Android Go is Google's stripped-down OS for cheap phones
With Android phones, just as with the iPhone, the focus has long been on the latest and greatest hardware. But this ignores the fact that not everyone in the world has an ultra-powerful handset. This is something that Google recognizes, and its solution is Android Go.
Android Go is an optimized version of Android that’s designed to be used on less-powerful, cheap phones. By this, Google means phones that could have under 1GB of RAM, and the operating system -- which is essentially an offshoot of Android O -- is due to make an appearance in 2018.
We have already seen Google's interest in data-light apps with the likes of YouTube Go, and the company is keen to develop more in this area. Android Go is destined for people who have access to limited data connectivity -- something which has already been targeted with apps such as Facebook Lite.
In dramatically reducing the system requirements to run Android, Google is going to be able to mop up Windows Mobile users and the company will be able to push further into emerging markets where cheap phones are king.
Android Go will include optimized apps and the Play Store, and Google will highlight those apps which are best designed to run on less powerful devices. Google says that such apps will be those which are sub-10MB, work on slower processors, and do not necessarily require access to the internet in order to function.