At the Google I/O, an annual event focused on developers held in San Francisco, the search engine giant made a huge leap in the Android eco-system by announcing a new version of Android. A new program called Android One, which was previously rumored to come as Android Silver, is mostly targeted to make the budget smartphones more efficient.
In simple words, Android One is definitely a simple solution to bring all Android users to one platform. Since the older Android versions like v4.0 and v2.3 or others are not much updated by the respective companies, these users are different. But with the possibility of updates roll-out directly from Google, Android One completely changes the game when it comes to affordable smartphones.
This program, which involved creating attractive low cost Android smartphones using reference hardware and stock software, already has three OEM members. They are Karbonn, Micromax and Spice, who are all from India and are the first ones to sign up for Android One program.
So far, Indian smartphone makers bring more than one budget-smartphone in every 6 or 9 months but with the new Android One, Google will help save the money and time of these OEMs by choosing the right components and pushing their smartphones to the market.
Sundar Pichai, Google's SVP for Android, Chrome and Apps, also revealed a reference design from Micromax, with a 4.5-inch screen, Dual SIM support, FM radio and SD card support. What is interesting about the phone is the larger "Android One" logo on its back, which simply shows the importance of the new platform in the phone.
Pichai also spoke about 'Play Auto-installs', which would push a list of recommended apps to Android One users. The Android One platform is Google's attempt to reach the 'next 5 billion users' who don't currently own a smartphone. Pichai elaborated that in emerging countries, less than 10% own smartphones.
According to Google, these devices will be costing as low as 100$ (approx. Rs. 6,000). the company further adds, "Our partners will launch an initial range of sub-$100 Android One smartphones starting in India this Fall, with more countries to follow."
If you want to watch the full Google I/O 2014 keynote video click here.