Google today announced the launch of Android Oreo Go, a lightweight version of its regular Android OS that will cater to low-end smartphones. At an event in India named ‘Google for India,’ the Mountain View company also said compatible smartphones pre-loaded with Android Oreo Go would reach markets by the beginning of next year. Google had first mooted the idea of Android Go at I/O conference in May.
Specifically, the new Android Oreo Go should excel even with smartphones featuring 512 MB to 1 GB of RAM. Similarly, the new OS isn’t that storage intensive as well, which means its target devices will have lesser storage on board though Google didn’t mention as to how low of a memory that the Android Oreo Go devices will come with.
To go with the Android Oreo Go platform, there will be scaled down versions of the standard Google apps on offer as well to ensure the devices perform smoothly. The app would also be suffixed with ‘Go’ to match the platform it is intended to run on. For instance, there will be YouTube Go, Maps Go, Google Go and so on.
There will also be a PlayStore Go as well which will be housing the ‘Go’ apps. What that means is that Google will need active support from its developer community to come up with ‘Go’ versions of their respective apps to populate Play Store Go, sans which, there might be not enough takers for Android Go powered handsets.
Google, however, has also stressed both Android versions will have a similar look and feel and migrating one from the other will never be a chore. Rather, it is just the standard Android OS but has been optimized to run on low-end devices. So while the standard smartphone functions should remain intact, the more flamboyant features like support for AR, VR and such shouldn’t be expected on the Android Go.
Also, with Android-powered handsets already ruling the mass market, it remains to be seen if there would be enough takers for the Go variety, more so when it enters the markets with a known shortcoming. While Google is looking to offer a significant price advantage over the regular Android-powered smartphones and is aimed specifically for developing markets like India, let’s not forget the ultra-low-cost Nano bombed just because it was marketed as such.