Google writes that users of Android Go, the low-power version of Android built for entry-level smartphones, will require at least 2GB of RAM if they want to jump to Android 13. That’s a 1GB increase compared to Android 11 and Android 12 (Go Edition) requirements. Android 8 to 10, meanwhile, required just 512MB.Although it’s not mentioned in Google’s post, Esper’s Mishaal Rahman and Google Product Expert Jason Bayton (via Ars Technica) write that the minimum storage requirements have also increased, to 16GB.
What happened just now? Over the years, the Android smartphone operating system has advanced significantly. Additionally, the minimal hardware requirements for running the OS have kept rising, just like they do for so many other kinds of software. Google increased those prerequisites once more for Android 13. In August, Android 13 began rolling out to Pixel phones after finishing a protracted test and preview phase. The increased operating system requirements will undoubtedly have an impact on many phone users in poor countries, but it’s good news for consumers who like to constantly use the most recent version.
Any phones that don’t meet these new minimum requirements won’t be able to upgrade to Android 13, while new handsets launching with Android 13 will need to meet them to be eligible for Play Store licensing.
The change is unlikely to affect anyone in the countries such as the US, where you’ll struggle to find phones packing less than 2GB of RAM or 16GB of storage. But Google notes that more than 250 million people are running Android Go, and with big OEMs like Jio, Samsung, Oppo, and Realme building Android Go devices, there is a need for developers to build apps that perform well on these handsets.
Ars notes that if Google decides to expand the minimum requirements across the entire Android ecosystem, the change would cover non-mobile devices such as smart TVs, which don’t always have at least 16GB of storage. Chromecast with Google TV, for example, only has 8GB. That’s good news for users who have been unable to update their apps because of the limited amount of space.