Google has announced Android Go, a lighter version of Android O, that will arrive alongside Google’s forthcoming mobile operating system.
Android Go is a version of Android O designed for low-end Android phones with under 1GB of memory and will ship as standard on those devices.
It’ll feature lighter versions of Google apps, like YouTube Go (which already exists), Chrome and the Gboard keyboard application.
The first two will enable greater data-saving and offline sharing opportunities, while Gboard uses Google Translate to automatically translate speech.
There’s also a dedicated version of the Play Store where developers can create optimised versions of their apps.
Related: Google I/O 2017 – All the latest
The scaled-back OS is designed for affordable devices, in areas where there is limited connectivity and where multilingual capability is a user requirement.
“We took a step back to think about what it would take to get smartphones to more people,” said Google’s Sameer Samat, during the keynote.
Google is calling it “Building for Billions.”
The first devices running Android Go will arrive in 2018, but it isn’t stopping with Android O.
“Moving forward, every Android release will get a Go configuration,” Samat promised during the keynote.
For Google, this is the latest stab at budget devices, following its efforts in developing nations with Android One.
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