When a new version of Android comes out, it’s usually a big deal. There are new features, a bunch of design changes, and sometimes new phones to go along with it. But when a new version of Android launched on six new phones this week, it didn’t seem like a big deal at all, and it was quickly overshadowed by announcements like the Galaxy S9.
That’s because those six phones are largely under $100, and it’s because that version of Android isn’t designed for the kind of flashy new phones that grab headlines.
Android Go — which Google would like us to refer to as “Android Oreo (Go Edition),” which is not going to happen — is a stripped-down version of Android meant to run on inexpensive, low-end devices: devices without much processing power, with limited amounts of RAM, and with a small amount of storage. It’s also meant for people with limited internet connectivity and expensive data plans that need to be carefully conserved.
Android Go is largely meant to improve the experience consumers have when they pick up their first smartphones in markets like India and parts of Africa — though Go phones will be found everywhere, including in the US. If Google wants to lure people away from feature phones and into the company’s ecosystem, it needs to make sure Android is good enough at the $50 or so price point.
Submitted by: Arnfried Walbrecht
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