Google uses Android 11 to tighten the thumbscrews in terms of performance and at the same time ensures that buyers of affordable entry-level smartphones will no longer get the “normal” Android user experience.
As the colleagues from XDA-Developers report based on information from a Google document available to them, the Internet company is changing the specifications for the configuration of devices with the slimmed-down operating system version Android Go. With the introduction of Android 11, practically all “normal” Android smartphones must have at least three gigabytes of RAM.
Everything with two or less GB of RAM must use Android Go
The changes in the Android 11 Go Edition Device Configuration Guide, which apparently has been available from device manufacturers since the end of April, stipulate that all devices that have two gigabytes of RAM or less installed must always be equipped with Android Go. This means that smartphone models that currently still have a normal Android 10 and only have two gigabytes of RAM will in the future be downgraded to Go models.
A downgrade of devices that are already on the market and appeared with Android 10 in the normal version is not planned. From the fourth quarter of 2020, the requirement also applies to new devices that come onto the market with Android 10 and do not yet have Android 11 on board. Google also ensures that devices with particularly little RAM – i.e. those with only 512 megabytes of RAM – no longer receive official support for Google Mobile Services (GMS). The Google Play Store and the associated Google apps will therefore no longer be available on these ultra-low-end smartphones in the future. Devices that are already available will still work in the future, but the change will also mean that such products will soon simply disappear from the market.
Due to the progressive development in terms of hardware equipment, the introduction of the new requirements for Android-based smartphones means that the end customers will hardly change their prices. Because memory prices have continued to fall, many manufacturers should be able to offer devices with enough RAM at only slightly higher prices, so that in the future these too will exceed the 2 GB RAM limit.