Android 9 Pie began rolling out earlier this month to the Pixel and Pixel 2, as well as the Essential Phone. New devices and more updates are expected later this year, with Google now detailing the Go edition of its latest mobile operating system and announcing when the first devices will be available.
With Go edition, Google wants to improve the Android experience on the entry-level devices often bought by first-time smartphone users. Aimed at developing countries, the operating system has been optimized for less powerful hardware and limited data connectivity.
With Android 9 Pie, Go edition devices will benefit from an additional 500MB of storage available out of the box. On average, an 8GB Go device has 5GB of free storage available. While that’s over half of what’s available on a non-Go device, Google is making more space for photos, music, other files, and apps.
Storage on these devices is further aided by Go variants of Google applications, including Assistant, Maps, and YouTube. For example, Android Messages for Go is approximately 50% smaller in size.
Meanwhile, Android will boot faster and include security features, like verified boot, already found on the full version of Android. Users will also benefit from a dashboard to track and monitor data consumption.
Collectively, these features help solve some of the most common pain points for entry-level device owners: storage, performance, data management and security. Keep an eye out for the first devices offering the new Pie (Go edition) experience to hit shelves later this fall.
According to Google, there are already 200 Go edition devices in over 120 countries since launching in April. More than 100 manufacturers are planning to release devices by the end of the year, including the first Pie phones this fall.