus it eats RAM like its at a chinese buffet. BUT, according to my contacts at Google when I asked. Android Go will be available for ALL phones with 1 gb of RAM or less and that ran Android 4.0. So if your phone meets that criteria you will be getting Android Go. Phones with less that Android 4.0? I doubt it because those phones had severe storage limitations and hardware glitches and issues. How will they deliver it? Probably through the play store.
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RE[2]: Comment by iampivot
By Bill Shooter of Bul on 2017-05-19 17:48:18
One man's bloat is another man's killer feature.

Some is pure stupid programming, but a lot of it isn't.
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RE: Its all about security
By Bill Shooter of Bul on 2017-05-19 17:53:13
> BUT, according to my contacts at Google when I asked. Android Go will be available for ALL phones with 1 gb of RAM or less and that ran Android 4.0.

I'll believe that when I see it. I don't think that's possible without a massive investment by google that I'm pretty sure they haven't made. Could be wrong. It would be nice if I was, but I doubt it.
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RE[2]: Its all about security
By robertojdohnert on 2017-05-19 18:13:17
Considering I heard it from 6 people who directly work on the Android team. Well, I tend to put my trust in them rather than someone who doesnt work there. BTW, it wouldnt be expensive the framework to do it is already there and would not entail a huge investment except from app developers themselves
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