Towards the end of 2017, Google released Android Go, a special version of its latest version of the Android operating system, Android 8.0 Oreo. Android Go allows users of low-end and budget Android smartphones to enjoy the features of Android Oreo right there on those smartphones, thus saving them the need to upgrade to mid-range and flagship smartphones in order to use the latest Android version. There are already many custom ROMs out there that bring Oreo to any Android device, and today I’m going to show you how to Make any Android 8.0 Oreo ROM Android Go Optimized.
Currently, Android 8.0 and 8.1 Oreo run on only a few flagship smartphones out of the box, but trust the world of Android tweaking; multiple custom ROMs that pack all of the features of Oreo have been made for installation on any phone. And when I say any phone, I also mean low-end Android smartphones that have as low as 512MB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage. The thing about Oreo is that it’s quite heavy for this category of smartphones and carrying out tasks and navigation might be slow. This is where Android Go comes in.
Unfortunately, Android Go is only officially available from Google to OEMs. Android Go is simply a series of build configurations and optimized software applications that reduce Oreo’s stack and makes it easier to operate on low-end phones. On the bright side, developers have figured out these configurations and implemented it on their custom ROMs.
For those who already have a custom Android Oreo ROM on their devices, however, and still wish to enjoy the features of Android Go, I have some good news. You don’t need to re-download and flash a Go-optimized custom ROM (that is even if your developer has one of such); XDA Recognized Developer AdrianDC has created a zip file that you can flash to enable (or disable, if you want) one of the most important features of Android Go, low RAM optimization on your custom Android 8.0 Oreo ROM.
There are, however, some caveats with using Android Go on your smartphone. Before we go about the process of flashing this zip file on your device, let’s see how Android Go affects an Android device.
What happens when you enable/install Android Go on an Android device
There are some things you have to forgo to enjoy Android Go on your smartphone, and most of these are in the UI department. They include:
- Flat recent/multitasking UI.
- Multi-users disabled.
- High-end graphics disabled.
- Less recent apps cache.
- Split-screen disabled.
- Minor changes for notification icons.
- Less logger buffer sizes (for the Developers).
- No apps notifications access.
- No zen access.
- No VR Listeners.
- No Picture-in-picture (PiP) access.
Make Your Android Smartphone Android Go Optimized
Things to Note
- You need to just flash the zip file above once normally to enable low RAM optimization, and once again when you want to disable it.
- When you enable or disable the Android Go features (by flashing), the changes are kept through OTA flashes and ROM upgrades. You don’t need to keep flashing after upgrading your software.
- The zip file simply enables and disables the low-ram property in your device’s build.prop file.
- Flashing the file on any Android version since Android 4.4 KitKat is expected to work. There might be some exceptions, though.