How to Develop Android the Go App & How is it Different From Regular Android?

app development

Every time a new version of Android is released, it is usually a big deal. Every new version brings a slew of new features, a new set of design changes, and a new wave of phones to complement the latest version. And when it comes to something as significant as a slimmed-down version of Android, the event is bound to make a splash.

Google announced the launch of an OS in I/O 2017 that would run on low-cost smartphones that predominate in developing countries, and it took a year for OEMs to launch their Android Go Devices. Companies are also using Android app bundles to distribute their apps.

One of the other MWC announcements was the names of devices running Android Go. Ulefone Note 7, Alcatel 1X, Samsung Galaxy M01 Core, LavaZ50, ASUS Zenfone Live L1, Tecno Spark 6 Air, Nokia 1, Infinix Smart HD 2021, Tecno Spark Go 2020, and Huawei Y3 are among the popular Android Go devices.

Android Go – The Innovative Idea Behind Android’s Slimmed Down Version

Android Go is a slimmed-down version of Android designed to run on low-cost phones. Android Go applications provide a high-quality smartphone experience to low-cost devices in layman’s terms. Go apps for Android have improved the speed, reliability, and security of millions of entry-level devices through applications and features tailored to local needs from the beginning to the present.

The business strategy underlying Android Go is to expand the business to developing nations, which have the advantage of a large user base but face limitations due to limited storage space, large app size, and small RAM size.

To address these three fundamental issues that prevent Android from reaching its full market potential, Google launched Android Go, which –

  • Make Android run on a phone with 1GB of RAM or less.
  • Reduce the size of the operating system.
  • Reduce the amount of data and space used by the preinstalled apps.

To best serve developing nations, the tech giant has made three major changes to its ecosystem – Operating System. The Play Store. Apps. Let’s look at each of the three structural changes introduced by Google with Android Go one at a time.

Operating System

Android Go’s operating system is based on Oreo, but it has been optimized for mobile devices with 512 MB to 1 GB RAM. It consumes half the space of Android Nougat in size, allowing devices with limited storage to run various apps and media right out of the box.

Apps

Like the new OS, Google has created new apps to help users make better use of the device’s memory. These apps take up roughly half the space and perform significantly better on low-end hardware.

These apps are preinstalled on Android Go devices –

  • Google Assistant Go
  • Google Go
  • YouTube Go
  • Gmail Go
  • Google Maps Go
  • Gboard Go
  • Chrome
  • Google Play Store
  • Files Go

While these apps are much faster and smaller, they lack some features. Although the number of Android Go apps is currently limited, it is expected to grow shortly.

Play Store  

Google has also launched an all-new Play Store to help keep the lightweight experience consistent throughout. The Android Go apps download space, i.e., Play Store offers the same content as the regular Play Store but with a storefront optimized for low-storage devices. The store has a featured section that recommends specifically designed and developed apps for Android Go smartphones.

While most of these changes occur in the background, let us examine the visible differences between Android Go and Regular Android.

What’s new in Android Go app development?

Available on all devices

All-new mobile devices with up to 2GB of memory can run Android Go.

Apps for Android launch 20% faster with 2GB expansion, and with 270 MB more free memory, users can now run three to four applications in the background. Android Go development on 2GB devices additionally includes up to 900MB of extra free storage, which is sufficient to take up to 300 more selfies and download an entire film.

Privacy enhancements

Go android application development for smartphones takes a similar approach to any Android device in industry-level privacy protection. Android 11 Go includes new security enhancements that make it easier to control how and when data is shared on your device. With one-time authorization, you can grant application access to sensors such as your microphone, camera, or location.

Switch between apps

Nowadays, devices with large screens are common, so Android Go allows you to take advantage of the large screen through simple navigation. Go apps for Android’s gesture-based navigation will enable you to navigate to the home screen, backward, and switch between apps with simple swipes.

Here are Steps to Optimize your Android App Development Process to fit in Android Go.

Converting your regular Google application into an Android Go application would begin with your app strategy response.

Have a Common App

Use the same app for all Android and Android Go devices to ensure a consistent experience. The Android app should be multi-binary, but there should be no preference for devices with less RAM. You can use Android App Bundle to save up to 65 percent of the app’s size without refactoring the code.

Have one App with Different APKs

Use the same app for Go devices and other devices, each with unique experiences. You will need to create multiple APKs for this, one for the new android.hardware.ram. Low dimension and another for different devices.

Have Two Apps

Create a Lite app for Android Go devices while maintaining your existing Android app.

Ensure the App functions without Crashes and ANRs

The two factors that have a negative impact on user retention rate are applications not responding and high crash rates. Check your Android app’s crash-free sessions and ANR rate using tools like Crashlytics and Android Vitals.

Focus on Android Oreo

Android Oreo includes several resource optimization features, such as the Background Execution Limit, to ensure that processes run properly in the background. Read the Google Play migration guide if your app does not target API 26 or higher.

Keep the App Installed Size Low

Because there is a clear relationship between APK size and install rates, the smaller your APK size, the higher your installs.

Because Android Go apps will be focusing on low-MB entry-level smartphones, you must keep your app under 40 MB. To accomplish this, either optimize your current APK or create a new APK specifically for Go users.

Here are some suggestions for reducing app size –

  • Make use of the Android App Bundle.
  • Replace JPEG/PNG assets with WebP assets.
  • AAC or MP3 should be used instead of raw audio format.
  • Ensure that the libraries are up to date.
  • Keep DEX code to a minimum.
Keep Memory Footprint Low

When testing the APK, look at the PSS to see how much memory the app requires to start on the device.

Keep Cold Start Time Under 5 Seconds

When running the cold startup time test after a full reboot of the test device, make sure the app becomes interactive within 5 seconds of being launched on the users’ device. In today’s fast-paced world, users become frustrated after five seconds of waiting for an app or game to load. This is why the uninstall rate is so high. It is recommended to run cold startup time tests after a full device reboot.

Final Thoughts 

So here is all you need to know about Android Go, Android Go vs. Regular Android, Go Android development, Android development services, and how to create an app for Android Go. What are you waiting for now that you have all the necessary information? Contact a team of Android Go experts at Wama to help you grow your business.

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