The Alcatel 1x: An Introduction to Android Go
The Alcatel 1x may not be the most exciting phone model out there, but it provides an important opportunity to introduce users to an innovative Android edition. Android Go is the name behind this version, and it runs on Android Oreo, but with a twist. It’s designed to function seamlessly on devices that have between 512 MB and 1 GB of RAM, which is quite limited by today’s standards.
The Purpose of Android Go
Android Go aims to democratize access to a robust Android experience by enabling manufacturers to create inexpensive smartphones for people in developing markets. These devices cost approximately $100 or less, and they offer first-time users an affordable way to enjoy a full Android experience. Google has also put in a lot of effort to ensure that Android Go is user-friendly, even on cheap phones. They have reduced the size of Android itself and made it more aggressive when it comes to handling memory management.
Multitasking is challenging on Android Go due to limited RAM, but it is still possible to perform basic tasks, albeit at a slower pace. Smartphone manufacturers are permitted to customize Android Go as they would with regular Android, and Alcatel has made minor changes to the device’s interface. Samsung, on the other hand, has not disclosed which interface they will use for their first Go device, but they are expected to integrate an interface from their more powerful smartphones.
Pre-Loaded Google Apps on Android Go
Google apps are pre-loaded onto Android Go devices, including Gmail Go, Files Go, and Google Maps Go. Gmail Go is identical to the standard Gmail found in other Android devices; however, some pre-loaded Go apps are more limited in functionality. Google Maps Go is a Progressive Web App, so it runs entirely in the browser. It’s capable of providing directions and looking up points of interest, but scrolling around the map can be sluggish, and there are no options for turn-by-turn navigation or saving local area maps to the device over Wi-Fi. Files Go is an excellent file manager that allows users to send files to other devices without relying on internet access, and it offers ways to help free up space on the device. Google Assistant is also included, and it often works surprisingly well due to the heavy lifting being carried out on Google’s servers.
There is no support for keyboards, reminders, or accessing assistant-powered services built by other companies, but the basics are already in place, and Google continues to make additional features available over time.
The Play Store on Android Go
The Play Store works in the same way as it does on a regular Android phone but with some helpful changes. It highlights Android Go and light versions of existing apps, and it lists any corresponding light version for an app that has one.
The Play Store also indicates the file size for every app card, which helps users understand how each download affects their device’s limited storage, although the file sizes listed are not entirely accurate. Some users find that apps work fine on their Go devices, while others do not, making it difficult to tell which apps to install on the device confidently. However, Google’s continued investment in Android Go promises to deliver a better user experience over time.
The Future of Android Go
While Android Go may not make a $100 phone feel like a flagship device, it is another step forward in a valuable direction. Google has committed to adding an Android Go edition to every future version of Android, and as lower-end devices become more powerful, and Google continues to find ways to improve performance and add functionality, Android Go will continue to grow in popularity. Alcatel 1x and other devices running Android Go are the perfect introduction to Android for new users and those looking for a budget-friendly option.