One of Google’s most laudable initiatives last year was the release of Android Go – short for Android 8 Go Edition, a version of its mobile operating system built to run on smartphones with less powerful hardware. Most Android Go phones shared a similar hardware configuration – 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage, and quad-core processors clocked at or around 1.1GHz – and similar price tags, between $65 and $110 (around 300 to 550 GHS). Android Go phones are the perfect “first smartphone”, capable of bringing everything from social media to Ghana online betting within the reach of their owners while not breaking the bank. And Google seems to have turned releasing operating systems for lesser smartphones into a tradition: soon after the release of Android 9 Pie, it has announced its “Go Edition”.
Android Go: The best features
Android Oreo: Go Edition was the perfect operating system for low-end phones. It was lightweight but secure and always up-to-date, packed with all the latest features of Google’s operating system yet still taking up just a little space and demanding limited hardware performance. The new version of the operating system will be even better at this: despite being newer, it will take up 500Mb less space than Android Oreo: Go Edition and will have all the basic services available in a lighter format.
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Pie Go (let’s just call that) will have the Google Go app capable of reading web pages aloud and highlighting the text so the user will be able to follow it. YouTube Go will come with features like gallery mode for downloaded content. Maps Go will be turned into a navigation app, providing turn by turn navigation even over unstable internet connections. Assistant Go will speak new languages like Spanish, Brazilian and Portuguese. And the new Phone App will include spam detection services, too.
Besides, it will come with a Data Saver built into it, meant to keep mobile broadband consumption at a minimum, peer-to-peer sharing services through Files Go, and a version of Chrome equipped with its own data saving service, reducing mobile data consumption even more.
Android Pie: Go Edition phones
As usual, a series of smartphone manufacturers have already expressed their interest in releasing handsets compatible with Android Pie: Go Edition. Among them, we find Nokia – its Nokia 1 handset will likely be available globally – and brands from 120 countries, including Itel, Cherry Mobile, Micromax, Doogee, Mobicell, and many others. And the vast majority of these phones will likely cost between $70 and $100, bringing them within the reach of everyone in need of a connection to the rest of the world.