Android One Comes Back From the dead, as Android Go

You may or may not have been following Android One, but for a while it mattered to us in the emerging markets. As a refresher, Android One was an Android version that was made light so it would run on cheaper hardware that’s the mainstay of emerging markets.

Even Infinix made an Android One version of their Smartphone. But we have since stopped talking about Android One, and Google has moved on, but not quite.

Yesterday they introduced Android Go, which should technically have been an iteration of Android One, but somehow Google decided to call it a new project.

Android Go will take more than half a year to come into the market as Google and partners work on apps best suited for low hardware phones. Main differentiation between One and Go is that the latter focuses on apps optimization for basic hardware while with One it was the OS version that was made for basic hardware.

However, Go differentiates itself from One based on optimizations that will be done on the operating system and applications for hardware with less than a gig of RAM (Android One outed stock Android on cheaper hardware, period).

So here we are again, devices for the emerging market that both Intel and Google have tried previously with very little success. Anyone remember Intel Yolo?

What’s an Intel Yolo?

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Really? You’re too young.

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Ouwwww. This was a to-the-club phone for college kids including yours truly. Was popular back then, I think in 2012/3 (I see the irony, but that period is ‘back then for me’). Thick 4.5incher with almost vanilla Android and an attractive price (a rarity for Safaricom, yaaay!)

I’m not convinced about the Go approach. Good idea on the surface, but will the implementation be any better from the failure of Nexus (regional based), Android One (poor execution) and Pixel (hard to find, pricey!)? Google has the resources, yes, but selling phones isn’t its forte, esp when it’s pulling the strings behind the scenes.
On the other hand, Android Go will sure be attractive when it’s here, which it’ll be, I guess. Remember when we had this notion that stock Android would run fine on Android One hardware, only to be rudely shocked by performance issues later on?

I still have my Yolo. Not using it, but still.

@martingicheru and @AbuyasLife, you didn’t get the sarcasm did you?

It doesn’t become sarcasm when it’s pointed out :slight_smile:. Personally, I didn’t get it cuz I’m slow and can’t tell sarcasm, hypotheticals and rhetoric​ questions. You winner!

So we get some clarifications via NDTV India who had an interview with the VP of Product Management for Android and Google Play. See below a few interesting updates:

Android Go is not a new verson of Android, and it’s not a different Android, it’s a project name inside Google. Think of it as a bunch of presets that Android O will ship with, OS settings will be switched on or off by default. SOme Google apps will be different and Play store will highlight third partu apps optimised for the Go experience.

There will be a Go configuration for low performance devices.Devices built with low specs will ship with Go OS configuration out of the box. Memory intensive features will not show up on GO. Many Google apps will be rebuilt such that they have smaller apks and muchmore control over data usage.

Android Go will not prevent users from installing any apps on the play store, just because it’s not optimized for Android Go, but users will have a choice to make for a good experience. Android Go optimized apps will be highlighted.

“…most Go users - supposed first-time smartphone owners - are likely to go through the lifetime of the device without discovering the ‘main’ app.”

Also, Android Go optimized apps can be installed on any devices, so if you want to optimize your device performance and data consumption by installing low resource apps you can do that.

The idea behind Android Go is to allow manufacturers building entry level devices to bring their price points as far down as they can without compromising the overall experience.

Interestingly according to him, Android Go will deal with fragmentaton since most entry level devices almost never ship with the latest release of Android, with Android Go this will change. Manufacturers say it’s much easier to maintain Android Go than different versions of Android.

Android Go won’t come to existing devices.

Android One is the new Nexus

Is wonder whether Tizen has had a big enough impact to make Google go back to class about a low configuration hardware smartphones.

Tizen, even though not mainstream, does it so well for both data management and low spec hardware.

Tizen OS has decades to catch up with Android…