Meant to be the software equivalent of Android One’s original hardware promise, Google‘s Android Go is supposed to deliver a lean and optimized version of Android for devices with 512 MB to 1 GB of RAM. Now, Google can put its money where its mouth is by delivering on that promise with Android Oreo (Go edition) as part of the Android 8.1 release coming tomorrow.
According to Google, the Android Oreo (Go edition) is comprised of three tenets: the operating system, Google apps, and the Play Store. Starting with the operating system, Google optimized it to the point where it says that “the average app” is 15 percent faster on the new software. Google also optimized Android Oreo (Go edition), as well as the preinstalled apps, to take up 50 percent less space.
These apps also won’t drain too much of your monthly data allotment, due to Google’s data saver features being turned on by default. Some of those features were introduced in Android Nougat, such as blocking background data usage across your apps. Others, like Data Saver in Chrome, were updated in recent months to cut back data consumption when watching videos.
Moving to the apps, Android Oreo (Go edition) is slated to arrive with just nine apps preinstalled: Google Go, Google Assistant Go, YouTube Go, Google Maps Go, Gmail Go, Gboard, Google Play, Chrome, and Files Go. All of these apps, as mentioned before, have been tuned to take up as little space as possible, with Google Go in particular weighing in at under 5 MB.
Finally, the Play Store in Android Oreo (Go edition) has a new section that recommends apps that are tuned to entry-level devices. These devices are relatively no-frills and just work, so it’s nice to see a curated list of apps that will likely run well on the humble hardware. However, the Android Go Play Store will give users access to all the regular apps as well.
All in all, Android Oreo (Go edition) looks to fulfill Android Go’s promise by delivering lean, but still capable, software on entry-level hardware. Speaking of which, Google says that devices running the new software will arrive “in the coming months,” but no further specifics were given.