Five years after Google released the first version of Android Go, its mobile operating system for entry-level devices, the program has now amassed over 250 million monthly active devices. That’s up from the 200 million Android Go monthly active devices milestone that Google shared in December last year.
To mark the occasion, the search giant has also announced the new Android 13 (Go Edition) that delivers several premium features for the affordable smartphone lineups. The company said one of the key updates shipping with this version is Google Play System Updates for Android Go devices. This will allow consumers to receive some essential updates timely and on the fly without having to wait for the handset’s phonemakers to issue them.
“This will make the delivery of critical updates quick and simple without compromising storage availability on the device. The result is a phone that stays up to date over time — and you don’t have to wait for the next release or a software push from your phone’s manufacturer to have the latest and greatest,” the company explained.
Android 13 (Go Edition) also introduces the company’s new design language, Material You, for better theming and personalization of the phone’s interface. Google first introduced Material You with Android 12 for a ubiquitous customization experience throughout the system. For instance, if you change your wallpaper, the color scheme across the system changes to reflect that.
What’s more, the new Android Go version shows you personalized articles and content if you swipe left from the home screen. This Discover feed also includes short videos and game updates from sports teams you follow.
The new Go Edition update also brings some of the Android 13 features like Notification Permissions and the ability to define languages per app. Google said devices with Android 13 (Go Edition) will show up in 2023.
In September, Google quietly increased the requirement of minimum RAM size to 2GB for devices launching or updating to Android 13.
The company also works on some local forks of Android Go for a customized user experience. Last year, the company partnered with Indian telecom giant Jio to release an $87 phone called JioPhone Next with a forked version of Android Go.