Google reveals Android 11 Go Edition, a new experience for entry-level devices

Google reveals Android 11 Go Edition, a new experience for entry-level devices
Android 11 Go Edition is the next big thing unveiled by Google this week. The operating system that powers more than 100 million budget-friendly smartphones is getting a refresh this year that promises to offer a new experience to those who can't afford to buy an Android flagship or mid-end device.

Today's announcement reveals some of the most important improvements that Google added in Android 11 Go Edition and what hardware requirements for the new version of the OS really are.

We're going to start with the latter to get it out of the way before we deep dive into the juicy stuff – the enhancements brought by Android 10 Go Edition. So, unlike the previous versions that support just about any device with 1.5GB RAM, Android 11 Go Edition will be available on all devices with up to 2GB of RAM.

Additional free storage, faster app launch

According to Google, the expansion to 2GB RAM enables apps to launch 20 percent faster and offers users an additional 270MB of additional free internal memory. But wait, there's more! Google revealed that Android 11 Go Edition on devices that pack 2GB RAM comes with up to 900MB of additional free storage space.

With Android 11 Go Edition, Google has decided to bring all messaging apps under a single banner. People using devices powered by Android 11 Go Edition will notice that all of their conversations will show up in a dedicated notification section regardless of the messaging app they're using.

On top of that, Google announced that Android 11 Go Edition benefits from new privacy enhancements that let users grant an app access to specific sensors (i.e. microphone, camera, or location) with just a few taps.

More importantly, if an app isn't used for an extended period, app permissions will “auto-reset” and users will be notified about the change. Of course, it's possible to re-grant the app permissions whenever you feel like it.

Gesture-based navigation comes to Android Go Edition

Another important change included in the Android 11 Go Edition is gesture-based navigation. It allows users t go to the home screen, navigate backward, and quickly switch between apps using simple swipes.

Finally, some of the apps included in Android Go Edition are getting some new features. Files by Google is getting a new feature called Safe Folder, which protects personal files from being access by others by storing them in a 4-digit PIN-encrypted folder.

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The first Android 11 Go Edition smartphones should arrive later this year, but Google hasn't mentioned any brands yet. If you're more into the standard version of the OS, you might want to check out our Android 11 review.

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