What you need to know
- Google could soon make it mandatory for new phones with 2GB RAM or less to run Android Go.
- Currently, Android Go isn't a requirement for low-end devices.
- In addition to making Android Go a requirement for low-end devices, Google also plans to drop Android 11 GMS support for phones with 512MB RAM.
At its I/O 2017 keynote, Google introduced Android Go, a modified version of Android optimized for low-end devices with 1GB of RAM or less. While Android Go is currently not a requirement for low-end devices, Google is reportedly planning to make Android Go mandatory for new devices launching with 2GB of RAM or less.
A copy of Google's "Android 11 Go edition Device Configuration Guide" obtained by the folks at XDA Developers suggests Google will make Android Go Edition a requirement for all new devices launching with 2GB RAM or less starting Q4 2020. This means all new phones must have at least 3GB of RAM to be able to run "standard" Android 11.
- Beginning with Android 11, devices with 512MB RAM (including upgrades) are not qualified for preloading GMS.
- All new PRODUCTS launching with Android 11, if they have 2GB RAM or less, MUST return true for ActivityManager.isLowRamDevice() API, and launch as an Android Go device.
- Starting in Q4 2020, all new PRODUCTS launching with Android 10, if they have 2GB RAM or less, MUST return true for ActivityManager.isLowRamDevice() API, and launch as an Android Go device.
- Previously launched 2GB RAM devices in standard GMS configuration SHOULD NOT convert to Android Go configuration via MRs or letter upgrades. They will remain standard Android
However, previously launched phones with 2GB of RAM running "standard" Android will not be required to convert to Android Go Edition. The leaked document also reveals that Google is planning to end GMS (Google Mobile Services) support for new devices with 512MB of RAM.
It is important to keep in mind, however, that this information comes from a leaked document, and Google hasn't yet confirmed any such plans. If the information is indeed accurate and Google decides to go ahead with this requirement, an official announcement will likely be made by the end of the current quarter.