Android Go was announced during
the opening keynote of the Google
I/O developers conference in
Mountain View on Wednesday.
Is it a new version of Android?
Android Go is not a new version of
Android, it’s not a different Android, it’s a
project name inside Google.
Can Android Go devices run all
Android Go is an internal name - but the OS
that these partners will be shipping will be
Android O - there’s no separate OS called
So what will be different about Android Go
Think of Android Go as a bunch of presets that your Android
O device will ship with. Some OS settings will be switched on
(or off) by default; some Google apps will be a bit different
than other Android O devices; and the Google Play Store will
highlight third-party apps optimised for the Go experience.
The three cornerstones of Android Go
To optimise the Android operating system to run
smoothly on entry-level devices, starting with
To make sure that Google apps that we load on
these devices are also optimised, which means that
we are rebuilding many of the Google apps.
To optimise the Play Store to highlight the apps
that are tuned to the needs of users that are coming
online for the first time.
Will Android Go device only be able to
run apps optimised for the Go
All Android apps that run on any ‘regular’ Android
O device will also run on Android Go devices,
barring of course any apps that may not be
compatible with your hardware or not available in
your region, something that’s the case even today
with Android N (or earlier).
Can Android Go devices install the ‘regular’
versions of their default apps?
In one word- Yes.
For example, Searching for YouTube on Google Play Store on
Android Go devices will show the ‘regular’ YouTube app as
well, and users will be free to install this app on their phone.
How many users will actually do something like this when
they already have a YouTube app on their phone is debatable.
Can ‘regular’ Android devices run
apps optimised for Android Go?
Absolutely. While these apps are optimised for
entry-level Android Go devices, there’s nothing
stopping your Google Pixel XL or Samsung
Galaxy S8, for example, from downloading and
running, say, the YouTube Go app. These apps
will also show up like any other app when you
search for something via the Play Store on your
How does Android Go differ
from Android One?
Android One focused on three things -
first, specifying hardware.
Google UI for any device with Android
Regular security updates from the device
manufacturer to have.
When will the first Android Go
As announced at the keynote, the first
Android Go devices are expected to hit
the market in 2018.
Will I see Android Go update on my
Almost certainly no.
The focus of the Android Go project is on new
devices only, so don’t expect your existing
entry-level phone to get Android O’s Go