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Google Takes Another Shot At Making Android Great On Low-Budget Smartphones (phonedog.com) 55

At its developer conference, Google unveiled Android Go, a project wherein Google will offer a version of Android that runs swiftly on budget, low-specced smartphones. With the new strategy, Google hopes to further improve the low-budget smartphone ecosystem in developing markets. Android Go will be focused around building a version of Android for phones with less memory, with the System UI and kernel able to run with as little as 512MB of memory. Apps will be optimized for low bandwidth and memory, with a version of Play Store designed for those markets that will highlight these apps. From a report: Another feature of Android Go will be data management. Android Go will let you easily see your data usage, and thanks to carrier integration, it'll also let you top-up with more data right on your device.
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Google Takes Another Shot At Making Android Great On Low-Budget Smartphones

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  • How about you make android as a whole work better on low end devices instead of creating yet another version to support? What a strange concept.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by TWX ( 665546 )

      Seems to me that the best approach would be to get a bunch of Galaxy S3 phones and other older phones, and use those as the development platforms for mainline Android. Once whatever new reference version is developed on those, then you start looking at newer/faster phones for possible changes needed for the newer chipsets.

      I don't know if it's still this way, but for a long time the business model was to based low-end stuff on yesteryear's high-end stuff, with the possibility of minor or moderate revisions.

      • developers should always focus on the single core model with 512MB RAM and 32MB storage. After all, that which runs acceptably on the low-end model should be screaming fast on the high-end one.

        I don't agree with this. Developers should put effort into all relevant markets, yes, but developing only for low-end devices means simply not doing anything that might require more horsepower than the bottom end has, and makes high-end devices mostly pointless. If the low-end can run the software fast enough, then there won't be any difference between midrange and high-end devices. Meanwhile, the competition that does focus on the high end will own that market because feature-light blisteringly fast device

    • Back in the mid 1990s Gateway 2000 made high quality desktops by the end of the decade they tried to compete with the cheaper manufacturers. Creating PC that after people own it, they don't go with gateway again.

      Back in the early 2000s Dell made high quality desktops by the middle of the decade they tried to compete with the cheaper manufacturers. Creating PC that after people own it, they don't go with Dell again.

      There is a big risk to have Android running on cheap devices. As people will associate the p

    • How about you make android as a whole work better on low end devices instead of creating yet another version to support? What a strange concept.

      What a great idea. Pretty sure that's what it is, it's configurations options within the main Android project.

      "Android Go is a part of Android O and that it’ll be a part of every major Android release going forward."

    • by dgatwood ( 11270 )

      How about you make android as a whole work better on low end devices instead of creating yet another version to support? What a strange concept.

      One problem with supporting newer versions of any OS on older devices is the lack of storage. As operating systems gain features, they get bigger, so when you only have, for example, 2 GB of flash, making "Android as a whole work better" is a non-starter, because the whole 6+ GB of Android Nougat won't even fit.

      At some point, the only options are to either A. defin

      • Why on earth is Android 6GB?!? That's bigger than a clean install of macOS, including all of the standard apps. It sounds like the solution is to stop bundling so much crap and focus on a sensible base system that people can then install useful software on top of.
        • by dgatwood ( 11270 )

          I think I was wrong about that number. After a little digging, I've concluded that the correct number for Nougat is probably closer to 4.5 GB. For comparison, the base installation size for iOS is about 4.3 GB, which is to say that the size difference is statistical noise. But the difference still doesn't change the fact that a user with a 16 GB device is in a world of hurt on either platform, nor the fact that a 2 GB device would be completely infeasible on either platform.

          Either way, even if I had bee

    • by sd4f ( 1891894 )
      It's kind of like IE, google won't do it because they don't need to; there's no serious competitive imperative to do so when people keep buying/using their stuff. If anything, people must like buggy, slow, unreliable and spying phone OS's!
  • Cool. But, any assurance that these phones will get frequent security updates? Budget-constrained consumers also deserve security.
  • by J. T. MacLeod ( 111094 ) on Wednesday May 17, 2017 @06:22PM (#54437385)

    Judging by the horrific performance Android has on even high-end phones, I'd appreciate it if this showed up on all phones.

  • After the Go! and Go programming languages, the Go project. I know there is Go in Google, but come on, it is not that hard to find new names!
  • How about you just fork off one of the older branches of Android (2.x?), fix all the security holes you've refused to backport because Google is filled with engineers who look at reliability engineering entirely the wrong way, add the bare minimum features needed for future compatibility (TLS, etc) or that are no-brainer efficiency improvements, and then offer that as a stable branch.

    Or am I missing the point?

    #FeatureBloatSucks

    • How do you know that Android Go isn't exactly what you just said, a fork off the main Android branch removing some of the high-end stuff? Fixing up an old version is not a great idea, it will come with whatever security holes existed then and now you have to patch it.

      It's much more sensible to strip down recent builds to their bare essentials then decide what needs to be added in, you get to keep all the security patches that way.

  • Bloated, spyware, crapware infested OS with barely functional stock applications.

    I now completely understand why so many people buy iphones and why there's so much malware on android.

    we need an open cell phone OS now more than ever.

    • Every Android device I've ever owned (3 different manufacturers) had completely different stock applications. Those aren't part of Android, it's meant to be modular and open. On an open platform you're going to get more variation in app quality, not less.

  • Early Android phones had a similar spec, and ran without issue. It's cutting back on the bloat, or enhancements, however you want to classify it.
  • How about better monitoring of data usage for all phones? It's not just a concern for the low end of the market...

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