+ Wednesday January 29th, 2020

Google’s version of Android for lower-spec devices, Android (Go Edition) (yes the brackets are officially part of the band and that’s awkward) is getting updated to Android 10 (Go Edition) today.

The Go Edition of Android is optimised to run on lower spec devices – less RAM and less powerful processors. Many of us might walk right past such devices, but for some – especially Google’s next billion – they’re the best or even they only available option.

Google says that Android Go has seen big growth in the 18 months since launch with 1,600+ devices offered in markets like India, South Africa, Nigeria and Brazil. Some of these phones also make it to our shores too, thanks to companies like HMD Global and Alcatel.

The big changes

When Google detailed its Adiantum software-based encryption system a few months ago, it was surmised that the system was intended for Go edition devices, and it’s been confirmed by the company today – they say all Go Edition users will get the same security from their devices as those with higher end specs and dedicated encryption hardware.

Google’s also made some optimisations to loading and switching apps, with more efficient memory usage and 10% faster load times. Apps are also smaller, with more space available for the user.

Otherwise, many of the smart optimisations for Go edition phones are on the software side. Most are already out there, like the read-aloud feature that helps users listen to text in the web browser, and the on-device AI calculations on the Gallery app that kick in when the device is connected to power.

Go device manufacturers might not necessarily guarantee OS updates, but we’ll seek to clarify what’s happening with those devices already in the Australian market.

Jason Murray   Deputy Editor

Jason Murray

Before discovering the Nexus One, Jason thought he didn't need a smartphone. Now he can't bear to be without his Android phone. Jason hails from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane depending on his mood and how detailed a history you'd like. A web developer by day with an interest in consumer gadgets and electronics, he also enjoys reading comics and has a worryingly large collection of Transformers figures. He'd like to think he's a gamer, but his Wii has been in a box since he moved to Sydney, and his PlayStation Vita collection is quite lacking. Most mornings you'll find him tilting at various windmills on Twitter - follow @JM77 and say hi!

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Jeni Skunk
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I’m of the opinion that Google should drop the silly edition brackets for the sub-releases of Android 10, and simply call the sub-releases: Android 10 One, and Android 10 Go.

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