comscore Android Go: Here’s what Google is doing to reach out to the next billion users
News

Android Go: Here’s what Google is doing to reach out to the next billion users

Google is focusing on the next billion users with Google Go, Android Go and a vast array of measures that are India first.

  • Published: December 10, 2017 12:29 PM IST
google-india-stock-bgr

Highlights

  • Sameer Samat, VP of Android and Google Play sheds light on the latest announcements at Google for India

  • Google's focus is on reaching the next billion users

  • The next billion users would need innovation that considers limitations such as limited data speeds and patchy networks

Android is undoubtedly the most popular mobile operating system on the planet. It s definitely the preferred platform for the emerging world. I had a conversation with Sameer Samat, Vice President of Android and Google Play, on the sidelines of the latest announcements at the Google for India event in New Delhi. Also Read - YouTube begins testing offline video downloads feature for desktop: How to enable

Constraints with entry-level devices

Also Read - iQOO Z5 5G launched globally, slated to launch in India on September 27

It s common in India to see users with budget Android devices. And as Google looks at the next billion users for its ecosystem, it relies on feedback. I spoke with users, and they described how they used apps on their phone. A user said she installed one app, and then used it, then uninstalled it in order to save space. The reason being that when she wanted to use the camera there was no space left,” Samat says. Also Read - Microsoft Surface Duo 2 in-pics: Closer look at the world's slimmest 5G device, that folds too

“At the moment of capturing a scene with her camera, she didn’t want to decide what app to delete so she would do it in real time. So she would always uninstall things in real time so she would always have space. The reason for this is in entry level phones, they only have between 4 to 8 GB of ROM, and often these devices come with very little space remaining. Because when you take the operating system and all the preloaded apps there’s not a lot of space remaining for use. And that’s a big problem, he adds.

Building for Billions

Through its Building for Billions quality guidelines, Google has documented what it believes are best practices to consider when building apps for the next billion users. Since these users primarily come from emerging markets, gaps in infrastructure, choppy and patchy networks and devices with constraints are factors to consider. The building for billion guidelines have instructions and advice around connectivity, device capability, data cost, battery consumption, user interface, and content as well.

Android Oreo (Go Edition)

Samat adds that with Android Oreo (Go Edition) Google is trying to change the experience that first timers have connectivity on a smartphone. We’ve optimized the operating system, we’ve optimized the preloaded apps, we’ve reduced the size of Google preloaded apps by optimizing them by 50 percent. And overall, there’s twice as much storage space available on an Oreo Go edition device, he adds.

Samat says that factoring the experiences of the users they spoke to while putting together Android Oreo Go edition, an average entry-level users would typically be able to store approximately 1,000 additional photos. He believes that matters a lot with people , and he is excited about these developments.

Addressing the problem with storage

Storage is a key component in smartphones. It determines, to a great extent, how users will interface with their device, the playlists they would have, or whether they would even step out and explore the world beyond their environment snapping photographs using their smartphone s camera.

One example of how Google is trying to solve this problem is a brand new app called Files Go. According to Samat, We’ve built unique features, using the best of Google to improve the experience. You heard that we used Google machine learning technology to scan your ROM and your storage space and find all the Good morning messages you received and we can do that because we’ve trained our machine learning technology to identify what those messages look like. We put them together and easily with one touch you can delete them or archive them, or back them up.

In addition, Google is also bringing the assistant to entry-level devices with Assistant Go. Samat adds, Assistant Go is a new application from the search team designed again from the ground up for users who may not have grown up using Google search. It has a different interface, and most relevant features like being able to translate back and forth between different languages. All these things will be launching. Some of the apps are available on the Play Store as of now. All of them will be preloaded on Oreo devices and we’re excited to see them ship with our partners. In addition, with Assistant Go, you can send messages, place calls, set the alarm on your phone all through the convenience of voice, and tapping your phone screen.

Samat explains that Files Go solves the problem around limited storage in entry-level devices by using machine learning. It’s looking at imagery, and we’ve trained it with lots and lots of good morning messages and how they look. There’s a certain kind of styling for these messages. So it puts all of these together. The end result, of course, is the ability to swiftly get all the automatic forwards you receive via WhatsApp, and decide whether you want to delete, archive or back them up.

Entry-level devices don’t necessarily have to be inferior

According to Samat, “Our hope is that for users for who their smartphone is their first and only computing device, we really want that to be affordable. Affordability in different countries means different things. But in each country, we want to work with partners and telecom operators who can help bring that technology to everyone.” He adds, “In the partners that we’re working with, you’ll see a range. There are some folks who focus on entry level devices, but specifically the higher end of it. And then there are some that are really focussed on that first smartphone. And over time, what we’re excited about is that if Android runs well on entry level hardware, it allows the ecosystem to really innovate there and build more and more affordable devices.”

He adds, “We think it’s important for billions more to get access to computing that their entry level device be a fully functioning smartphone capable of browsing the web and using apps. For example, you will be able to access the full Play Store on these devices, and download all of the different apps. Yes in the Play Store, we’re doing a better job of highlighting the developers who have done more to build apps specifically for these devices, but you can download any app.”

Google is able to ensure an effective user experience by making optimizations on the operating system. Samat explains, “What we’ve tried to do is make a configuration of Android that it is aware that it is running on an entry level device with limited resources. A simple example. I have two device, which is an entry level smartphone, and another which is a Pixel, more premium. The recents experience on the entry level device shows the apps recently used. On the Pixel, it shows many levels deep of the apps you’ve been using with a screenshot for each one of those apps. That takes a lot of memory.”

He further explains, “On the entry-level device, the recents button shows me only two at a time. It loads one screenshot and unloads the other. With these kind of performance improvements, you can make an entry level device feel much better. And what we’re trying to do here is focus on that experience. Focus on making it a first class device. The other constraint was not just to optimize, but to build features for these users who are probably coming online for the first time, who may not have much of an experience connecting to the internet or access to these devices and apps.”

It’s evident that developing for the next billion would need adapting to the needs of the next billion users. And an inferior user experience won’t quite help. Samat cites the example of the default YouTube app, and YouTube Go. After the success of YouTube, YouTube Go was created, and endowed with a number of features that’s not present on the main YouTube app. Functions such as peer-to-peer file transfers between users without the need of data connection is one such example. It keeps in mind the fact that users in a market such as India would face patchy networks. The solution, in the form of YouTube Go, coupled with the offline viewing feature enables users to effectively plan the download of songs and videos while a cost effective Wi-Fi network is available. Once the music or video is offline, P2P transfers can happen without the need for connecting online.

For the latest tech news across the world, latest PC and Mobile games, tips & tricks, top-notch gadget reviews of most exciting releases follow BGR India’s Facebook, Twitter, subscribe our YouTube Channel. Also follow us on  Facebook Messenger for latest updates.
  • Published Date: December 10, 2017 12:29 PM IST



new arrivals in india

Realme 8i
Realme 8i

13,999

Realme 8s 5G
Realme 8s 5G

17,999

Xiaomi Redmi 10 Prime
Xiaomi Redmi 10 Prime

12,499

Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G
Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G

35,999

Samsung Galaxy M32 5G
Samsung Galaxy M32 5G

20,999

Vivo Y33s
Vivo Y33s

17,990

Realme C21Y
Realme C21Y

8,999

Vivo Y21
Vivo Y21

15,490

Realme GT Master Edition
Realme GT Master Edition

25,999

Realme GT 5G
Realme GT 5G

37,999

Itel A48
Itel A48

6,399

Motorola Edge 20
Motorola Edge 20

29,999

Motorola Edge 20 Fusion
Motorola Edge 20 Fusion

21,499

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3

84,999

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

1,49,999

Samsung Galaxy A12 (Exynos)
Samsung Galaxy A12 (Exynos)

13,999

Nokia C20 Plus
Nokia C20 Plus

8,999

Vivo Y53s
Vivo Y53s

19,490

Tecno Pova 2
Tecno Pova 2

10,999

Infinix Smart 5A
Infinix Smart 5A

6,499

Micromax In 2b
Micromax In 2b

8,999

Vivo Y72 5G
Vivo Y72 5G

20,990

Tecno Camon 17
Tecno Camon 17

12,999

Tecno Camon 17 Pro
Tecno Camon 17 Pro

16,999

Realme C11 2021
Realme C11 2021

6,999

Oppo Reno6 Pro 5G
Oppo Reno6 Pro 5G

39,990

Oppo Reno6 5G
Oppo Reno6 5G

29,990

Samsung Galaxy M21 2021
Samsung Galaxy M21 2021

12,499

OnePlus Nord 2
OnePlus Nord 2

27,999

Poco F3 GT
Poco F3 GT

27,999

Samsung Galaxy A22 5G
Samsung Galaxy A22 5G

19,999

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10T 5G
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10T 5G

13,999

Samsung Galaxy F22
Samsung Galaxy F22

12,499

Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite
Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite

21,999

Infinix Note 10 Pro
Infinix Note 10 Pro

16,999

Infinix Note 10
Infinix Note 10

10,999

Vivo Y73
Vivo Y73

20,990

OnePlus Nord CE 5G
OnePlus Nord CE 5G

22,999

iQOO Z3
iQOO Z3

19,990

Realme C25s
Realme C25s

9,999

Poco M3 Pro 5G
Poco M3 Pro 5G

13,999

Realme X7 Max 5G
Realme X7 Max 5G

26,999

Oppo F19
Oppo F19

18,990

Motorola Moto G40 Fusion
Motorola Moto G40 Fusion

13,999

POCO M2 Reloaded
POCO M2 Reloaded

9,499

OPPO A74 5G
OPPO A74 5G

17,990

Oppo A53s 5G
Oppo A53s 5G

14,990

Vivo V21 5G
Vivo V21 5G

29,990

Realme C25
Realme C25

9,499

Realme C21
Realme C21

7,999

Realme C20
Realme C20

6,799

Motorola Moto G60
Motorola Moto G60

17,999

iQOO 7
iQOO 7

31,990

Samsung Galaxy M42 5G
Samsung Galaxy M42 5G

21,999

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

69,999

Xiaomi Mi 11X Pro 5G
Xiaomi Mi 11X Pro 5G

39,999

Xiaomi Mi 11X
Xiaomi Mi 11X

29,999

Realme 8 5G
Realme 8 5G

13,999

Samsung Galaxy F02s
Samsung Galaxy F02s

8,999

Samsung Galaxy F12
Samsung Galaxy F12

10,999

POCO X3 Pro
POCO X3 Pro

18,999

Realme 8 Pro
Realme 8 Pro

17,999

Realme 8
Realme 8

14,999

Vivo X60 Pro Plus
Vivo X60 Pro Plus

69,990

Vivo X60 Pro
Vivo X60 Pro

49,990

Vivo X60
Vivo X60

37,990

OnePlus 9 Pro 5G
OnePlus 9 Pro 5G

64,999

OnePlus 9R 5G
OnePlus 9R 5G

39,999

OnePlus 9 5G
OnePlus 9 5G

49,999

Samsung Galaxy A72
Samsung Galaxy A72

34,999

Samsung Galaxy A52
Samsung Galaxy A52

26,499

Micromax In 1
Micromax In 1

10,499

Asus ROG Phone 5
Asus ROG Phone 5

49,999

Samsung Galaxy M12
Samsung Galaxy M12

10,999

Motorola Moto G30
Motorola Moto G30

10,999

Motorola Moto G10 Power
Motorola Moto G10 Power

9,999

Oppo F19 Pro Plus 5G
Oppo F19 Pro Plus 5G

25,990

Oppo F19 Pro
Oppo F19 Pro

21,490

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro Max
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro Max

18,999

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro

15,999

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10

11,999

Realme Narzo 30A
Realme Narzo 30A

8,999

Realme Narzo 30 Pro
Realme Narzo 30 Pro

16,999

Infinix Smart 5
Infinix Smart 5

7,199

Samsung Galaxy F62
Samsung Galaxy F62

23,999

Samsung Galaxy A12
Samsung Galaxy A12

12,999

Nokia 5.4
Nokia 5.4

13,999

Nokia 3.4
Nokia 3.4

11,999

Realme X7 Pro 5G
Realme X7 Pro 5G

29,999

Realme X7
Realme X7

19,999

Vivo Y31
Vivo Y31

16,490

Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G
Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G

35,990

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G

1,05,999

Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus 5G
Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus 5G

81,999

Samsung Galaxy S21 5G
Samsung Galaxy S21 5G

69,999

Vivo Y12s
Vivo Y12s

9,990

Vivo Y51A
Vivo Y51A

17,990

Samsung Galaxy M02s
Samsung Galaxy M02s

8,999

Xiaomi Mi 10i
Xiaomi Mi 10i

21,999

Oppo A15s
Oppo A15s

11,490

Best Sellers