Android Go edition optimizes the OS so that it works better with devices with low memory, while still letting you take advantage of the latest version of Android and (most of) its new additions. Now, the lighter OS is getting an update bringing it up to Android 13.
While Android 13 itself was a pretty laid-back update for most Android phones, it’s actually bringing some major changes for Android Go devices. The first one, and perhaps the most important, is the addition of support for Google Play System Updates. This allows Google to roll out critical software updates to your device without having you wait for an update from your manufacturer — something that’s often a problem with Android Go devices, given how OEMs rarely tend to keep their entry-level phones updated.
The second addition is Material You theming. While that’s an Android 12 feature, it took a step back in the Android 12 Go release — perhaps because the Monet theming engine that Material You relies on wasn’t actually open-sourced until the release of Android 12L, so Android Go needed to wait until version 13. Still, it’s now here, letting you theme your phone’s UI grabbing colors from your wallpaper. Android 13 Go also adds the Discover feed, so now your stock Android launcher will let you swipe right to see a curated list of content coming from Google.
Notably, Android 13 Go will have different requirements this time around. We previously learned that for Android Go devices powered by Android 13, we would need, at least, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage, so if your phone has less than that, it almost certainly won’t get Android 13. Likewise, it also means that’s the minimum specs new Android phones coming out from now onwards will have.
The availability of Android 13 Go will depend on your manufacturer, but software support on Android Go phones normally isn’t amazing — some phones don’t even get one major update. So you’ll need to check in with your OEM to see if it’s actually coming to your device. Chances are that you’ll be able to grab it in a new entry-level Android phone coming in the next few months, though.