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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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This news snippet...
By dionicio on 2017-05-19 18:52:47
Suggest to me: They had "the right stuff" when going from 3 to 4.
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RE[3]: Its all about security
By Bill Shooter of Bul on 2017-05-19 23:06:04
I'm guessing then that Android GO is the ability to have a different set of lower resource hungry apps presented to the user through google play, rather than being part of Android 0. SO if these devices are on Jelly Bean, they'll stay on Jelly Bean, but they'll have access to a less resource intensive version of gmail/facebook/ whatever.

I was assuming it was part of the O release. Rereading the announcement its not clear.
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High Resolution Assets
By zlynx on 2017-05-19 23:35:38
A large part of this will probably be the removal of high resolution art assets. Android Go will be going back to the days of real 32x32 pixel 8-bit color icons.

It could also eliminate all text translation tables during app installation, leaving only the active user language.
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Hopefully the "Go" apps will be available for everyone
By Moochman on 2017-05-20 08:13:58
I actually care less about whether I can get the "Go" version of Android and more about whether the "Go" version of Google's apps will be available for everyone. Especially when it comes to Google Maps, the newest versions have brought me nothing but aggravating delays and crashes due to resource hungriness. I long for the days of a leaner Maps app, while still getting the guarantee that the navigation features are the most up-to-date that Google offers.
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User experience
By allanregistos on 2017-05-22 01:35:08
> 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?

I think from a software developer's perspective, this is all just automatic if the new Android supports API that can be tuned automatically to use the Go version if it detects a low end device. Or better yet, the compiler will produce two versions of your app when building, so there is no need to manually develop two versions of the same software from the developer, it will just produce two binary builds.
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