Apps

Google rolls out Android Oreo (Go edition) for budget phones

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The launch of a new Android version is a thrill often enjoyed only by Android aficionados. With the new Android Oreo (Go edition), Google hopes to bring the excitement back to a wider audience — the entry-level segment.

Google is bundling the new Android Oreo (Go edition) with the impending Android 8.1 update. The Go edition will be pushed to lower-end phones.

The Go edition optimizes the Android experience for limited hardware by fine-tuning the phone’s performance, storage, and security.

Since entry-level phones have lower-end hardware, performance is always an issue. Even with just 512MB of RAM, the Go edition improves these phones’ memory usage to run apps more efficiently. Google boasts that the average app will run 15 percent faster on the Go edition.

Image source: Google

The Go edition also comes with a flurry of new optimized Google apps that are light on both memory and storage. These include Google Go, Google Assistant Go, and Files Go, among many others.

Google Go redesigns Google Search, reducing the search-as-you-type app to its bare essentials; this Lite version weighs in at less than 5MB in size. Meanwhile, Assistant Go brings the voice-activated assistant to the budget phone. As reported previously, the new Files Go app manages your files and saves up to 1GB of storage every month.

The Go edition comes bundled with an optimized Play Store, which recommends apps that run most efficiently on the device. It also comes with Google Play Protect, which scans apps on your device even when you’re offline.

The launch of the Android Oreo (Go edition) comes at the forefront of Google’s push for its “next billion users.” It maximizes the ASEAN region’s potential as an internet hub. India, for example, has already crossed the 400-million internet users mark.

The Go edition will bring Android Oreo to more users in more regions. Starting 2018, entry-level smartphones will ship with the special version installed.

SEE ALSO: 8 things you must know about Android 8.0 Oreo

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Apps

Google’s Locked Folder can protect your NSFW photos

Protect everything with a password

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Where do you keep your secret photos? Though there are several options for users, the usual storage suspects don’t have the most robust protection against prying eyes. Google, after a Pixel-exclusive phase, is rolling out a password-protected folder feature for all Android users of Google Photos.

The feature will separate selected photos from the main library. Users can then put them inside a password-protected folder. They can also protect against invaders using a fingerprint. When protected, the selected photos won’t show up when scrolling anymore.

Users can toggle the feature on by going into the Locked Folder option in Utilities. Currently, the Pixel’s camera app can take photos and directly send them to the protected folder. Unfortunately, the feature doesn’t work on other camera apps. At least for now, that is.

The feature does have its drawbacks. For one, protected photos are only locally saved. If you somehow lose your phone, those photos are lost forever or worse especially if a third party gets it for themselves.

Obviously, the Locked Folder has its more innocuous uses. But it’s definitely a way to hide NSFW photos.

Google initially launched the feature only for Pixel phones back in June. Of course, as most Android features go, the developers promised a more widespread rollout coming soon after. Well, that time is finally now. The feature is set to roll out sometime this fall.

SEE ALSO: Google starts rolling out Material You apps

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Next Android update is Android 12.1, not Android 13, rumor says

Just a minor update

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One of the highlights of the year is a new Android update. Like clockwork, Google updates the biggest mobile operating system in the world. It’s gotten so popular that the entire industry speculates on the codename each update is attached with even if the company stopped doing them years ago. The hype is there. However, Android users might have to taper their expectations next year. Instead of Android 13, Google might launch Android 12.1 next year.

Reported by XDA Developers, the rumor speculates that next year’s Android update will just be a minor one of the upcoming Android 12 this year. According to one of the publication’s recognized developers, Google attached an “sc-v2” tag for the next Android update, instead of “T” for “Tiramisu,” the internal codename for Android 13. For those who still follow the internal codenames for Android, “sc” refers to Snow Cone, the internal codename for Android 12. As such, it’s natural to assume that the next update is just Android 12.1, rather than Android 13.

It’s been a while since Google released minor updates in lieu of major updates. However, it’s no surprise. Android 12 is already a big update, relative to the past few updates. The update features a revamped design called Material You. Google can believably improve the new update more before launching a major one.

SEE ALSO: Android 12 is Snow Cone

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Google starts rolling out Material You apps

More coming this month

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There is no one more excited for Google’s upcoming products than Google itself. Though the company hasn’t officially launched its products yet, Google has persistently teased everything in the weeks and months leading to their debuts. Now, the company is slowly rolling out Material You apps ahead of the Android 12 launch.

Material You refers to Android’s design revamp for the upcoming Android 12 update. An evolution of Google’s smooth Material Design, the new design personalizes the user interface and the phone’s apps according to the user’s preferences. Android 12 is all about customization.

Of course, since the update also affects apps, Google is also rolling out apps that reflect the new design. Despite the lack of Android 12, the new apps are coming out ahead of time. Officially announced by Google’s Workspace blog, Google Drive will start the new push with its rollout starting today. After Drive, Google Meet will come out on September 19, and Google Calendar will launch on September 20. Google Docs, Slides, and Sheets have already rolled out a week ago.

The new apps will feature new navigation bars, floating action buttons, and a new font called Google Sans. The new font will make readability easier for smaller font sizes.

Android 12 is set to launch soon. Additionally, Google is already launching teasers for the upcoming Pixel 6 series featuring the new, in-house Tensor chipset.

SEE ALSO: Android 12 will make Chrome more colorful

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