What is the Difference Between Android and Android Go?

Google is committed to bringing the power of Android to the world, which is why it has created Android Go, a lighter version of the operating system. It is still predominantly Android as you know it, but the software has been optimized for smartphones with lower performance processors, less memory, and less available mobile data. Android Go is an ultra-fast operating system designed for devices with less than 2 GB of RAM. It is lighter and saves data, making it more accessible on many devices.

The only major Android OEM that consistently produces Android One devices is HMD Global, which owns the Nokia brand. To put it simply, Android One is a hardware specification designed by Google for emerging markets. Android is open source, but the Android One program is an additional service, so it makes sense for Google to charge OEMs a fee. Android Go, officially known as Android (Go Edition), is a scaled-down version of the Android operating system designed for low-end and ultra-budget smartphones.

Most devices running Android Go use Google's standard Android GUI, although some manufacturers still use a custom GUI. This also means that the manufacturer must release updates and improvements when they are removed from Google, adding a delay that does not exist with the Pixel or Android One user interface. Android One was originally launched with the intention of bringing affordable and usable mobile devices to third world countries and other emerging markets. However, we have recently seen a shift in this idea as One devices become available in other parts of the world.

If you want to be at the forefront of new features, an Android skin would be more suitable for you. The cost can be offset by the fact that Google itself benefits from having more users on Android, which in turn receives more traffic to its search engines and uses its applications, allowing it to place more ads in front of more users. Android Go is almost half the size of “standard” Android, leaving more space available in just eight gigabytes of internal storage. Because Android Go is designed for low-cost hardware and specifications, it also includes improved data management tools for both internal storage and mobile data.

Most Go applications such as YouTube Go and Google Go are geo-restricted and are not available in the US. In the US, although Google itself announces that Android Go is available “worldwide”, it is unclear if we will ever see it being widely available in the US. In essence, Android Go is a reduced version of the operating system, so it does not have as many pre-installed applications and has access to “lite” or “Go” versions of Google applications. Because of their nature of operation on very low-end devices, most developed countries do not use Android Go phones.

The main difference between Android Go and Android One is that Android Go does not come directly from Google; Google sends it to a manufacturer who then launches it.

Paul Phommajack
Paul Phommajack

Unapologetic coffee junkie. Incurable writer. Mobile Android enthusiast. Knows APK files inside and out. Possibly an Android himself.