Google announced the Android Go Edition for low-end devices back in 2017. The Go edition was never a requirement for entry-level smartphones. However, things are going to change from now on.
Recently, a leaked copy of Google’s “Android 11 Go edition Device Configuration Guide” dated April 24, 2020, surfaced on the internet. The document details that Android Go Edition a requirement for newly launched devices with 2GB of RAM or less.
According to the document, the following requirements will be put in place:
- Beginning with Android 11, devices with 512MB RAM (including upgrades) are not qualified for preloading GMS.
- All new products launching with Android 11, if they have 2GB RAM or less, must return true for ActivityManager.isLowRamDevice() API, and launch as an Android Go device.
- Starting in Q4 2020, all new products launching with Android 10, if they have 2GB RAM or less, must return true for ActivityManager.isLowRamDevice() API, and launch as an Android Go device.
- Previously launched 2GB RAM devices in standard GMS configuration should not convert to Android Go configuration via MRs or letter upgrades. They will remain standard Android.
This means, starting later this year (Q4 2020), any new Android 10 device that launches with 2GB or less of RAM must use Android Go Edition. The same holds for devices launching with Android 11.
These requirements will change the way low-end Android devices are perceived. Since Android 11 GMS (Google Mobile Services) support for the ultra-low end 512MB devices will be dropped, OEMs will stop manufacturing those (most likely). Moreover, Android Go being installed on 1GB and 2GB devices will lead to better performance and lower lag overall.