At Google I/O developer conference, the search giant announced and made official its upcoming version of Android OS called Android O. Apart from this Google also focussed on budget smartphones and getting Android into the hands of the next billion users by announcing Android Go.
Android Go is a watered-down version of Android O that is skimmed to work faster and better on handsets with lesser hardware.
Just like with Android One, Google will work with manufacturers to deliver what we in India call entry-level or ultra budget smartphones, that should help get more users on board the Android OS.
These would be handsets with as little as 512MB RAM that will work flawlessly with Android Go onboard.
Android Go handsets will come packaged with lite versions of Android apps. These have been built from the ground up to bring massive data savings and also focus on offline capabilities to cater to customers in regions limited or no access to data.
Google's Sameer Samant demoed how the YouTube Go app has been chopped down and rebuilt keeping data usage in mind. The app even gives users a GIF -like preview of the video so that the user can decide whether it is worth downloading or not.
Google said that it working with a number of developers to create such lightweight apps that are not light enough to run on lesser hardware, but are also smaller in size to download and install as a package.
Samant also added that all future versions of Android will also be packaged with and Android Go variant. Indeed, this seems like a more concrete step to deliver the power of Android into the hands of the next billion in comparison to Android One program, which seems to be lost in translation after Chinese smartphone manufacturers invaded markets like India offering better value for money than Google's Android One offerings.