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MWC 2018 | First Android Go devices coming at MWC 2018

Android Go apps (Source: Google - The Keyword)
Android Go apps (Source: Google - The Keyword)
Almost a decade since the release of the first Android device, Google is rapidly expanding this ecosystem by adding branches for specific categories of users and devices. After the Android One initiative that aims to provide a stock experience and very fast updates, Android Go comes with low-end handsets in mind. Although a set of Go apps is already available, the first Android Go phones will be revealed next week at MWC.

While the regular Android Oreo works fine on most handsets that received it as an official update, most low-end phones will never get it due to its hardware requirements or simply because the low-end devices do not get any attention from their makers in terms of software updates. Android Go is an Oreo version specifically tailored for the handsets with less than 1 GB of RAM and we even saw it running on older phones like the 3rd generation Moto G

According to a recent blog post by Google's Hiroshi Lockheimer, "Starting next week, you’ll see the first set of Android Oreo (Go edition) phones, and soon after they’ll be available for you to purchase." Sadly, he did not mention any specific device or at least a brand name. If you missed Android Go so far, you should know that the list of highlights includes Google Play Protect built-in, as well as dedicated Google Play areas that highlight the apps optimized for it (Files Go, Google Go, limited connectivity-optimized YouTube Go, Google Assistant for Android Go).

In some cases, the Android Go handsets can hit the market for prices below US$50, so it will be very interesting to see which brands choose to enter this sector. Right now, there are over 2 billion active Android devices by no less than 1,300 brands. The number of unique Android-powered products is also impressive: in excess of 24,000 and still growing at a sustained rate.

Until the first Android Go devices show up at MWC 2018, we can still guess who will back them. Any guesses? Samsung and LG could be quite safe bets, but we also hope to see Android Go phones by Xiaomi and Huawei in the first wave.


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Codrut Nistor, 2018-02-23 (Update: 2018-02-23)