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Android Go seeks a smoother ride for low-end smartphones

Google will release a new version of its mobile operating system, as well as a tailored app store and apps -- all designed for entry-level Android phones.

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A lighter of Android Oreo for smaller devices.

Google

Entry-level phones may cost less than big hitters, but they come at the cost of space, speed and efficiency. Google's looking to change that with Android Go. 

Android Oreo (Go Edition) will launch Wednesday as part of the Android Oreo 8.1 rollout, and all Android Oreo devices with 512MB to 1GB of memory will be optimized for Android Go. Google said this will allow them to function properly as smartphones while doubling their available storage space. The rollout includes:

  • An operating system designed for better performance, storage and security features on low-end phones.
  • A new set of "lighter" Google apps.
  • A Google Play store that highlights the apps designed to work best on entry-level devices.

Android Go, introduced at Google I/O earlier this year, offers possibilities for Android users in emerging markets, kids trying out their first phones or anyone who needs a low-cost backup phone. In a Google blog post, Android director of product management Sagar Kamdar noted that of the 2 billion Android users around the world, more are in India than the US.

"To make sure billions more people can get access to computing, it's important that entry-level devices are fully functioning smartphones that can browse the web and use apps," Kamdar said.

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