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Google wants to keep winning Africa with Android Go, here are 6 reasons why it can

The Google I/O event is always an interesting one for me.

I am more than just a Google/Android fanatic, I hate Apple OS with a great passion and my friend and colleague, Kwame Boakye, will testify to how much I preach Android over iOS.

So yeah, the Google I/O is always a thing to look forward to for me. However, due to some complications beyond my control, I was only able to watch the full recording of Google I/O 2017 keynote later.

As expected, Google released “mind boggling” innovations that showed that the future of computing coming to life with Artificial Intelligence playing an important part in it.

AI and machine learning were at the center of everything Google was working on. It was nice to see Google paying a lot of attention to identifying and mitigating implicit bias in machine-learning models and algorithms.

However, the most innovative product launched by Google, that might have a greater impact on Africa, has to be Android Go.

Android Go is a lightweight version of the upcoming version of Android (Android O) with optimized apps and Play Store. And for Ghana and Africa, as a whole where low end device from smartphone makers like TECNO, Infinix, iTel have a large market.

Here are the main reasons why;

1. Offline States — In terms of offline states for Android Go, YouTube Go is a version of the YouTube mobile app that has been optimized to run on Android Go.

It has features like a data-optimized tool for previewing videos before they are downloaded, as well as feature for downloading videos for offline viewing when off network.

This is especially handy for users in markets like Kenya where free high speed WIFI is available at work or restaurants but is not available at home or on the commute, for free. In addition, since Internet access can be spotty and slow when you leave the urbanized parts of the country, this means you can have content to watch offline when you are off the network.

To make matters even more interesting, YouTube Go will allow users to share videos between mobile devices wirelessly without using their data bundles!

2. Multilingual Capabilities — Android Go has been designed so that you can communicate in different languages.

So, for instance, in real-time, you could type in English and this would be translated in a text to the language that the recipient is fluent in. It is also possible to ‘write’ in a language you may not be able to type in so that the phonetic expression is captured in the translated text of the language you want to communicate it.

This feature is super handy in scenarios where language barriers are a problem but one can still communicate thanks to Google’s AI and machine learning chops!

3. Memory Requirements — The memory required on a mobile device to run the fully fledged high end Android operating system is extreme.

In most cases, the modern smartphone these days is coming with between 2GB to 4GB of memory and all sorts of other hardware-based enhancements to create a rich user experience, with all the bells and whistles. What is amazing about Android Go is that it will run on mobile devices with as little as 512MB of RAM. This is massive since it means that users can effectively do more, with much less.

However, it’s inevitable that there will be compromises made but this means that a low-cost mobile device can still run the latest version of Android.

4. Data Management — Android Go has been designed from the ground up to manage the cost and efficiency of mobile data.

Google has created an API in Android Go that will be able to interact directly with a mobile networks billings system so that mobile subscribers will have real-time access to their mobile data bundle balances. This means that users will be always aware of how much data they have left and how they are consuming data. In addition, by default, Android Go will make use of the Chrome browser data management feature so that content is compressed prior to being delivered to mobile devices on Google’s cloud.

This feature is so handy that currently over 750TB is being saved everyday on Android devices globally.

5. Energy Management — Android Go has been designed to be efficient in terms of how it uses battery power on inexpensive and entry-level Android mobile devices.

This means that mobile app developers have to create Android Go compatible mobile apps that take full advantage of its energy management features, including ensuring that their mobile app APK files have a footprint of less than 10MB.

In a nutshell, from this perspective, it means that Android Go users will be able to make their devices last longer between charges owing to these optimizations.

6. Instantly Available — In the future, all version of Android are going to ship with an Android Go variant.

Already, Google has worked to remove the roadblocks that result in new versions of their Android arriving late on earlier devices. With this new initiative, you might not need to get a new device to enjoy new features launched by Google.

With the features above, I strongly believe that within the next few years, Google will continue to reaffirm their position as the number 1 mobile operation system in Africa.

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