For years now Google was looking for a way to offer a proper Android experience to users who cannot afford powerful and expensive devices, and they finally came out with a plan this week at Google I/O 2017.
On stage at the press event, Dave Burke, the VP Engineering for Android Team has announced what Google calls Android Go. A Lite version of Android (if you like) developed and optimized for Android devices that are equipped with 1GB of RAM or less. This new build will deploy a lite version of all the key Google Android apps including Chrome browser, Gmail, YouTube app, Maps, etc. All these apps will also keep the users aware at all times of how much bandwidth their device is about to eat up if they try to watch a video on Youtube for example, or if they are looking to download a file (books, docs, mp3, etc) from the Internet via mobile connection.
Android Go is also optimized so that it wont drain out the battery while the smartphone is connected to a 2G/3G or 4G network allowing even offline viewing of content on certain services and apps including YouTube.
Android Go will roll out this fall and it is based on the latest version of Android, build O (probably code named Oreo). The bad news is that users who already own a handheld device with 1GB of RAM or less will not be able to install this version of Android Go, only new devices starting with Android O (and going further with newer upcoming versions) will have it pre-installed. Which means that you’ll have to buy a new smartphone to be able to have the Android Go user experience at hand.