Following the wider launch on Tuesday, Google today is detailing Android 11 (Go edition). This variant of the mobile OS for entry-level smartphones was first introduced with Oreo and is available on 100 million devices worldwide.

The three tentpoles are similar to the full release, though smart home device control has been switched out for usability. Big displays are found on all types of phones today. Google is introducing gesture navigation to maximize the available screen real estate by not needing a dedicated bar to house the old three-button system.

Gestures allow users to return home, access the Recents multitasking menu (complete with shortcuts for taking a screenshot and sharing), and go back. Meanwhile, apps on Android 11 Go launch 20% faster compared to 10’s Go edition.

On the “communication” front, the notification shade has a dedicated “Conversations” section, while “privacy” on Go edition delivers many of the same Android 11 additions. This includes one-time permissions for microphone, camera, or location access. Permissions will also auto-reset after an extended period of time. An alert is generated when this occurs and Settings has a “Network & internet” page to manage.

Google next month will make Go edition available to devices — on either Android 10 or 11 — with up to 2GB of RAM. This results in apps launching 20% faster — compared to non-Go phones, while users can expect to run three to four more apps in the background thanks to an additional 270MB of free memory. 

In terms of storage, Google notes that 2GB Go phones will come with up to 900MB more of free storage. This expansion was requested by manufacturers that are adding memory-intensive features like dual cameras and fingerprint sensors.

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Abner Li

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