Google has launched another (Go edition) version of Android for entry-level smartphones, built on top of Android 10. It's the second release of a (Go edition) build, and is "faster and more secure" than the previous release that was built on top of Android 9 Pie, Google claims. Part of that claim is tied to a new encryption scheme.
Android (Go edition) is not an entirely separate OS—it's a platform designed for smartphones with 1.5GB of memory or less. It features optimizations tailored for lower end handsets to ensure a "high quality" experience without necessitating burlier (and more expensive) hardware. This is part of an broader effort to make lower cost handsets feasible.
"In the last 18 months, over 500 manufacturers have launched more than 1,600 Android (Go edition) device models to 180+ countries including India, South Africa, Nigeria, Brazil, and the United States. These devices, including the Samsung A2, Xiaomi Redmi Go, Tecno Spark 2, and Mobicel Astro, make up over 80 percent of entry-level Android phones activating today," Google says.
"In some countries, devices are now available for as low as $27. Whether it comes with a high-definition or regular display, 4GB or 16GB of storage, or 3G or 4G support, there’s a Go edition device for everyone," Google adds.
Google says Android 10 (Go edition) launches apps 10 percent faster. The company also generally notes that "speed and reliability are also enhanced," with users being able to switch between apps more quickly "in a more memory-efficient way," though Google is not sharing the nuts and bolts of what makes Android 10 (Go edition) peppier than the previous release.
On the security side of things, Android 10 (Go edition) introduces a new form of encryption called Adiantum. Google says it built this specifically for entry-level smartphones, as up until now, not every lower end phone had the horsepower to encrypt data without affecting performance.
According to Google, the introduction of Adiantum means that all (Go edition) users will have the same level of data security as any Android device. Google detailed Adiantum earlier this year in a blog post. In sort, it fills the gap left behind by more affordable processors (such as the ARM Cortex-A7) that lack hardware support for the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES).
Google says the first devices running Android 10 (Go edition) will show up later this year.