Now that Android 11 has dropped, Google has unveiled Android 11 Go Edition with the aim of speeding up entry-level smartphones. Many of the changes are designed to take advantage of improved features on modern budget devices like larger screens, dual cameras, more RAM and extra storage .
The OS now supports 2GB of RAM (up from 1.5GB before), giving users an additional 270MB of free space — enough to run “three to four more apps in the background,” according to Google. To that end, it can launch apps 20 percent faster than Android Go 10, allowing for faster app-switching without slowing down your phone. Android Go edition on 2GB devices also supports up to 900MB of additional storage, enough to download a movie, for instance.
The updated OS also has new convenience and privacy features. It shows conversations from all your messaging apps in a dedicated space in the notification section, “so you can see, respond to, and manage your conversations with family and friends all in one place, no matter what apps they use,” Google wrote.
In terms of security, you can give one-time permissions to grant app access to specific sensors like your microphone, camera or location. After an extended period of time, those will be auto-reset so that you don’t accidentally allow video access, for example. Android Go 11 can also use the extra screen space found on the latest phones, allowing gesture-based navigation to go to the home screen, navigate backward and switch between apps.
Last year, Google said that 500 manufacturers launched more than 1,600 Android (Go edition) devices, with popular models from Samsung, Xiaomi, Tecno Spark 2 and others. Many of those cost less than $100, and some like the Tecno Spark Go 2020 already come with 2GB of RAM. Android 11 (Go edition) will start rolling out next month.