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