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A closer look at Android 12 (Go edition)

Three mobile phones displaying the new privacy dashboard, an Android home screen and the new translation and listening features from the recents screen.

Android (Go edition) launched in 2017 with the goal to help more people access the best of Android and Google through affordable, entry-level phones. Fast forward to today — over 200 million people actively use an Android (Go edition) phone.

With the recent release of Android 12 (Go edition), we’re building on what you care about — creating a faster, smarter and more privacy-friendly experience than ever before. We’re also making these phones more accessible by improving features for multilingual users and introducing new ones that keep data costs in mind.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the features coming to phones in 2022.

Faster app launches

Apps on your Android 12 (Go edition) device will launch up to 30% faster and with smoother animation — meaning they’ll open instantly, with no more waiting on a blank screen. We’ve also created the SplashScreen API so all developers can provide a consistently smooth experience when users launch their apps.

Animation of a side-by-side comparison between an Android 11 (Go edition) device opening an app and an Android 12 (Go edition) device opening the phone app. The Android 12 phone on the right side is shown to be faster.

Check out the Android 12 (Go edition)’s faster app load time

Longer battery life

Android 12 (Go edition) will automatically save battery life and storage by hibernating apps that haven’t been used for extended periods of time — which is particularly helpful for devices with limited storage capacity. Meanwhile, the updated Files Go app will allow you to recover files within 30 days, so you can confidently delete unnecessary files to free up space in the meantime.

Two mobile phones side by side. The one on the left shows a settings notification that says three unused apps were hibernated. The screen on the right shows the settings page and the Music and News apps listed underneath.

With Android 12 (Go edition), you’ll be notified when unused apps are hibernated

More intelligent features

Android 12 (Go edition) also makes understanding your content easier. By navigating to your recent apps screen, you’ll see options to listen to the news and translate any on-screen content into your preferred language.

Two mobile phones side by side. The phone on the left is a still image of a Wikipedia page on Chrome with the “Translate”, “Listen” and “Screenshot” buttons below it. The phone on the right shows an animation of the content on the page being translated from English to Hindi.

Access “Translate” and “Listen” directly from your recent apps screen

Easier app sharing

Apps are a core part of the smartphone experience, but downloading them can sometimes mean extra data charges. With Android 12 (Go edition), you’ll be able to save data by sharing apps directly with nearby devices using Nearby Share and Google Play.

Gif of a cursor tapping the Google app on a phone screen, showing options to either view the app’s info or share the app. The cursor selects “share app” and the Nearby Share screen pops up from the bottom to display “Nisha’s Phone” as a nearby device. The cursor selects Nisha’s phone and shares the Google app.

Simply tap an app to share it with family and friends

Simpler device sharing

Share your device with your friends or family without worrying about privacy. We’re simplifying the guest user experience on Android 12 (Go edition) by making profiles available directly on the lock screen. You’ll be able to easily switch to a guest profile before sharing your device, and reset it once they’re done.

Gif showing guest profiles appearing on a black lock screen.

Switch to Guest Mode right from your lock screen

More privacy control

Android 12 (Go edition) will give you more transparency around apps that are accessing your data, and more controls to decide how much private information your apps can access.

To do this, we’re adding a new privacy dashboard. You’ll see a snapshot of which apps are accessing particular types of sensitive data, like the microphone, and revoke permissions if needed. And the new privacy indicator on your status bar will tell you when your apps are specifically accessing your microphone or camera.

Two mobile phones side by side. The one on the left shows the privacy dashboard displaying apps that have used the camera, location and microphone in the past 24 hours. The phone on the right shows a gif of the camera app being opened and a green camera icon appearing at the top right side of the screen to show that the camera is in use.

The privacy dashboard will show you which apps are accessing sensitive information or features, with an indicator that notifies you when your microphone or camera is in use

We’re also giving you more control over how much information you share with apps. With new approximate location permissions, you can limit apps to see only your approximate location instead of a precise one. For example, limiting your weather app to your approximate location will still give you an accurate forecast.

Enjoy these upcoming features, and look out for new devices launching with Android 12 (Go edition) in 2022.

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