Google took aim at the low-end smartphone sector in emerging markets by unveiling a stripped down version of its Android Oreo software.
Dubbed Android Oreo Go, Google said Android Oreo-compatible devices with 512MB to 1GB of memory will all be able to access the pared software.
The software consists of three primary components, with performance and storage improvements made to the operating system to include data management features and security benefits.
Android Oreo Go also provides users with a new set of Google apps designed to be lighter and relevant “to the unique needs of people who are coming online for the first time”. A “tuned” version of Google Play Store allows people to download any apps, but highlights those which will work best on the device in question.
In a statement Sagar Kamdar, director of product management at Android, said Android is active on more than 2 billion devices around the world and now has more users in India than the US.
“To make sure billions more people can get access to computing, it’s important that entry-level devices are fully functioning smartphones that can browse the web and use apps,” he said.
The update was launched as part of the release of Android 8.1 software.
App, storage boosts
Kamdar added the Go edition of Android Oreo had been enhanced for speed and reliability on entry-level devices, meaning “the average app is now 15 per cent faster on devices running the software.
In developing the dedicated software, Google noted it was common for low-end devices to have a limited amount of storage space once the operating system and pre-installed apps are accounted for.
As a result, Google said it optimised the software and enhanced the pre-installed apps to take up 50 per cent less space, thus doubling the amount of available storage on some devices.
Google expects devices running the software to hit the shelves in the coming months.