Google says they created Android Go edition to be able to bring “more affordable, high-quality smartphones” to people around the world who may not have access to devices or the Internet. They now have more than 100 million active Go edition devices in more than 180 countries around the world. They announced a partnership with a local telecom provider to bring devices and the platform to Kenya. Plus, they’re rolling out Camera Go for Nokia 1.3 devices and soon other Android Go edition smartphones too.
Google brought more than 900,000 Android Go edition smartphones to Kenya, in partnership with the country’s largest telecom provider, Safaricom. They’re also highlighting that 53% of those who are using the phones are women, trying to close the significant gender gap when it comes to mobile internet usage not just in the country but in Sub-Saharan Africa. Their Life is Digital campaign offered 500MB free monthly for 6 months.
Google has also now brought new privacy features to help and protect the next batch of users that will be going online for the first time. Google Go, the lightweight version of the Google search engine, has a new mode that will not save your searches to your account. Gallery Go also uses on-device machine learning so the photos saved there will not be saved on the cloud but can still be organized.
A new thing they’re bringing to Android Go edition devices is Camera Go. It’s a lightweight camera app that has a simple enough layout that first-timers can figure out how to work it. It even has Portrait Mode which focuses on your subject, making your photo look more professional. It also tracks how much photos and video storage your phone still has so you can delete and clear up accordingly.
They are rolling out Camera Go to Nokia 3.1 devices now. Eventually, other Android Go edition devices will also get it but they did not give a time table as to when.