Google at its annual developer conference I/O 2017 announced 'Android Go' which is a lighter version of Android O. During the event, the company also announced that this version will optimize the latest release of Android to run smoothly on entry-level devices starting with Android O.
Talking more about the new OS, it will be getting rebuilt set of Google apps that use less memory, storage space, and mobile data. There will also be a simple version of the play store which will include the whole app catalog. Basically, this version of the OS is optimized to work on entry-level smartphones.
While these are only some aspects of Android GO, we should be hearing more about it in the coming days. However, with whatever Google has revealed about the new OS it seems like the company wants even the most basic, cheap smartphones to run Android O without facing any issues.
As for the release date, it is expected to be rolled out sometime in October this year along with Android O. While it is too early to tell anything, a fresh report from Economic Times states that the new OS will reach India sometime around the festive season of Diwali. Basically, consumers will have to wait till then to get their hands on smartphones based on this new OS.
That being said, Google will be looking to target Indian handset manufacturers like Micromax, Lava, and Karbonn to develop smartphones with Android GO. Interestingly, these companies were also its partners for Android One project.
On the other hand, analysts suggest that Indian manufacturers may be little hesitant in committing investments for creating another set of Android devices on top of the existing ones. Android One failed to take off despite being the latest offering from Google.
However, industry experts are little positive with Android GO. Unlike Android One system, Android Go is not geared towards hardware. This means that Google's partner handset makers will be able to differentiate their devices from products of rivals on price and experience while using the same OS. It further looks like Android Go is geared more towards the software front.
So it might be a win-win situation for both Google and its partners.
But again it is too early to say anything firmly as we have a long way to go. Also, Google hasn't revealed the exact timing of the devices or the partners with whom it will be working.
From our perspective, the move to develop such OS might be beneficial for the company as well as the users in India. There is a great potential for Google and its partners to upgrade million feature phone users to smartphone users.