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Google Launches Android Go for ‘Next Billion’ Smartphone Users

After announcing yesterday that its Android mobile operating system is now active on 2 billion devices, Google is targeting its next billion users with a new initiative called Android Go.

Unveiled during the opening keynote at Google’s I/O developer conference running from May 17-19 in Mountain View, Calif., Android Go is a stripped-down version of the OS designed for low-end mobile phones with limited data, connectivity and memory.

Android Go is set to make its appearance in 2018 and will target Android devices with memories up to and including 1 GB. Ahead of that, however, Google plans to incorporate aspects of Android Go’s goals into the next version of its OS, Android O, expected to be released later this summer.

Working To Optimize Mobile OS

Writing yesterday on Google’s Android Developers Blog, Dave Burke, vice president of engineering, described some of the new features that will arrive with Android O. They include Android Vitals, a project to optimize systems and provide performance dashboards so users can better pinpoint problems, and “fluid experiences” to streamline app performance, manage multiple tasks at once and make apps smarter with machine learning capabilities.

Google yesterday also released the preview 2 public beta version of Android O for developers. As it works to prepare its next mobile OS update, Google will also keep a focus on its new Android Go initiative, Burke said.

“Part of Android’s mission is to bring computing to everyone,” Burke wrote in his blog post. “We’re excited about seeing more users come online for the first time as the price of entry level smart phones drop, and we want to help manufacturers continue to offer lower-cost devices that provide a great experience for these users.”

In addition to optimizing Android O for lower-end devices, Google is also tweaking other apps such as…


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