With the release of Android 8.1 tomorrow Google also announcement of a Go-edition of Android Oreo. The Android team has been hard at work optimizing the operating system to work better with low-end devices which are limited in terms of storage space as well as main memory. The Android 8.0 OS side improvements are something that every Android device will be able to take advantage of, but with the Go-edition of Android 8.1 Google extends this to the Google applications themselves.

The new Go-edition of the new Google Apps suite claims to use half the storage of the full version

The Go-edition claims to improve app-launching speed of up to 15%, however from the wording of the annoucenemnt it's not too clear if this is a modification or tuning of the runtime that is exclusive fo the Go-edition or if this will apply to all Android 8.1 editions. 

What is clear though is that Google is changing the set of bundled Google applications for Go-edition devices with new exclusive light-weight versions of their classic counterparts. These "Go" edition apply to the Google search app, Google Assistant, Google Maps, YouTube and Gmail. Google also claims that there are optimized versions of Google Play, Chrome and Gboard (Google keyboard) however it's again not too clear if these include user-facing changes or if they come with under-the-hood optimization for better experience with devices with low RAM and storage options. The Play Store for once will now include a new section with recommended applications that work well with low-end devices.

Most improtantly, Files Go claims it will help you manage your memes

Google will also for the first time bundle the Files Go pseudo-file manager that is optimized for scanning and clearing up storage used by various files and applications with the main target of clearing up as much device storage as possible. 

Go-edition Android will also come by default with data-saving features enabled, meaning Google's compression proxy will be enabled for compatible apps such as Chrome.

Overall Go-edition will help will help with storage concerns on very low-end devices which have for example only 8GB of storage; these devices become very fast unusable once you install 2-3 apps larger apps on the data partition and every single MB of space becomes important. Having a major reduction in the size of the preinstalled Google apps will help a lot in terms of storage space. It will be also interesting to see how strict Google will be in terms of region-locking availability of Go-edition applications and if we'll be able to test them on higher end devices without too much trouble.

Source: Google Blog

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  • PeachNCream - Tuesday, December 5, 2017 - link

    I think it'd be nice if Google let us replace their bundled apps with updated versions instead of leaving the factory installed version in place and then storing updated ones alongside which seems sort of wasteful in the storage space department. I also would love to be able to get like just the Play Store and some very basic programs so I don't have to disable junk I'll never use like Hangouts, Maps, the Youtube app, two different photo viewers and movie players....ugh Android 6.0 on my cheap phone feels more bloated than the third trimester. :( Vendor bundled apps don't help either. Then again, hardware manufacturers are sort of stingy with their 8GB of storage and moving stuff to SD is sort of a pain. Plus we're always locked out of root access so its a huge pain to get rid of all those extra apps nobody wants.
  • Manch - Tuesday, December 5, 2017 - link

    More bloated than the third trimester.

    Funniest comment I've seen on this site in a while!!!

    Would be nice about the bundled apps but I think Google requires a minimum in order to use Android. But yeah still no reason to have multiple copies of the same app.
  • Samus - Tuesday, December 5, 2017 - link

    That has always been a key complaint of Android. The stock apps. Solution: buy a blackberry running BBOS based on QNX (effectively the Android kernel) and forego all the privacy, intrusiveness and security concerns of Google’s Android, and just sideload the Play Store and any other apps you want, since none of that is included in BBOS.
  • Roland00Address - Tuesday, December 5, 2017 - link

    QNX is a real time operating system that was created 35 years ago. Real time operating systems being designed to process data when it comes in without buffer delays.

    This means there is lots of differences between QNX and the Android kernel.
  • 29a - Tuesday, December 5, 2017 - link

    A better solution would be to buy an iPhone.
  • Manch - Wednesday, December 6, 2017 - link

    I looked at the keyone and its a nice phone great price and the proc aint too bad, but they're taking the piss if they think I'll pay that price.
  • leo_sk - Tuesday, December 5, 2017 - link

    That is why rooting is the first thing i do after getting an android. Removing the google junk is next. seriously i have no need of play movies, chrome, play music, photos, duo and gboard, yet they are always there and always running in background. And removing everything except play services and play store improves battery by quite a lot (no figures though)
  • crimson117 - Tuesday, December 5, 2017 - link

    I thought this meant they ported Android OS to the Go language ( https://golang.org/ )
  • thetuna - Wednesday, December 6, 2017 - link

    Lol, same here.
    This is much less exciting.
  • Pinn - Tuesday, December 5, 2017 - link

    I, for one, am sticking with Pokemon Go.

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