Oh wonderful news!
The Android ecosystem is about to get even more fractured than it is already!
It'll be like when you tried to run a game in the early 90s and your nearly new PC said no.
Google will reportedly make Android Go the default for low-RAM devices once the 11th major version of the mobile OS is released. A copy of Google's "Android 11 Go Edition Device Configuration Guide" obtained by XDADevelopers shows that all new Android 11 devices with less than 2GB of RAM must use Android Go. Android Go is a …
How is this going to stop them? If today they are installing Android on a phone with only 1 GB and it runs like crap, and tomorrow they have to install Android Go on that phone they'll say "hey we can ship it with only 512 MB now and save 30 cents" and they'll still sell a phone that runs like crap.
Those phones are sold as phones, not smartphones.
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I've got Android Go on my Nokia 1. Given that I very rarely use any mobile data, I'm probably not the type of user either the phone or that version of Android is aimed at, but it works OK for me. I've had it somewhere between 1.5 and 2 years, it seems to get software updates every couple of months or so, and it got automatically upgraded to Android 10 (Go) last weekend).
The one problem I have is the control over where apps are installed and where their data goes is abysmal. Without proper control over this, I can see that anyone who wants to install a lot of apps would be better off with a different phone with more built in storage and/or a different version of Android, assuming that fine grained control of storage hasn't been gutted from "real" Android.
By default apps aren't installable on external storage unless they specify it (https://developer.android.com/guide/topics/data/install-location), and I think lots of apps don't bother as even the fastest SD card is still considerably slower than the built in storage on the phones, and they don't want their software to look bad. Not sure if rooting your phone allows you to ignore that, but don't think it's an Android Go specific thing.
Short answer: Probably not.
Long answer: It's up to the manufacturer, but Facebook has made a Go version, these are usually low-cost devices, and one way that manufacturers make extra money, especially with low-cost hardware, is to dump preinstalled crap on. So I'd expect most Go devices available in countries with high rates of Facebook infestation will have a preinstalled version.
Software always expands to fill the available memory and in general, this is a good thing™
Memory that isn't being hogged by bloated apps is available for other things - code for other apps (avoiding paging if multitasking), storage caches (speeding up file access) even - shock, horror - user data. Maybe not so vital on a mobile phone, but editing large images, video etc. is much easier if the whole thing is in RAM rather than bits of it being on disc.
No, they didn't. The claim is that apps expanding to fit the available memory is good. The reply states why having free memory is good. If the apps expanded to fill the memory, then there is no free memory, and the benefits listed there are lost. If a system can run in a gigabyte but has two, you have a gigabyte for caching. If it can't run in one and needs two, then you have less or zero for caching.
Google: We are going to force manufacturers to do something. Something that would improve Android as an ecosystem, you know? It's time to show the power wielded by the holder of those GMS rights. What should we make them do?
Engineer 1: Well, how about security updates?
Google: Security updates? If they want those installed, they'll join Android One. We already have that.
Engineer 1: Well, that's only used by a couple companies, and that's only three years, and the ones who aren't on that program sometimes drop after six months. We could extend those requirements or...
Google: Stop questioning us. You're fired.
Engineer 1: [Is ejected.]
Engineer 2: I was thinking we could limit preinstalled applications that aren't hardware related.
Google: Excuse me?
Engineer 2: Wait. I just mean we can let users uninstall or disable
Google: Have you not heard about Google Play Services? We make money from that.
Engineer 2: [ejected]
Engineer 3: Well we could make manufacturers keep our UI
Engineer 3: [ejected]
Engineer 4: Stop them releasing Android 7 in 2020?
Engineer 4: [ejected]
Engineer 5: More reporting on use of permissions for the security conscious
Engineer 5: [ejected painfully]
Google: Why do I have to make all these decisions? Shouldn't we have engineers to do this? Well, how about we make them use Go edition more? That would work.
Engineering manager: It might not be a selling point for all manufacturers. Sure it runs faster, but there are some things it can't do which could make consumers think
Engineering manager: [ejected]