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Google shaves half a gig off Android Poundland Edition

Always believe in Go ...

Google's "Poundland" Edition of Android – Go – has received an update to 9.0 Pie.

Google leaps on the platform formerly known as Firefox with $22m splurge for KaiOS


Not to be confused with Android One, which is really a marketing program for full fat Android, Go Edition is a small footprint version of Android ruthlessly optimised for low end, sub-$100 devices - with some as cheap as $30.

The first Go phones only appeared in April and Google says there are now over 200 compliant devices, although only the Nokia 1 has much visibility here. So while Android One is intended to bring uniformity, Go is aimed at budget devices in mature markets where makers intentionally cut corners to achieve a low price.

Google said it had shaved an extra 500MB from the footprint of Go, leaving manufacturers with around 5.5GB free on an 8GB ROM.

Google provides optimised, small footprint versions of some its applications with the image: YouTube Go, Maps Go and Messages Go are around 50 per cent smaller than the regular versions. Go was a response to OEMs simply stripping Google out of the picture and going with Android Open Source Project phones of dubious quality. Google has added verified boot to improve the security of Go phones.

Alongside Tizen, the big rival to Android in this burgeoning market, is the ramped-up feature phone OS, such as KaiOS, and it’s a space Jolla is targeting with the next Sailfish OS. But then Google shouldn't be too worried: a recent $22m investment ensured Google services are the default on KaiOS phones, like the new Nokia 8810 4G.

Go is important for developers worldwide, as it attempts to address one of their biggest headaches: what exactly are those end points capable of? While it doesn’t prevent an OEM creating a phone with meagre RAM and an ancient chip, it does try to establish a performance baseline. App developers creating custom editions of Go apps include Microsoft (Skype) and Facebook (Instagram). The Play Store detects the device’s capabilities and where appropriate, recommends the Go version of your app to the user. ®

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