If you often share your smartphone with family members for one reason or another, you would still want to protect your privacy of course. Google says that a privacy-focused survey showed that there are a lot of people who do that and so they decided to make sure users feel protected by making it easier for them to switch to guest mode. Well, at least for those who are on Android Go, the version of Android made for cheap smartphones.
Google revealed during the “What’s new in Android privacy” session at the recent Google I/O conference that they’re bringing a change to Android Go in terms of switching to guest mode. XDA Developers says that this change comes in the form of a button that is visible on the lockscreen. The guest mode icon will be in the right hand corner without having to pull down the notification shade. Tapping it will bring up the profile menu picker and from there, switching to guest mode is basically seamless.
Even though Android Go is for low-budget devices, it is meant to give these devices the core Android features and that includes privacy and security features. Last year’s Android 11 Go actually has almost the same privacy protections as the actual Android 11. So this new feature is another way to give Android Go users better privacy, especially if they are sharing devices with other people. 81% of participants in Google’s survey in India, which is the biggest market of Android Go, says they do share their phones with family and friends.
So far, that’s the only new thing that Google has officially announced for Android Go, at least when it comes to privacy and security. There are still a lot of markets where entry-level devices are pretty popular so we can expect Google to continue to improve the platform and bring more features. Devices running on Android Go get a pre-loaded suite of apps that use less bandwidth and smaller memory footprint.
What’s unclear though is if the seamless switch to guest mode will only be for devices running on Android 11 Go. Hopefully for those who don’t want to upgrade their device yet, it will also be brought to older versions