by ANDREW HEINZMAN
Way back in 2017, Google launched the first version of Android Go, a modified version of the Android OS that’s optimized for ultra-affordable phones. And next year’s version of Android Go looks better than ever, with insane performance and battery boosts, plus new features to protect your privacy, save storage space, and share your phone with others.
Speed is the defining feature of Android 12 (Go Edition). Apps open 30% faster compared to last year’s Android 11 (Go Edition) release, and the recent apps screen now features shortcuts to translate apps or bring up the news.
Additionally, Android 12 (Go Edition) will automatically put unused apps in hibernation, allowing you to save battery life and storage space without digging through Settings or constantly closing apps. The operating system also lets you recover deleted files after 30 days, which should help you free up storage space quickly, even if you don’t have time to find files or apps worth deleting.
Android Go is a popular option in poor or developing countries, and as such, Android 12 (Go Edition) has some new features to help save mobile data and money. If you don’t want to download an app through your cellular connection, for example, you can now copy the app from a friend or family member’s phone.
And for families that share a phone, Android 12 (Go Edition) now shows profiles on the lockscreen. This improves privacy (you can’t snoop through others’ profiles), and of course, makes sharing a phone with friends, family, or strangers so much easier.
Several Android 12 features will find their way to Android 12 (Go Edition), including the new privacy dashboard, which shows you if apps are accessing private information, such as your location, your microphone, or your camera. You can then choose which apps are allowed to see your private information, or even give apps “approximate” location data to obscure your real location.
Google will launch Android 12 (Go Edition) sometime in 2022. The company hasn’t announced which devices will run the new operating system.