Google has announced Android 10 (Go Edition), the latest lightweight Android OS that will power entry-level smartphones. The OS will launch with Android Go phones which are likely to debut later this fall. The company says that the Android 10 (Go Edition) is faster and more secure as compared to its predecessor Android 9 (Go Edition). Android Go was launched last year to provide Android experience to phones with not-so-powerful hardware.
‘In many places in the world, entry-level smartphones are often the first and only way people get access to the internet. As we build Android for everyone, making sure that these devices are affordable and high quality is a top priority. That’s why we launched Android (Go edition) in 2018—a platform tailored for smartphones with 1.5GB of memory or less,’ Sagar Kamdar, Director of Product Management, Android, said in a blogpost.
Google says that the latest iteration of the OS will help users switch between apps faster and in a memory-efficient way. Speed and reliability are also enhanced and apps now said to launch 10 per cent faster than they did on Android 9 (Go edition). Android 10 (Go edition) includes a new form of encryption, built by Google for entry-level smartphones, called Adiantum. Up until now, not all entry-level smartphones were able to encrypt data without affecting device performance. Google explains that Adiantum is built to run efficiently without specialised hardware, which essentially means that all Go edition users will have the same level of data security as any Android device, without any compromise in performance.
Google has introduced a number of updates, like read-out-loud feature, Google Lens amon others, to Google Go. The read-out-loud is an AI-powered feature that makes consuming long-form text as easy as listening to the radio. Lens in Google Go helps people translate the text by pointing a phone’s camera towards the text. The new Gallery Go by Google Photos is just 10MB in size and is powered by on-device machine learning. It automatically organises photos by the people and things, and it works offline too.
‘Since the launch, people have told us that it helps them read and understand important things like bus schedules and bank forms,’ Kamdar added. ‘YouTube Go, which helps people watch videos on low-speed connections, is also receiving positive responses. People tell us they encounter less buffering while streaming videos, and are now saving on their data consumption,’ the executive noted.
In the last 18 months, Google claims, over 500 manufacturers have launched more than 1,600 Android (Go edition) device models to 180+ countries, including India, South Africa, Nigeria, Brazil, and the United States. These devices, including the Samsung A2, Xiaomi Redmi Go, Tecno Spark 2, and Mobicel Astro, make up over 80 per cent of entry-level Android phones activating today.