New Delhi: Google has been making its apps and services accessible for people on modest smartphones and lower bandwidth with Lite apps and offline modes for quite some time. Now, they have come up with a light version of the latest Android OS, for entry-level smartphones. It is called Android Oreo (Go Edition) and will be available on some new budget smartphones from early 2018. We don’t know the price bracket in which these smartphones would be available yet, or the exact devices which will run Android Oreo (Go Edition).

The objective behind the Go Edition is to deliver a quality and smooth experience to users on low configuration smartphones running on 512MB or 1GB RAM. As of now, most smartphones running Android Oreo have at least 3GB RAM.

Google claims the new OS will be running a totally different set of Google apps, bearing the “Go" suffix. These apps have been redesigned from scratch and will take up less space, use less data and will work faster on smartphones with modest specs. Apps such as Google Assistant Go, Google Go, Maps Go, YouTube Go, Gmail Go and Files Go are some of the apps that will be available on the new OS.

Also, pre-loaded Google apps will take up 50% less space on the new OS, leaving more storage space for users to save photos, videos or apps they want. For example, the size of Google Go app before installation is going to be 5MB, which is eight times less than the Google app on regular smartphones.

One of the most resource-intensive apps, Google Play store has been optimized too, and will highlight apps which would run smoothly on Android Go. This would help users easily identify apps which will not slow down their smartphones.

The new OS will have a data saver mode baked into the phone’s software. It allows users to decide which apps can use background data and which cannot. This is similar to the recently released Datally app by Google for Android smartphones. Security features, such as Play Protect, will be available with all its bells and whistles. It will regularly scan apps on the smartphone and flag malicious content—even when the device is offline.

This isn’t the first instance when Google has tried to address the quality gap between an entry-level and more expensive budget smartphone. Android KitKat (4.4) was also developed keeping the low-end smartphones with 512GB RAM in mind. But with subsequent upgrades in the last few years, the Android OS has become heavier and more resource-intensive.

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