Google reportedly will require phones with 2GB RAM or less to run Android Go

Google may also stop preloading GMS on devices with 512MB of RAM

Google may plan to force manufacturers to use Android Go Edition on devices with 2GB of RAM or less, according to a leaked document.

XDA Developers obtained a copy of Google’s ‘Android 11 Go Edition Device Configuration Guide’ courtesy of Tillie Kottman (@deletescape). The document includes details about Android Go being a requirement for new devices at or below a certain spec level. Further, the document says that starting with Android 11, devices with 512MB of RAM won’t qualify to preload Google Mobile Services (GMS).

Google introduced Android Go back in 2017 as a modified version of Android designed for low-end devices, specifically those with 1GB RAM or less. However, Google has never required manufacturers to use Android Go on those low-end devices.

This change means that any device launching with Android 11 with 2GB or less RAM must use Android Go. Further, the changes will impact any new Android 10 device launching with 2GB or less RAM starting in Q4 2020. Those will also need to run Android Go.

Along with this, the change to a 2GB cap means Android Go can now use the 64-bit kernel, according to XDA. As Google moves towards supporting only 64-bit apps on the Play Store, it’s good that Android Go will also be 64-bit.

The other significant change is the new GMS restriction, which will effectively kill support for ultra-low-end Android phones with a paltry 512MB of RAM. Coupled with future Android Go devices getting 1GB or 2GB of RAM, low-end devices will offer better performance and hopefully a better user experience going forward.

XDA notes that the document it received was outdated, so it is possible that some or all of the Android Go requirements have also changed. As such, we’ll keep an eye out for any public-facing or official information about these requirements.

Image credit: Google

Source: XDA Developers