“I’d like to see cheaper smartphones, entry-level smartphones,” Sundar Pichai had stated in January whereas talking at his alma mater IIT-Kharagpur. Google tried this earlier by working with producers to create Android One in 2014. The concept created loads of hype, however finally did not actually work out, and that is what led to the growth of Android Go.
At its annual Google for India occasion on Tuesday in New Delhi, the corporate launched Android Oreo (Go version). This is not an all new platform – because the identify suggests, it is a light-weight model of Android eight.1, which simply reached choose Pixel and Nexus gadgets. Google’s vice chairman of product administration for Android and Google Play Sameer Samat stated Android Oreo (Go version) is designed to make entry-level gadgets “fully-functioning” smartphones.
“With Android Oreo (Go version), we’re not solely offering web to each Indian however are additionally ensuring that entry-level gadgets are fully-functioning smartphones that may not solely browse the net but in addition can use apps,” stated Samat, talking on the sidelines of Google for India.
Samat and his group began engaged on Android Go in 2015. The final word purpose of over a year-long growth was to make it possible for entry-level gadgets carry out nicely with Android, Samat stated on the initiative that was introduced at Google I/O this 12 months. “One of many issues on which we have spent loads of time whereas the event of the Oreo Go version is optimising each piece of the working system for entry-level gadgets and ensuring it runs nicely,” he added.
Android Oreo (Go version) primarily consists of three main elements. Firstly, there are enhancements to the core working system, to assist it carry out nicely on entry-level telephones. There’s additionally a brand new set of Google apps, redesigned to run nicely on these telephones, with options that cater to native wants. Thirdly, there’s additionally a tweaked model of the Google Play retailer, which helps spotlight apps for Go gadgets. Collectively, these three elements assist be certain that apps open 15 % quicker than they’d on “common” Android.
On the point of Go
Whereas releasing Android Oreo (Go version), Samat additionally showcased a bunch of Google apps which might be redesigned for the brand new the platform. There may be Google Go as an alternative of the unique Google app, in addition to Chrome, Information Go, Gboard, Google Assistant Go, and YouTube Go. These apps are designed to take 50 % much less space for storing than their unique variants. The Google Go app, as an example, is available in lower than 5MB of file measurement, which is considerably decrease than the flagship Google app that’s over 62MB in measurement.
The inspiration for the Android Go venture got here from Challenge Svelte that Google had initiated alongside the discharge of Android KitKat again in 2013. Much like Svelte, Android Go helps builders optimise the expertise on low-end smartphones. Third-party builders also can distinguish the expertise on a number of gadgets by releasing their Go version apps, alongside their unique creations.
Samat stated that Android Oreo (Go version) is primarily focused to reinforce the expertise on gadgets which have 1GB (or much less) RAM. “We see there are loads of 1GB gadgets which might be being shipped right this moment, not solely in India but in addition in another elements of the world,” he stated.
Nevertheless, this doesn’t suggest that each one the gadgets that includes the Go version would sit in the identical value bracket. With out revealing any actual particulars, Samat stated: “We’re working with a variety of producers so there are going to have a variety of value factors.”
Affordability will nonetheless be an necessary issue. “Our hope is that customers for whom a smartphone is their first and maybe the one computing machine may have an inexpensive possibility,” stated Samat.
Android Go vs Android One
Google initially projected Android One as its flagship programme to usher in new inexpensive handsets. However that growth hadn’t succeeded initially, and firms like Karbonn, Spice, and Micromax had been unable to achieve lots with their Android One gadgets. Earlier this 12 months, Google prolonged the programme by partnering with Xiaomi. The second iteration of Android One expanded its value vary from the sub-Rs. 10,000 bracket to under-Rs. 15,000 section.
Whereas the success of the Android One comeback is but to find out, Samat identified the main variations between Android One and Android Oreo (Go version). “Android One is just not totally different code, it’s a programme that companions join sure experiences,” stated Samat. “It’s unbiased of working system model and is way more of a programme than totally different code. In case of Android Oreo Go version, it’s the identical Android code however within the code, it’s supplied that the OS optimises the expertise on the idea of given .”
Samat additionally added that Oreo (Go version) is merely the primary within the collection, and an analogous expertise might be accessible with Android P in 2018.
Challenges on the best way
Regardless of the promising options of Android Go, analysts imagine that it will likely be difficult for Google to have its speedy uptake in India. “The problem for Google has been to get the lower-end telephones to supply an excellent consumer expertise and in addition get them to maintain transferring to newer variations of Android as they’re launched. This isn’t the primary try by Google to attain that goal, and positively not a straightforward factor to get OEM buy-in. There may be additionally a little bit of flux within the low-end market the place a lot exercise is happening, with Jio pushing ‘smarter’ characteristic telephones, another native distributors and telcos are driving ‘low efficient value’ smartphones,” IDC Asia Pacific Senior Analysis Supervisor Kiranjeet Kaur instructed Devices 360.
Tarun Pathak, affiliate director of cellular gadgets and ecosystems, Counterpoint Analysis added that Android Oreo (Go version) is a sign that Google goes after the underside of pyramid customers. “The candy spot for entry-level smartphones in India is $75, or Rs. 5,000, as within the sub-$50 section (beneath Rs. three,000) prospects haven’t got many choices to go for gadgets that provide an excellent worth for cash proposition,” stated Pathak. “On account of which, smartphones between Rs. 2,000 and Rs. three,000 had solely two % market share in India.” Pathak additionally highlights that optimising the expertise within the low-end smartphones in India will assist native manufacturers enhance their current portfolio to counter Jio Telephone and different compelling choices.
Having stated that, Google’s try with Android Oreo (Go version) would carry the most recent Android with tons of optimisations to a mass stage – overcoming the problem of an inferior expertise on low-budget smartphones. The brand new initiative would additionally give one other technique to the search big to remain linked with the subsequent billion customers from creating areas like India, exposing individuals to Google providers together with Search, Maps, and YouTube, amongst others.
We mentioned Google’s bulletins for India, together with Google Maps’ two-wheeler mode, Android Oreo Go, and Google Tez on Orbital, our weekly expertise podcast. You’ll be able to take heed to it by way of Apple Podcasts or RSS or simply take heed to this episode by hitting the play button beneath.