Google unveils Android 13 (Go edition): More than just the basics

Google unveils Android 13 (Go edition): More than just the basics
Android Go’s story starts five years ago when Google announced Android Oreo (Go edition) with the release of Android 8.1. It was a new operation system specifically designed to run on the most affordable Android smartphones available on the market.

At that time, Android Oreo devices with 512MB to 1GB memory came with all the Go optimizations, which included a tuned version of the Google Play Store, a new lineup of Google apps specifically designed to be lighter, as well as performance and storage improvements to the OS with data management features and some minimum security perks.

Fast forward five years and we rarely hear about a new company launching a new smartphone that has 1GB RAM, let alone 512MB RAM. While Google continued to upgrade Android Go edition with new iterations of the lighter OS, handset makers slowly but surely raised the minimum hardware specs of what we’re now calling “low-end” or “entry-level” smartphones.

That’s great because Google has just revealed Android 13 (Go Edition), a new and improved version of the Android (Go edition) launched five years ago. Apparently, there are over 250 million monthly active devices powered by Android Go right now, yet it’s safe to assume that not everyone will get to experience Android 13 (Go Edition).

It’s hard to believe the handset makers will redirect resources into upgrading some of their cheapest smartphones to Android 13 (Go Edition), but the good news is we’re getting more affordable phones that will run an improved, yet lighter version of Android OS.

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Faster, smoother software updates

One major benefit for having a phone running Android 13 (Go edition) is support for Google Play System Updates. Typically, updating the software in a phone takes some storage space, which most low-end devices can’t afford to lose. However, with Google Play System Updates, Android 13 (Go edition) devices will regularly receive important software updates, other than major Android releases.

Basically, your phone will automatically receive critical updates without compromising storage availability on the device and you won’t have to wait for your phone’s manufacturer to push a software update (unless it’s an Android Go edition upgrade).

Another important upgrade over the previous version of Android (Go edition) is the addition of Material You, which will allow users to customize their phone’s color scheme to sync with the wallpaper. For example, when setting a wallpaper image on your phone, you’ll be presented with four corresponding color scheme choices to choose from.

Also, Android 13 (Go edition) brings the Discover feature, which allows users to swipe right from their home screen to see a curated list of articles and other content. It’s a nifty option that makes reading headlines of the day a breeze.

Last but not least, many Android 13 features have been brought to the latest version of Android (Go edition), including Notification Permissions, App Language Preferences and many more.

First phones powered by the new OS, first upgrades

If you own an Android (Go edition) phone and hope to get the benefits announced this week, you can only hope that the company that made the device will provide you with the update. One thing is certain though, that won’t happen until 2023.

Google announced that the first smartphones powered by Android 13 (Go edition) will be launched in 2023, so it’s unlikely that any phones running previous Android (Go edition) versions will receive the upgrade this year.

We can’t wait to see what the new Android 13 (Go edition) phones look like, not just design-wise, but also from a hardware perspective. They’re definitely going to be more powerful than the Android (Go edition) phones companies launched five years ago, just like the phones releasing five years from now will be more powerful than the ones we get these days.

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