Android Go was recently revealed during the opening keynote of the Google I/O developers conference in Mountain View. Since the announcement there has been a lot of confusion regarding it: is it a new version of Android? Can Android Go devices run all Android apps or only the apps that have been optimized for the Go experience?
An interview with NTDV, Google VP of Product Management for Android and Google Play Sameer Samat makes everything clear.
What is Android Go?
For starters, Android Go is not another version of Android and it’s not meant to replace Android One. Android Go is in fact Android O and it’s not at all a disctinct version of Android such as Android wear or Android TV and more. Android Go is actually a configuration that can be used by OEMs when they’re building smartphones with 1GB RAM or less.
This specific configuration does the following:
- disables some resource-wasting features
- pre-installs more resource-friendly versions of some Google apps
- highlights third-party apps with a similar bend
“The way this works is that Android has a configuration when you build a device in factory and we are effectively putting a Go configuration in place, which is very similar to what do with Svelte so if the device is low-RAM, for example, when the device is built in the factory, it’s configured, right,” Samat explained during the interview.
What about the apps that the Android Go will be able to run?
All Android apps that are running on a regular Android device will also run on the Android Go devices, if the apps are compatible with the hardware used. “The Play Store on Go devices will contain the whole app catalog – no restrictions, unless the developer has a restriction, but the developer can do that today anyway, but no restrictions from Google on the apps,” Samat said to Gadgets 360.
The Google Play Store on Android devices will include all Android apps, not just apps that are optimized for Android Go devices.
The Android Go phones will launch sometime next year.