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New Android Go version brings Android 11 features to entry-level phones

Google focused on speed, privacy, and usability improvements this time around.

Published onSeptember 10, 2020

android 11 go edition
  • Google has announced Android 11 Go Edition.
  • The lighter OS now supports smartphones with up to 2GB of RAM.
  • Privacy and usability enhancements borrowed from Android 11 also make the cut.

A number of Pixels and premium phones are now getting some sweet update love after Android 11 made its debut. But what about cheaper, lower-spec devices?

Google has now confirmed that the new edition of Android Go based on Android 11 is now ready for budget devices. The firm also outlined the improvements made to the stripped-down Android build over the previous iteration.

For starters, tweaks are coming to notification handling and user navigation. Google’s swipe-based gesture system is now standard on the OS and should speed up swiping through menus on devices with larger displays.

Android Go will now also gather conversations from a number of apps in a dedicated notifications shade section on the OS, making it harder to erroneously dismiss a chat and easier to find them all.

Privacy improvements are another welcome addition featuring more acute permission management. As on Android 11, Android Go users can now grant an app access to a sensor for a single session. If an app is granted long-term access but isn’t used for an extended period, that permission will also automatically reset.

As budget devices continue to gain in the performance stakes, Android Go is set to evolve to better serve their capabilities. Google’s quoting a 20% faster app launch speed on Android 11 Go Edition versus the older Android 10-based OS.

Finally, Android Go now supports devices with up to 2GB of RAM. This should drastically improve the user experience on entry-level phones and improve background app handling, too.

These improvements may not be as hot as chat bubbles and wireless Android Auto, but they should go a long way to improving the digital lives of budget smartphone users.

Next: These are the best Android 11 features you need to know

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