Google takes an­other go at cheap An­droid phones

New Straits Times - - Business -

SAN FRANCISCO: Google is mak­ing an­other go at get­ting cheap An­droid phones to sup­port its lat­est soft­ware, an at­tempt to lock more con­sumers in the de­vel­op­ing world into the In­ter­net gi­ant’s ser­vices.

The new pro­gramme, called An­droid Go, was an­nounced at the Al­pha­bet Inc di­vi­sion’s I/O de­vel­oper con­fer­ence on Wed­nes­day in Moun­tain View, Cal­i­for­nia.

It bakes fea­tures di­rectly into Google’s mo­bile op­er­at­ing sys­tem that are de­signed specif­i­cally for cheap phones, in­clud­ing soft­ware to man­age cel­lu­lar data costs.

The ser­vice will launch in 2018. Google re­leases a new An­droid op­er­at­ing sys­tem ev­ery year, but most de­vices run­ning the soft­ware use older ver­sions. Th­ese phones do not get as fre­quent se­cu­rity and fea­ture up­dates, a per­sis­tent prob­lem for the com­pany.

On stage, Google ex­ec­u­tive Sameer Sa­mat demon­strated a novel way for An­droid users to track their mo­bile data us­age and even pay their monthly or pre­paid mo­bile-phone bills via Google Play. Google has set up car­rier billing op­tions in its Play store in 55 coun­tries with 140 tele­com part­ners.

The com­pany doesn’t dis­close its Play store sales. Sa­mat de­clined to share any car­rier or man­u­fac­tur­ing part­ners Google has with An­droid Go.

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An­droid Go bakes fea­tures di­rectly into Google’s mo­bile op­er­at­ing sys­tems that are de­signed specif­i­cally for cheap phones.

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