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May 18, 2017 10:48 AM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Google I/O 2017: Android Go — Google's plan to win 1 billion smartphone users

Google is back from the drawing board after the failure of Android One — its vision for cost-effective Android devices. Google parent Alphabet Inc announced plans to bring in Android Go — a new configuration standard for entry-level Android devices — at Google I/O developer conference in Mountain View, California on Wednesday. WIth Android Go, the company wants to bring 1 billion people in to the smartphone arena.

Google I/O 2017: Android Go — Google's plan to win 1 billion smartphone users

Chaitanya Gudipaty

Moneycontrol News

Google is back from the drawing board after the failure of Android One — its vision for cost-effective Android devices. Google parent Alphabet Inc announced plans to bring in Android Go —  a new configuration standard for entry-level Android devices — at Google I/O developer conference in Mountain View, California on Wednesday. With Android Go, the company wants to usher ring 1 billion people into the smartphone arena.

Android Go — Benchmarking smartphones

Much like Android One, Google aims to make friendlier and cheaper smartphones available to people who have limited data connectivity and speak multiple languages. "The goal of Android Go is to get computing into the hands of more people by creating a great smartphone experience on all Android devices with 1GB or less memory," Google said in a statement.

Primarily, Android Go focuses on three areas  — Android OS, Google apps, and Google Play Store. It is an optimisation of the Google's upcoming OS — Android O — meant to run smoothly on entry-level devices.

Android Go devices will also consist of specially-designed Google apps — like YouTube Go, Chrome and Gboard — to use less memory, storage space and mobile data. And there will be a version of the Play Store that highlights apps specifically designed for the next billion users coming online, while still offering the entire app catalog.

Google expects Android Go devices to hit the markets next year.

Android O — New OS

Google plans to roll out Android O OS later this year. The OS, Google says, will bring more fluid experiences to smaller screens. It has also improved " vitals" like battery life and security. The OS will offer picture-in-picture feature that allows users to perform two tasks simultaneously on a single screen.

There's a nifty addition to text-editing as well — Smart Text Selection improves copy and paste commands. By using machine learning to recognise words on the screen, like a complete address,  users can easily select the text with a double tap, and even bring up an app like Maps for navigation.

Android O aims to make your phone startup quicker and your apps faster, with added optimisations for developers to help prevent your battery from draining. Google says battery life on Android O devices will last a day.

Google Play Protect — More Security

Google also introduced Google Play Protect — a comprehensive set of security services for Android devices — at the I/O conference. Play Protect is built into every device with Google Play. It automatically takes action to keep your data and device safe. Play Protect detects and removes apps that might be harmful.

"With more than 50 billion apps scanned every day, Google’s machine learning systems are always on the lookout for new risks. Also being launched is ‘Find My Device’ as part of Google Play Protect, allowing you to locate, ring, lock and erase your Android devices —phones, tablets, and even watches. Google Play Protect is available out-of-the-box on every Android device with Google Play," Google said in a statement.
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