Android 12 Go edition to bring new speed, privacy features to lower-end phones

The new features will roll out to devices starting in 2022.

Attila Tomaschek
Attila is a Staff Writer for CNET, covering software, apps and services with a focus on virtual private networks. He is an advocate for digital privacy and has been quoted in online publications like Computer Weekly, The Guardian, BBC News, HuffPost, Wired and TechRepublic. When not tapping away on his laptop, Attila enjoys spending time with his family, reading and collecting guitars.
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Attila Tomaschek
2 min read

Google's Pixel 6 line may have served as Android 12's big debut for high-end phones, but Android 12 (Go edition) plans to bring many of Android 12's enhancements and features to lower-end phones, too. Google on Tuesday unveiled a host of new features for the Go edition that are set to roll out to devices in 2022.

Google says that in addition to speed enhancements that'll help apps launch up to 30% faster, Android 12 (Go edition) will save battery life and storage by automatically "hibernating apps that haven't been used for extended periods of time." And with the Files Go app, you'll be able to recover files within 30 days of deletion.

Google says Android 12 (Go edition) will allow apps to open faster.


Android 12 (Go edition) will also help with translation, and it'll let you listen to the news and share apps with nearby devices offline to save data, Google said. 

Transparency and privacy enhancements will be a significant part of the Android 12 (Go edition) rollout as well. You'll have access to a whole new privacy dashboard, where you'll see a "snapshot of which apps are accessing particular types of sensitive data," according to the press release. This will also give you the option to revoke permissions if needed. So if an app is using your phone's microphone and you're not sure why, you'll be able to remove its access.

Your status bar will also include a new privacy indicator that lets you know when an app is accessing your camera or microphone. On top of that, you'll be able to stop apps from seeing your precise location data. Instead they'll get access to only your approximate location.

If you tend to share your phone with family and friends, Android 12 (Go edition) will let you set up guest user profiles directly on your lock screen to prevent others from gaining full access to your phone. 

When Google introduced Android (Go edition) in 2017, the company was looking to help more people access the best Android features on its line of entry-level phones. The tech giant said in a press release that now more than 200 million people are actively using a phone with this version of Android.

Watch this: First impressions of the new Pixel 6 and 6 Pro