KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 16 ― A lot of us would love to live by and own the latest and greatest bleeding edge tech, but the reality is that not everyone needs or can afford the usually pricey devices and gadgets. In fact, for a large number of people around the world, something simple and affordable that simply works is typically what’s needed. Google’s Android Go is pretty much that; a stripped-down, no-nonsense Android operating system that will work with entry-level smartphones with 2GB of RAM or less.

Well Android Go fans will have something to cheer about now, as Google has announced the new Android 12 update for Android Go. Officially called Android 12 (Go Edition), it builds on the necessary features of Android Go and improves on it to make it more user friendly than before. For starters, apps on Android 12 (Go Edition) will launch up to 30% faster than its predecessor, with no blank screen while waiting for things to load anymore. There’s also smoother animations now, while Google also has the new SplashScreen API for developers to also create their own smooth animations for Android Go apps.

On top of that, the entry-level phones that would run Android Go tend to also come with smaller batteries and smaller storage sizes than their flagship cousins. As such, Google also revealed that Android 12 (Go Edition) will automatically save battery life and storage too by hibernating apps that haven’t been used in a while. This not only saves on your day-to-day battery life but will also be beneficial to smartphones with small storage capacities. The new Files Go app also now lets you delete and recover files within 30 days, so you can temporarily make space if needed.

Google shared a new Translate and Listen feature coming to Android 12 (Go edition). To access this feature, users can head to the recent apps screen, where an option to translate on-screen content into your language appears. You can also use the Listen function to have it read out text on your screen like the news or articles. This ought to help those with accessibility issues using Android Go devices. Another new feature helps those with a limited data quota by letting users transfer apps directly via Nearby Share and Google Play, instead of downloading from the Google Play Store, saving on data charges.

Furthermore, Android 12 (Go Edition) will come with a host of privacy-focused features too. You can now straight up pass your phone over to your friend or family member to use without worrying about them going through your stuff. Android 12 (Go Edition) comes with a guest user profile that you can access from the lock screen itself. Once they’re done with the device, you can then simply reset their profile.

On top of that, there’s a new privacy dashboard too. It lets you see what apps have access to which data and hardware like the camera or location, and revoke those permissions if you wish. There’s a privacy indicator on the status bar too, which will inform you if an app is using your microphone or camera. You’ll also be able to control exactly what you want to share with apps, such as limiting location data to an approximate location instead of your precise one for something like a weather app.

If you want to get your hand on an Android 12 (Go Edition) device, perhaps if you’re on a budget or you need a device for your child to use, you won’t have to wait too long. Google says that devices running Android 12 (Go Edition) will launch soon next year. ― SoyaCincau