Android Pie (Go edition) saves 500MB space and has Verified Boot for security
Android Go was announced by Google back at I/O 2017 as a special low-configuration variant of Android Oreo. The first Android Go phones were released earlier this year having 1GB of RAM. We have reviewed the Blackview A20, which is one of the first Android Go phones. We also took an in-depth look at the Android Go software ecosystem. Android Oreo (Go edition) phones were launched in multiple countries starting in April. With the release of Android 9 Pie on August 6th, it was natural to expect Google to announce an updated version of Android Go, and that’s what the company has done. Android Pie (Go edition) is now official.
Google states that it had introduced Android Go last year with the goal of providing a “fast and smooth” experience that is “optimized for first-time and entry-level smartphone owners.” (It’s debatable how fast and smooth the current generation Android Go phones are, as 1GB of RAM is a significant bottleneck.) The company adds that there are now more than 200 devices available in 120+ devices including India, South Africa, Nigeria, Brazil, and the US. Google has also continued to add features to the stock Android Go apps.
Google highlights how users can choose between phones having HD or VGA displays, 4GB or 8GB or 16GB of storage, and 3G or 4G support. Android Go phones start from $30 in some countries, and according to the company, more than 100 devices are planned to release devices before the end of the year, so users can expect more options.
With Android Pie (Go edition), Google claims to be introducing a brand new Android Go experience. Android Pie (Go edition) comes with an additional 500MB of storage of storage available out of the box as compared to Android Oreo (Go edition). The available storage out of the box is more than twice the storage found on a non-Go edition phone. It also features faster boot times and has Verified Boot for security. Finally, it has an accessible dashboard for tracking and monitoring data consumption (Google didn’t provide any image for this in the blog post, so we don’t know what it looks like).
The company states that the first Android Pie (Go edition) devices will hit shelves “later this fall,” and these features are said to help solve the most common pain points for entry-level device owners: storage, performance, data management, and security.
Google also gave a recap of the recent updates to Android Go apps (said to be specifically built for first-time users):
- Google Go now offers the ability to read web pages loud and highlights each word so that users can follow the audio.
- YouTube Go has new features such as gallery mode for downloaded content.
- Maps Go now features navigation, which makes it possible for Android Go users to use turn-by-turn directions without having to download the full Maps app.
- Files Go is now capable of transferring data peer-to-peer without using mobile data at speeds up to ~490Mbps.
- Assistant Go now supports additional languages including Spanish, Brazilian, Portuguese, and Indonesian. It has also extended support for device actions like controlling Bluetooth, camera, and flashlight, and added reminders.
- Android Messages for Android Go is now ~50% smaller in size. The Phone app includes caller ID and spam detection.