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Android reaches 2 billion devices, Google announces new initiative

Less than ten years since being launched on smartphones, Android reached the 2 billion milestone, with that many monthly active Android devices globally. Now, Google wants to use a new initiative to reach the next billions of users.

The first commercially available smartphone running Android was the HTC Dream, also known as T-Mobile G1, announced on September 23, 2008. As of now, there are 2 billion monthly active Android devices globally.

“This is an extraordinarily humbling milestone—and it’s the largest reach of any computing platform of its kind,” Dave Burke, VP of engineering at Google said.


In a blog post, he noted that Google has a new initiative for entry-level Android devices called “Android Go.” Burke says the goal is to get computing into the hands of more people by creating a great smartphone experience on all Android devices with 1GB or less of memory.

Android Go is designed with features relevant for people who have limited data connectivity and speak multiple languages.

“We’re optimizing the latest release of Android to run smoothly on entry-level devices. We’re also designing Google apps — like YouTube Go, Chrome and Gboard — to use less memory, storage space and mobile data. And there will be a version of the Play Store that highlights apps specifically designed for the next billion users coming online, while still offering the entire app catalog. All three of these things will ship together, as a single experience, starting in 2018,” Burke added.

Google acquired Android Inc. for at least $50 million in July 2005. Since 2008, when it was first launched on a smartphone, Android has seen numerous updates which have incrementally improved the operating system, adding new features and fixing bugs in previous releases.

John Beckett