Over the years, as mobile phone’s processor’s speed and RAM and storage capacity has increased, Android along with its apps, has grown bulkier. Presenting a unique challenge for the mobile phone developers designing entry-level smartphones, which even today have 1GB RAM and 8GB or less of internal storage.
In order to make Android usable on such entry level devices, Google has come out with a leaner version of Android and Google Apps under Go brand.
Android Go will be designed ground up for Android O devices, which will have 1GB or less of RAM. It will also contain Google’s Go Apps, which not only consume less RAM and storage space but also use up less data to make them useful in markets with limited and slow internet connection.
YouTube Go, which has been released in the Play Store and is available for download (just 8.5MB), not only lets you preview a video before playing it. Right before playing the video, it gives you an option to choose the quality of video to play or download, showing you exact data usage you will incur, while playing/downloading that video.
YouTube Go users can also share these downloaded videos with other users of YouTube Go using peer to peer transfer, without incurring data charges.
Go version of Play Store will feature all the apps from Play Store. However, it will highlight the Go variants of apps, in order to promote them.
Overall, it is a very inclusive strategy by Google to ensure users can get good experience even on budget smartphones and with low data allowance and speed. However, it remains to be seen, how well this strategy is implemented by smartphone manufacturers, who often load their own bloatware onto the phones, which cannot be uninstalled by a novice user.
We should see the first Android Go device early next year.