First of all, Android Go and Android One are two new types of Android that are not intended to replace current versions of it. In fact, these two products target different types of users and smartphone hardware. Here, you will learn about the differences and characteristics of each one.
Android Go is a refined and highly optimized version of Android designed to run on low-cost smartphones with low hardware specifications. This release aims to target emerging markets and "next billion users" of smartphones (who still don't have such devices).
The first version of the operating system is known as the Android Oreo (Go Edition). Although this version is based on Android 8.1 and has a similar appearance and features set, Google has developed the first Go edition to adapt to the three issue that users of this version are facing:
- Slow, unreliable and expensive internet connection
- Cheaper hardware with fewer capabilities that is common in the emerging markets
- Limited opportunities to charge the battery
Low price, Low specs
Android Go runs on devices with low-level hardware. These products include Phones with 512MB up to 1GB of RAM and about 8GB of storage space. The Go edition of Android 1.8 only needs half of the storage space used by its original counterpart (Oreo). Google predicts that most Go phones will be available for less than $100, and some may even be under $50.
Of course, smartphones with no proper apps will do nothing. That's why Google has optimized many of its key applications for Go. Gmail, Google Assistant, Maps, and Gboard are among the top titles and are 50% smaller than their original versions. Also, several new apps are on the list, like fast file manager File Go.
Third-party developers are also encouraged to make their version of Go apps available. These apps will be downloadable via a modified Play Store. WhatsApp and Instagram are among the apps already available for Go.
Software optimization is done to maximize performance on low-range hardware, although other changes will also be made to improve battery consumption and data usage. Limiting background processes in apps and activating the saving features of Android by default, are among these changes.
Normally, for those users already using Android, Go is too slow and looks too weak. However, the availability of this version on the cheapest hardware possible will make Android penetrate much more parts of the world.
Android Go is not Google's first experience in trying to penetrate emerging markets. In 2014, the company introduced a similar product called Android One, which was intended for inexpensive gadgets.
This brand is now transformed into an entirely different product, which you will be familiar with later.
Android One is a Google-led program that allows manufacturers to provide their smartphones with a pure version of Android. In other words, these smartphones don't have interface customizations, limited apps are already installed on them, and they guarantee updates of the operating system for up to two years.
This program is a collaboration between Google and the manufacturers of mobile phones. The handsets that already use stock Android do not necessarily become Android One phones. For joining this program, a manufacturer must accept this conditions:
- The Android One logo should be printed on the back side of all phones
- The manufacturer must agree to provide regular security updates and operating system updates
- The number (and type) of the applications that can be pre-installed on the phones will be under tight control.
Nokia has recently announced that it will fully participate in the program and will put its complete range of products under the Android One's umbrella. Some companies offer products in both Standard and Android One variations, but updates and lack of bloatware are guaranteed only in the second type.
In general, the main advantage of Android One is its simplicity and support. The simplicity comes from the fact that these phones run pure stock Android. The lack of customization in the interface and removing bloatware will result in smoother performance. Battery life is also improved on these handsets because the user experience is the same with all the devices in this group, so it's easier to use.
Android One phones come preloaded with a complete set of Google apps. Any additional app should have a certain value added. For example, you might have a quality camera app that is optimized for your hardware, but certainly, won't see a duplicate calendar or contacts app.
As far as support is concerned, you will receive a guaranteed update, something that is rarely seen in the Android world. As mentioned earlier, all Android Go devices will receive updates to new Android versions for up to two years. These updates will be provided by Google and distributed by the developers of the devices. Also, add monthly security updates for up to 3 years, which are distributed directly by Google.