Android Go Helps the Older Android Devices To Run Android 8.1 Oreo
What is Android Go?
In short, Android Go is a lightweight version of Android Oreo. The Android Go is designed of focusing on optimizing three areas: the operating system, the Google Play Store, and the Google apps. All these Android Oreo functions have been reimagined for the Android Go to make them perform better on low end Android devices with 1GBs of RAM or lower.
The Android Go was first announced on 2017 May at the Google’s I/O Developer conference, which version is developed for Android Oreo 8.0, and finally more details about Android Go were revealed the end of last year. This version of Android Oreo was said to be made for entry level devices to get them to the next generation.
The Android Go is packed with huge variety of performance improvements and optimizations, mainly it takes up 50% less space of the storage space than the average Android Oreo installation. A very big thanks to ART (Android Runtime) and kernel optimizations too. Always, a device that is running on Android Go will run 15% faster than the regular Android Oreo installed on the same device. Anyway, these optimizations are made with a number of specially build configurations that are made by Google, this will be explained below in this page later.
Android Go is also enhanced by some special made apps, such like the Files Go, YouTube Go and the Google Maps Go. These apps are the lightweight versions of those apps made by Google, which are extremely reduced requirements to run those more efficiently on the mid-range devices. What this exactly means is that those devices with Android Go can enjoyed with the same benefits that a regular Android Oreo will provide you. Also, this makes the use of Google’s suite of all apps without having to spend a whole lot of money to get with a flagship or a more expensive budget device to be supported.
The Android Go, itself it is designed based on the Android Oreo. But still it is built to be supported on smartphones that are packed with 1 GB or less amount of RAM. Android Go really takes a less amount of the internal storage space to get placed on the device. This will either provide more room on the smartphones that are with low storage and will help you hold more apps and media out of the box.
Apart from that, the devices running on Android Go will open up apps faster than all previous Android version, even though this is a regular version of Android Oreo. Also, the Google has enabled the data saver feature by default on Android Go, this helps users consume less mobile data while using the device.
Like the Android Go OS, Google has either developed some of the apps to make better use of the memory of the device. The Google has redesigned the G Suite apps to consume less space and RAM and perform better on low-end hardware. Normally, these preinstalled apps are dumped to require about 50% less storage space from the regular versions. This includes YouTube Go, Google Maps Go, and Gmail Go. And Google Assistant is also being able to run on the low-end devices that are with 1 GB or less RAM for the first time ever as Google Assistant Go.
At the same time, the Google has also introduced some new apps that are especially to support for the Android Go: Google Go and Files Go.
Google Go is a makeover version of the usual Google Lite app, which make it real simple to find popular queries, best websites and apps, trending images and gifs at blazing speed, with cool minimal typing required. Files Go is a simple and good quality file manager app that makes things very easy to free up space on your storage.
Usually, by making benefit of the Google’s Building for millions and Billions of development guidelines, all the other developers now should be able to create an app that is optimized to support Android Go in future.
The new built OS and pre-installed apps package is an amazing startup for Android Go. But still when people starting to use it, they require more with it. So, to help the users maintain their cool lightweight Android Go system, the Google has set out with an exclusive version of their Play Store.
The Android Oreo, the Go edition Play Store is filled with all of the same content as the regular Google Play Store and the only change is the storefront is more suited to the low-storage devices with minimalized Apps. The Google have a featured apps section on the store that recommends apps that are especially made for Android Go devices. This will point the users in the right direction of apps that will gain more benefits with Android Go.
Few of the LineageOS Developers are already on the process of building Android Go optimized custom ROMs
This is also a good news for Android folks out there, it is already an uptake in Android Go as some custom ROM developers are working on LineageOSa 15.1 which is planning to be Android Go build configurations for many of the old Sony phones and all. The devices could be supported with LineageOS 15.1 are the Sony Xperia SP, Sony Xperia T, Sony Xperia V and the Sony Xperia TX. All these devices date back to the years of 2012 and 2013. Anyway, they will be obtaining LineageOS 15.1 which is based on Android 8.1 Oreo using the Android Go build configuration. This may also let the devices to run Google Go apps.
Any of LOS maintainer could be able to get with an Android Go configured build, with a lot of build configurations and some other optimizations. This means, if you own an older device such like the Sony Xperia T for example, such device running on Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich at the launch, now could be able to update and use with a better-optimized build of Android 8.1 Oreo. This helps you benefit through the use of apps such like the YouTube Go and Google Maps Go. Even this will not going to perform as the flagship levels at any point, but still it is usable as more convenient one, especially on the devices which are dates back to the 2012.
How Android Go Can Help Older Android Phones Run Android Oreo
Building configurations on an Android version is a set of parameters which pertain on to various requirements of the genuine Android system that are basically applied when compiling the usual system image file in order to flash onto a device. Generally, these kind of changes decide how the system will behave, and the main Android Go optimizations are built from these basic build configurations.
The XDA says, some of the build configurations cannot be changed without recompiling the builds, as they are part of the blueprint of the ROM.
Anyway, all the flags are connected with many different aspects from Android relating to storage and the memory usage. This also includes automatic storage management, low memory killer, the dex (dalvik executable files) optimizer and RAM limits either for running apps. The general APK files contain these type of DEX files, in some of the ways, Always, it is possible to imagine an APK file as a simply ZIP file that is containing many more of .dex files, which is basically what an Android runs when it is opening an application. The Automatic storage management will be controlled by the Files Go app instead of being controlled with the Android system.
Android Go Utilities Android’s Low RAM Mode
The Google has introduced a new flag in Android 4.4 KitKat, which is called as low-ram. This is created aiming on supporting the devices that are packed with 512MBs of RAM. What the flag does is, it makes couple of optimizations into the system and these changes makes things hugely beneficial to the lower RAM devices.
Improved memory management
- Validated memory-saving kernel configurations: Swap to ZRAM.
- Kill cached processes if about to be uncached and too large.
- Don’t allow large services to put themselves back into A Services (so they can’t cause the launcher to be killed).
- Kill processes (even ordinarily unkillable ones such as the current IME) that get too large in idle maintenance.
- Serialize the launch of background services.
- Tuned memory use of low-RAM devices: tighter out-of-memory (OOM) adjustment levels, smaller graphics caches, etc.
Basically, the above changes make sure that the system uses a compressed RAM where it is possible, through the use of ZRAM. ZRAM is usually a RAM disk which means a storage medium that uses as a RAM. Anyhow, this is much faster than using the regular storages on a device as a swap file. This Swap file is used itself when the RAM usage is too high and still if the applications require for more memory. This is very much slower than usual RAM and should be avoided as possible. When summarizing, it simply compresses the memory of most contents.
Reduced system memory
- Trimmed system_server and SystemUI processes (saved several MBs).
- Preload dex caches in Dalvik (saved several MBs).
- Validated JIT-off option (saves up to 1.5MB per process).
- Reduced per-process font cache overhead.
- Introduced ArrayMap/ArraySet and used extensively in framework as a lighter-footprint replacement for HashMap/HashSet.
According to this, what is happening here is, it simply reduced with memory consumption from various actions and processes that are running on the device, this makes the device conservative as it is possible. Most importantly the system services have been skipped to be used as a little memory consuming as it is possible in the background of the OS, this will make use of each and every megabyte of the RAM.
Android Go Uses a Modified Low Memory Killer and dex Optimizations
As it is mentioned, the Android Go is mainly for the devices with 1GB of RAM or less, so there must be stronger and more aggressive e memory management build in it. So, the Android Go is packed with a modified LMK (Low Memory Killer), in a few different ways.
First, when the RAM is consumed in a higher amount, the low memory killer get to a critical pressure state. This is all because, when the memory usage of a device is high, the system will become really slow due to the device will be immediately trying to access a Swap file on the storage of the device. Always, keeping the device RAM clear will avoid the whole system from requiring to access a swap file and it avoids memory thrashing. Memory thrashing happens when a device’s memory is full, and immediately switching to the swap file which is in the storage of the device, as this will drop heavily on performance.
The services and WiFi services are set to speed-profile, this means that the selected methods in these services are AOT (Ahead-of-Time) compiled. This extremely reduces the RAM and storage usage, as the Android system will no more have to continuously recompile the needed services which are running on the device. At the same time, the shared APKs are set to quicken, this has been designed to provide more battery life and more CPU cycles by simply optimizing the dex instructions to put out a better performance.
Also, in terms of dex optimizations, the Android Go does a more lot. For the beginners, the OS downgrade an application after a 10 days, if the OS isn’t been used to save space on the device. Here the downgrading does not refer that it will get with the actual version of the OS decreasing, but preferably it is meant to the dalvik_cache for the apps will definitely be removed. The Dalvik cache will be used, so it will be used on the device and does not require to recompile the apps, instead of that, it will only compiling the most important parts of of the caching. The ease will be compiled using the JIT (Just in Time) compiler while the App is running. Anyway, if an app is not used for a maximum of 10 days, then the important parts of the apps that are pre-compiled also will be removed. This is done according to freeing up more space as much as possible to be freed. Another simple change that has made is to not to allow an app to use more than 256 MB of the RAM, so a specific app will not use the whole RAM RAM that is available on the device.
Is the Android Go is the Future of Android Custom ROM Development for those Low-end Devices?
At the present time, there is no answer for this kind of a question, but I can promise you the future of the Custom ROMs will be brighter on the development for those older Android devices. Always, there might be many more problems while getting with a newer version of an Android to run on a device, but in common, a simple upgrade solution that is more optimized like the Android Go which is based on Android Oreo will definitely make an older and low-end Android device run better.
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