Initiatives like Android Oreo (Go Edition) can help App developers to reach more users in emerging markets.

The growth of Android as an open source project aimed at delivering powerful computer devices to anyone in the world is undeniable. According to Google, there are currently over 2 billion active devices from 1,300 brands using Android OS.

Last year at Google I/O, it was announced a new initiative they were elaborating in order to create great smartphone experiences on Android devices with 1GB or less of memory: Android Go.

This is especially important in emerging markets, being India the country with more Android users around the world, for example. Even Google CEO, Sundar Pichai, once stated that the next wave of cheap smartphones should cost as low as $30. And even though that price might not be entirely achievable right now, projects like Android Go are helping us to get there.

The project has been developed in three main components: Android OS, Google Apps, and Google Play Store. It seeks to improve devices performance in terms of running times, memory, storage space, security and data management.

As a result, Google is trying to bring the best Android experiences for users with entry-level devices and limited resources.

Android Oreo (Go Edition)

Android Oreo has been the first version to get a “Go Edition”, which, among many features, is enhancing apps to run 15 percent faster, Google apps to occupy less space, letting you take control on how your data is being used or keeping you safe with Google Play Protect.

In the case of the Google Apps, they have been redesigned to create a great Android experience for users. Go Edition apps have the “Go” denomination: Google Go, Youtube Go, Google Maps Go, Google Assistant Go, Gmail Go or Gboard Go, for instance.

In Go Edition, these apps are smaller, smoother and faster. However, it is worth noting they might be missing a couple of features compared to apps using the regular Oreo version. New Google apps like Files Go, which help you free some space and share files easily can benefit this type of devices too.

As for Google Play, it is being used to recommend apps that been specially optimized for “Go Edition”, although users are allowed to download any app they want.

Some of the devices that are running Android Oreo (Go Edition) include the Alcatel 1X, the GM 8 Go, the Nokia 1, the LAVA Z50, the BHARAT GO and the ZTE Tempo Go. Hopefully, we´ll see more options being launched soon.

A great opportunity for Android developers

Google bets for this type of projects because they understand the importance of a better connected and informed world. We´ve seen how they´ve made efforts to improve accessibility or affordability, however, delivering a high-quality experience for people with limited resources is very important as well.

For Android developers, this has created a great opportunity. An opportunity to reach billions of smartphone users, as Android has set up guidelines for those who want to optimize their existing apps or want to create a new one specially featured for entry-level devices.

If you are particularly interested in this, make sure to read the How to create compilations for billions of users guideline.

So, What do you think about this type of initiatives? Do you agree they create new opportunities for Android developers as well?