Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 18th May 2017 21:31 UTC
Android

During I/O, Google also announced Android Go, a version of the mobile operating system optimised for lower-end devices. From Google's announcement:

  • OS: We're optimizing Android O to run smoothly and efficiently on entry-level devices.
  • Apps: We're also designing Google apps to use less memory, storage space, and mobile data, including apps such as YouTube Go, Chrome, and Gboard.
  • Play: On entry-level devices, Play store will promote a better user experience by highlighting apps that are specifically designed for these devices -- such as apps that use less memory, storage space, and mobile data -- while still giving users access to the entire app catalog.

If a device has less than 1 GB of RAM, it will automatically use the Android Go version of Android. In addition, Google has set up a set of guidelines applications must adhere to in order to qualify for the special highlighting mentioned above.

The first question that popped into my mind was - why isn't every device getting this supposedly faster, and more lightweight version of Android? Will we be able to 'force' our devices to use Android Go, even if they don't officially qualify? The second question is - why would a developer go the lengths of creating additional versions of their application, instead of what they ought to do, which is slim down their existing application?

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Finally
by JLF65 on Thu 18th May 2017 21:44 UTC
JLF65
Member since:
2005-07-06

I might be able to update the OS on my 4 year-old phone. The latest Android I could use on it (because of limited memory) was 4.0.4. Hopefully this will have a way to install on older phones that need it.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by iampivot
by iampivot on Fri 19th May 2017 00:44 UTC
iampivot
Member since:
2005-08-09

They have to take something away to make it leaner. Some functions will be reduced.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by iampivot
by nicubunu on Fri 19th May 2017 06:06 UTC in reply to "Comment by iampivot"
nicubunu Member since:
2014-01-08

In an ideal world they would take away the bloat.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by iampivot
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Fri 19th May 2017 17:48 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by iampivot"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

One man's bloat is another man's killer feature.

Some is pure stupid programming, but a lot of it isn't.

Reply Score: 2

Revival of Old Devices?
by shinkou on Fri 19th May 2017 01:35 UTC
shinkou
Member since:
2011-03-24

I'm wondering if it means I can finally resurrect my Nexus 7 (1st gen.) which has been sitting in the drawer for years. I'm not holding my breath though.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Revival of Old Devices?
by nicubunu on Fri 19th May 2017 06:01 UTC in reply to "Revival of Old Devices?"
nicubunu Member since:
2014-01-08

Unlikely, since the Nexus 7 slowness is due mainly to the poor memory Asus had put inside

Reply Score: 2

RE: Revival of Old Devices?
by kurkosdr on Fri 19th May 2017 10:03 UTC in reply to "Revival of Old Devices?"
kurkosdr Member since:
2011-04-11

I'm wondering if it means I can finally resurrect my Nexus 7 (1st gen.) which has been sitting in the drawer for years. I'm not holding my breath though.

Unlikely, since the Nexus 7 slowness is due mainly to the poor memory Asus had put inside


There was this app called Forever Gone, which wrote garbage files in the empty space to do a full erase, but had the side-effect of triggering the trim command in the flash storage, which fixed the problem of slowness in 1st-gen Nexus 7 tablets. People who have used it say the difference is betwen night and day.

Edited 2017-05-19 10:04 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Its all about security
by robertojdohnert on Fri 19th May 2017 15:39 UTC
robertojdohnert
Member since:
2005-07-12

Android Go is basically their answer for the security issues of phones running Android 4.0. There are still a bunch. But this highlights the issues with Apps. I remember back in the day (before kids started messing with my lawn and my phone battery died while I was walking to school uphill both ways) when mobile apps were 1 to 2 mb and you were hard pressed to find one that was 5 mb. Now they are almost as heavy as desktop apps. I dont use Facebook Mobile or the messenger app because its over 150 mb's to download and even on my Nexus it eats RAM like its at a chinese buffet. BUT, according to my contacts at Google when I asked. Android Go will be available for ALL phones with 1 gb of RAM or less and that ran Android 4.0. So if your phone meets that criteria you will be getting Android Go. Phones with less that Android 4.0? I doubt it because those phones had severe storage limitations and hardware glitches and issues. How will they deliver it? Probably through the play store.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Its all about security
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Fri 19th May 2017 17:53 UTC in reply to "Its all about security"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

BUT, according to my contacts at Google when I asked. Android Go will be available for ALL phones with 1 gb of RAM or less and that ran Android 4.0.


I'll believe that when I see it. I don't think that's possible without a massive investment by google that I'm pretty sure they haven't made. Could be wrong. It would be nice if I was, but I doubt it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Its all about security
by robertojdohnert on Fri 19th May 2017 18:13 UTC in reply to "RE: Its all about security"
robertojdohnert Member since:
2005-07-12

Considering I heard it from 6 people who directly work on the Android team. Well, I tend to put my trust in them rather than someone who doesnt work there. BTW, it wouldnt be expensive the framework to do it is already there and would not entail a huge investment except from app developers themselves

Reply Score: 1

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

I'm guessing then that Android GO is the ability to have a different set of lower resource hungry apps presented to the user through google play, rather than being part of Android 0. SO if these devices are on Jelly Bean, they'll stay on Jelly Bean, but they'll have access to a less resource intensive version of gmail/facebook/ whatever.

I was assuming it was part of the O release. Rereading the announcement its not clear.

Reply Score: 2

This news snippet...
by dionicio on Fri 19th May 2017 18:52 UTC in reply to "RE: Its all about security"
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

Suggest to me: They had "the right stuff" when going from 3 to 4.

Reply Score: 2

High Resolution Assets
by zlynx on Fri 19th May 2017 23:35 UTC
zlynx
Member since:
2005-07-20

A large part of this will probably be the removal of high resolution art assets. Android Go will be going back to the days of real 32x32 pixel 8-bit color icons.

It could also eliminate all text translation tables during app installation, leaving only the active user language.

Reply Score: 2

Moochman
Member since:
2005-07-06

I actually care less about whether I can get the "Go" version of Android and more about whether the "Go" version of Google's apps will be available for everyone. Especially when it comes to Google Maps, the newest versions have brought me nothing but aggravating delays and crashes due to resource hungriness. I long for the days of a leaner Maps app, while still getting the guarantee that the navigation features are the most up-to-date that Google offers.

Reply Score: 2

User experience
by allanregistos on Mon 22nd May 2017 01:35 UTC
allanregistos
Member since:
2011-02-10

The second question is - why would a developer go the lengths of creating additional versions of their application, instead of what they ought to do, which is slim down their existing application?


I think from a software developer's perspective, this is all just automatic if the new Android supports API that can be tuned automatically to use the Go version if it detects a low end device. Or better yet, the compiler will produce two versions of your app when building, so there is no need to manually develop two versions of the same software from the developer, it will just produce two binary builds.

Reply Score: 2