Following the official release of Android 11 earlier this week, Google also has some updates in store for the stripped-down version of Android designed for phones with lower specs.
For Android 11 (Go Edition), the most important upgrade is just generally speedier performance, with Google claiming that apps will launch 20% faster in Android 11 Go compared to Android 10 Go. Meanwhile, when it comes to messaging, Android 11 Go is also getting a dedicated section for conversations in the notification tray, so you can see all your ongoing texts in one place, regardless of the specific app.
On top of that, Android 11 Go is also getting Google’s gesture-based navigation, just like vanilla Android 11. Instead of a row of buttons along the bottom of the screen, you can swipe up to go home, swipe in from either side to go back, or swipe up and hold to see your recently used apps.
With digital privacy becoming increasingly important, Google is also giving Android 11 Go more granular security settings, including the ability to grant apps access to hardware like cameras, microphones, or GPS on a one-time basis. When it comes to apps you haven’t used in a long time, Android 11 Go will automatically reset app permissions to prevent old settings that you’ve probably forgotten about from comprising your security.
But perhaps the biggest change for Android 11 Go is that previously, Go Editions of Android were limited to phones with 1 GB of RAM. However, with smartphone memory becoming cheaper and more accessible, Android 11 Go has been updated to support phones with up to 2 GB of RAM. Google claims this change should allow Android 11 Go devices to keep three or four more apps running in the background than before.
Furthermore, on Android 11 Go phones that do come with a full 2 GB of memory require less storage space for the actual Android installation, freeing up almost a full gigabyte (900 MB) for other stuff like photos, videos, and apps.
Unfortunately, there’s no word on when Android 11 Go will be appearing on current Go phones or future phones.