Google supplied new guidelines to Android smartphones today, making it mandatory for all new smartphones planning their release in or after Q4 2020 to have more than 2GB RAM.
In a report, XDA Developers shared excerpts from a leaked copy of Android 11 Go edition device configuration guide. Dated April 24, 2020, the guide revealed several new requirements that Google may put in place.
The document says that starting the fourth quarter of 2020, all new Android 10 or Android 11 products launched with 2GB RAM or less must launch as an Android Go device. It also pointed out that starting with Android 11, any device with 512MB RAM (including upgrades) won’t qualify for preloading Google Mobile Services (GMS).
Lastly, it said that no smartphone already launched with 2GB RAM in regular Google apps can convert to Android Go configuration.
Google developed Android Go in 2017 specifically for devices with RAM less than 2GB. However, there were no mandatory regulations for its usage. It has been proven otherwise by this report. Android Go could be a requirement now.
XDA Developers suggests that the leaked document is possibly outdated, and Google may already have retracted the above requirements. Google, however, hasn’t made any official announcements on Android Go requirements yet.
If this situation develops, smartphone manufacturers face a two-way choice. They can build entry-level models with 3GB RAM storage. The second option is using the Android Go feature for basic products, which will also help devices function better, since Google would not promote Android Go if it was inefficient.
The RAM dichotomy
While smartphone stalwarts are launching flagship models with higher RAM monikers (OnePlus Nord just reached 12GB RAM), they are also trying to enter the “affordable” market. Many brands are launching their entry-level products for budget-conscious consumers. These models have less RAM than high-end models.
One of them is Samsung Galaxy A01 Core, which was announced in Indonesia yesterday. It holds 1GB RAM, and is the most basic smartphone in the Galaxy A series. This RAM specification makes multitasking impossible.
You can’t even imagine using a device with 1GB RAM today, and it is way too less. This paves the way for Google’s Android Go Edition, which will help these affordable products to run more efficiently. This gives us a reason to look forward to entry-level smartphone releases in Q4 2020.