Monday kicks off Mobile World Congress in Barcelona—the mobile industry’s largest trade show. Our partners will be announcing amazing new Android devices, you'll be able to see the growing industry momentum around RCS, and we'll be showcasing the latest from Google including Google Assistant and Lens. Before the show gets underway, I want to take a moment to reflect on where Android is today and where it’s going.
This fall marks 10 years since the release of the first Android device. Back in 2008, building software for mobile devices was pretty hard. Development was highly fragmented and resource intensive, and there was very limited compatibility across phones. Android began with a bold idea: to solve this problem with a new, open platform that would give mobile developers access to uniform tools and give customers a customized experience with the best mobile technology available.
Today, Android powers more than 2 billion active devices from 1,300 brands across 24,000 unique products. The platform has thrived because of our commitment to openness and the vibrant ecosystem of manufacturers, developers, mobile operators and component suppliers. And together with our partners, many of which you’ll see next week at MWC, we want to continue to push the boundaries of hardware and software to bring you new amazing experiences and capabilities.
Android has achieved unprecedented scale in just 10 years, but there are new markets emerging where consistency in experience is becoming even more important. With that in mind, we want to share an update on Android Oreo (Go edition) and Android One, two programs that help people know exactly what they can expect when they pick up an Android device.
Android Oreo (Go edition): Delivering on our core values of access and experience
We're inspired by the success of Android across a wide range of devices, including entry-level phones which in many cases are the first and only way people get access to the internet. These devices need to be affordable, and the experience needs to be great. We don’t just want to provide people with access—we also want to provide a useful, high-quality experience.
Last year we introduced Android Oreo (Go edition), an optimized version of Android Oreo tailored for smartphones with 1GB of RAM or less. With a smaller amount of storage and processing power, these phones are less expensive for manufacturers to produce and can be sold at affordable prices, in some cases less than $50. With Android Oreo (Go edition), these phones are able to provide a high-quality experience, with the latest version of Android, Google Play Protect, and dedicated areas in Google Play highlighting apps optimized for Go edition. Android Oreo (Go edition) phones also include a set of apps from Google that are designed to use less memory and storage space, but still offer excellent experiences. For example, Google Go is built specifically to help new smartphone users find the information they want, YouTube Go is optimized for limited connectivity, and the Google Assistant for Android (Go edition) lets people quickly send messages, make calls, set alarms, and more with their voice and a single touch of the screen.
Starting next week, you’ll see the first set of Android Oreo (Go edition) phones, and soon after they’ll be available for you to purchase.
Android One: Smart, secure, and simply amazing
While the openness of Android means manufacturers have the flexibility to offer unique experiences, we know people want some reassurance about what they can expect when they buy a device. That's why we introduced Android One, a program aimed at providing people with three key things: faster access to the latest Android OS updates and Google innovations, regular security updates, and an easy-to-use software design that’s intuitive and streamlined.
Android One combines Google’s latest software and services with beautifully designed hardware from top partners. With an Android One phone, you can expect:
- Faster access to Android OS updates for two years, including the latest AI innovations from Google;
- Amongst the most secure devices in the ecosystem with regular security updates for three years and Google Play Protect built in;
- A simple, streamlined interface that includes the best of Google services including YouTube, the Google Assistant, Google Maps, Google Photos and more;
- Performance-tested hardware so you can pick the right device for your needs and know that it will deliver a best-in-class experience for years to come.
Android wouldn’t be what it is today without our partners. With Android Oreo (Go edition) providing a high-quality Google and Android experience at lower prices and Android One delivering the latest from Android and Google, we’re excited to see what amazing things the next 10 years of Android will bring.