What is Android One, what does it feature, and which devices run it?

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(Pocket-lint) - Android tin get confusing. There were determination "sweet treat" names - KitKat, Oreo, Pie, etc - but determination were besides mentation numbers. The latest mentation is Android 11 with Google dropping the dessert names to marque things clearer. So what, then, is Android One?

Android One was primitively designed for first-time smartphone users successful emerging markets. It was introduced astatine Google's I/O developer league successful 2014.

Original Android One devices past emerged successful India, fitting that entry-level proposition, but things person moved on. Its launches successful 2020 broke retired of that mold, but things person been a small quiescent connected the Android One beforehand recently. 


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What is Android One?

  • Google certification programme
  • Originally conceived for entry-level devices successful emerging markets
  • Offers a banal Android experience

Android One is simply a Google-devised programme for hardware manufacturers making smartphones. Being portion of Android One - and labelled arsenic specified connected the rear of the telephone - brings with it a warrant that it's a coagulated and unchangeable mentation of Android that's not loaded with different apps, services and bloatware.

Essentially, it's a banal Android experience. 

Android One comes without immoderate of the worldly that manufacturers similar to bundle successful - nary skins, nary duplicate apps, nary further services. That means nary pre-loading Microsoft Office oregon Facebook app, nary further quality apps and nary changing the keyboard.

Google's extremity present was to facilitate the dispersed of Google-controlled Android via compelling products. It's a small similar the aged Nexus programme, but alternatively than being devices sold by Google directly, these are Android devices made by different hardware partners.

The biggest proponent of Android One is Nokia, who has a full portfolio of devices using the software.


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Which phones tally Android One?

  • Nokia is the biggest partner

The HTC U11 Life was the archetypal Android One handset announced successful 2017. Since then, Nokia made a immense committedness to Android One which truly enactment the strategy connected the radar, with a afloat scope of devices from the Nokia 5.3 done to the Nokia 9 PureView.

Before shutting its mobile division, LG joined the database with the LG G7 One while the Xiaomi Mi A2 besides runs connected Android One alternatively than the company's mean MIUI. Motorola One is different example, launching a full household of Android One phones, similar the Moto One Vision.

The happening we similar astir Android One is that it gives you a axenic Android acquisition escaped from bloat - and immoderate of these devices person been truly accelerated to update to caller versions of Android arsenic a result. Nokia had made a sanction for itself, being the fastest to update its portfolio, partially acknowledgment to utilizing Android One.

Between 2020 and 2021, however, there's been thing of a dilatory down. Google's ain Android One site listing supported devices is inactive displaying phones from 2020 arsenic the astir recent, and respective of the astir caller Android One phones are inactive waiting for their Android 11 upgrade, erstwhile Android 12 is astir to launch. Sadly, it seems the world doesn't lucifer up with the imagination of speedy updates. 


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What does Android One feature?

Android One is described arsenic "the purest signifier of Android." With it, you get "the champion mentation of Android, close retired of the box", according to Google.

It's banal Android loaded with Google goodness, offering each the features of the halfway operating system. This is somewhat antithetic to the Pixel phones. When Google announces the Pixel phones it often includes a mates of unsocial features - specified arsenic a Pixel Camera oregon Pixel Launcher. In immoderate cases these won't beryllium disposable to the remainder of Android and volition stay unsocial to Pixel phones.

Google apps

You get Google bundle similar Google Duo, YouTube, and Maps - successful information the afloat suite of Google services.

Android One phones besides comes with built-in Google Play Protect, which helps guarantee that your apps are unafraid and behaving arsenic they should. What you won't get is immoderate hijacked mentation of Android loaded with malware.

Google Assistant

Android One phones are optimised for Google Assistant, truthful you tin usage Google's helper to hail a ride, substance a friend, and bash each the things you tin bash with Assistant connected different devices. Go present to larn much astir Google Assistant and however it works connected mobile devices. It's a almighty work that keeps getting amended each the time.

Google support

With Android One, your instrumentality volition person up to 2 years of upgrades to the latest mentation of Android. That means that if you bargain an Android One instrumentality connected Oreo, you should extremity up with Android 10. You truthful don't request to endlessly hold for your device's shaper to rotation retired updates, arsenic the shaper doesn't person overmuch to bash with the software.

With an Android One device, manufacturers don't change the bundle successful astatine all, making it casual for Google to contented upgrades. In summation to each this, you get 3 years of Android monthly information updates. Or astatine least, that was the plan. As mentioned, the world has been a small antithetic successful caller times. 

Manufacturer hardware support

This 1 mightiness dependable odd, but Android One besides offers enactment for hardware elements of a manufacturer's device. Android devices are truthful varied successful form, the Android One programme allows the summation of immoderate hardware features with the bundle to power them. 

For example, the HTC U11 Life added a squeezable framework truthful there's bundle enactment for that. You'll besides get manufacturers ain camera apps - the institution who makes the telephone doesn't person to usage the basal Android camera, they tin usage their own. This mightiness widen to enactment for Dolby Atmos connected the speakers, arsenic good arsenic the camera - immoderate camera hardware the shaper uses, they tin support, utilizing their ain app.

As such, connected a Nokia telephone you'll find a Nokia camera with Pro modes and different stuff, antithetic from the banal Android camera. 

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That's conscionable astir each you request to cognize astir Android One!

Writing by Maggie Tillman and Chris Hall. Editing by Cam Bunton. Originally published connected 25 June 2014.

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