10 Features in Google's Android One Lightweight Mobile OS

10 Features in Google's Android One Lightweight Mobile OS
Google Developed Android One for Emerging Markets
Sounding a Death Knell for Feature Phones
Google Apps Are Built-In
A Standard User Interface Experience
It Has Built In Power Saving Features
Google Helps Users Save Data
Don’t Look for High-Powered Third Party Apps
Google Works With Local Carriers
Hardware Features Are Scaled Back
Where Android One Is Showing Up
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10 Features in Google's Android One Lightweight Mobile OS

Android One is another version of Google's mobile operating system that you probably have never heard of. Google has been distributing it in emerging markets since 2014, but it may soon come to the U.S. market.

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Google Developed Android One for Emerging Markets

Android One is designed for emerging markets. Google needed to strip away some of Android’s resource-intensive features and reduce its data consumption so it could work on basic mobile handsets. Android One devices are essentially running a stripped-down Android that can work affordably on poor quality networks with high data costs.

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Sounding a Death Knell for Feature Phones

Although smartphones are growing in popularity, feature phones of old still sell well in emerging market. Instead of making Android compatible with simple feature phones, Google offers Android One to make it easier for people to get access to basic smartphones and move away from feature phones.

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Google Apps Are Built-In

Google offers its many cloud applications on Android One. Users will find Google Chrome and the Google Play marketplace in the operating system search and Gmail. It’s a smart move by Google. In some cases, Android One enables users to get on the Internet to access data and applications for the first time. By bundling its apps, Google is conditioning those people to use its services over the long term.

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A Standard User Interface Experience

Unlike the standard Android, which allows mobile device makers and service providers to create proprietary user interfaces, Android One’s operating system delivers a uniform user interface regardless of handset vendor. That means the standard Android One user interface will look the same any device customers acquire. That's a big change from standard Android.

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It Has Built In Power Saving Features

Since power concerns are major in emerging markets, Android One devices all come with a software-based battery saver feature. According to Google, the battery saver switches on whenever the battery is running low and is capable of adding up to 90 minutes to the device’s charge by turning off non-essential resources.

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Google Helps Users Save Data

Data usage and storage can be costly in emerging markets. So Android One devices also have software features that let users see how much data they’ve used so they can turn off their data usage whenever they get close to their limits. Mainstream Android also alerts users whenever they near data limits so they don’t mistakenly go over.

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Don’t Look for High-Powered Third Party Apps

With Google Play’s help, Android One devices can be enhanced with a host of outstanding third-party apps. However, since Android One is designed to be a lightweight ecosystem, the third-party apps it supports are not overly sophisticated or consume lots of data. In some cases Android One apps strip away features to consumer less data. It’s a necessary concession in order to run a smartphone on a budget.

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Google Works With Local Carriers

To get Android One to users in emerging markets, Google orchestrates many things behind the scenes. The company works with local carriers to get their networks up to speed and finds device makers willing to build handsets that support Android One. It then aids developers to create apps that can work on its stripped-down operating system.

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Hardware Features Are Scaled Back

While Android One hardware has basic designs by necessity, the handsets meet the needs of most customers in emerging markets. Most of the devices come with displays ranging between 4 and 5 inches and offer low-powered Cortex processors. Users will find front- and rear-facing cameras, but they deliver lower image resolution than the typical mainstream Android handset. Android One devices also usually have lower-capacity batteries and limited onboard data storage. Most of the handsets cost around $100.

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Where Android One Is Showing Up

Google’s Android One is currently available in Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and Nepal, among others. While Google plans to continue to roll out Android One in emerging markets, a recent report from The Information said that the company is also planning a U.S. launch. However, it's unlikely that Google can’t bring handset prices down to $100. So North American buyers should expect to pay between $200 and $300 for the handsets, according to the report. Android One could be coming to the U.S. in the late winter or early spring.

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