Google confirmed Android 12 way back in June, but it's taken until now for the company to reveal a 'Go Edition' of the software, which is designed for low-end smartphones with less processing power.
In a detailed blog post (opens in new tab), Google provided some details about how it has improved this version of its software from Android 11 Go. Besides faster app launches, the blog says Android 12 Go will also prolong battery life on low-end devices. This could be a boon for regions with bustling cheap phone markets.
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This isn't the first Go Edition we've seen from Google - it typically makes a barebones version of its newest operating system (OS) for phones that can't run the full-fat version, and Android 12 Go is just the latest.
Knowing how Google goes about providing its updates, we may be well into 2022 before the Android 12 Go edition arrives on phones, and we don't know which phones will be compatible, or launch with the software - we'll have to wait and find out.
What does Android 12 Go edition bring?
According to Google, Android 12 Go brings a faster, smarter and more privacy-friendly experience to users. The company claims that the new OS will launch apps up to 30% faster and that animations will be smoother too.
In addition, Google says that the updated version would again feature the Android 12 SplashScreen API that allows developers to program something eye-catching when the apps are actually loading up. This means you're not staring at a blank screen for ages.
The company also promises that some tweaks in the updated version of its OS will extend the battery life of devices. It would achieve this by hibernating apps if they're not used for extended periods of time - users would be notified when it happens though.
Another welcome update is that the updated Files Go app will allow recoveries within 30 days if you accidentally delete something. This results in better utilization of storage space as people won't need to worry about removing stuff by mistake.
The updated Android 12 Go edition also provides users with the option to listen to news and translate any on-screen content into their preferred language. This feature isn't actually available on 'standard' Android 12, curiously.
Users will also be able to use Nearby Share and Google Play to share data directly with other devices. The Android 12 Go edition also allows an easy switch to a guest profile before such sharing as well as an instant reset of that profile once the shared information is used and exited.
Finally, the new Android 12 privacy dashboard also makes an appearance on this toned-down version of the operating system. Thus, users can now get a snapshot of apps that are accessing sensitive data.