Google and MTN bring Android One to six countries in Africa

Android One
The Micromax phone under the Android One program

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Last year, Google launched Android One, a low cost smartphone initiative to reach the next billion people. Today, Android One is expanding into six countries in Africa. Collaborating with Infinix a Hong Kong smartphone maker and MTN Group, Android One will come to Nigeria, Egypt, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, and Morocco, offering free Android software updates.

The Android One initiative, works in such away that Google sets hardware specifications for third-party manufacturers in an attempt to make sure that even low-cost smartphones can run the latest version of Android. This way people in developing countries can get the best of Android and not have to buy old phone running KitKat or Gingerbread and at the same time ensuring that users more users are on the latest version on Android. .

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This initiative has not be a smash hit where it has been initially launched in India So far, failing to make much of an impact in ultra-competitive markets whether Africa will be any different is yet to be seen. The search giant says it’s not giving up yet and has launched Android One in six African countries which expands the program’s geographic horizons.

According to the Verge,¬†Google says it’s also working on extending its offline functionality for YouTube to Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, and Egypt in the “coming months,”. This another way of saving bandwidth for the carriers and helps YouTube videos load faster. When a user initially requests for a YouTube video, it is saved in cache on a local server for 48 hours such that when another user requests for the same video, they are served a copy of the cached video and no need to go back to request for it from the Google servers hence saving bandwidth.