Android 8.1go

Why is Android 8.1go so popular on the lower end and cheaper Android Headunits?

What is Android 8.1go, and why is there an Android Go edition anyway?

Android 8

Android 8.0 is Android Oreo for smartphones that appeared in 2017. Android ‘O’, which later became Android Oreo or Android 8, has an API level of 26.

Android 8.1

Android 8.1 contains minor improvements over Android 8 and was given the API level 27.

Android 8.1 and Android 8.1go editions are not to be confused.

Android 8.1 Go

Android 8.1 Go is a ‘Go’ edition of Android based on the Android Oreo (Android 8.1). The Go editions of Android are stripped of the more memory-intensive and processor-intensive features. This seriously dumbed-down version of Android has the look and feel of Android Oreo but has many features lacking.

Features are removed from Android’s ‘Go’ editions, including 8.1go, to allow the software to run on very limited hardware and designed particularly for ultra-budget phones with only 1 GB RAM and poor processing capability.


In poorer countries where expensive smartphones are only available to the wealthy, it became possible to ship budget phones with a modern Android version (of 2017 vintage). Google could reach more people with their operating system by making a stripped-down, lightweight version for the ultra-cheap phones that were now more affordable to those on limited budgets.

Android Headunits

Android Headunits with only 1 GB RAM or 2GB RAM and a poor Quadcore processor are ideal candidates for Android 8.1go because they mirror the performance of an ultra-budget phone. Not capable of running the full Android 8 ‘Oreo’ without lags and slowdowns, the headunits are forced to either run an older version of Android like Kitkat (Android 4.4.4.) or Marshmallow (Android 6) or a more modern Android 8.1 go edition.

Higher numbers of Android versions always sell better than the older versions, so it is easier to sell Android 8.1go headunits than Android 6 or Android 4.4.4.

It is even easier to sell Android 10 (with API level 29) headunits, but these are often just faked versions when they run on the budged hardware because they are running Android 8.1go.

Go Edition

All Go editions of Android are for limited hardware and will lack some if not all, more resource-hungry features.

The following features are turned off by default on Android (Go edition):

This is a list of the default turn-off features available in Android 8.1 but disabled in Android 8.1 Go. If one of the features below is missing from your headunit, you may be on the Go Edition of Android 8.1.

  • Picture-in-picture support
  • System alert Window permission (draw over other apps)
  • Split-screen or multi-screen window
  • Live wallpapers
  • Multi-display
  • Shortcuts or deep shortcuts in the launcher
  • Reduced maximum width and height of any image in remote view
  • VR mode

Checking your Android 8.1go

You can use AIDA64 from the Play Store to check for API levels that may contradict the faked Android version.

Android 8 is API level API level 26; this is not often found on Android Headunits because the is a slightly later version of 8.1.

Android 8.1 is API level 27 and is often confused with the 8.1go version.

Android 8.1 Go edition is API level 27 – see the confusion. It is quite easy to pass off a limited and budget Android Headunit as running Android 8 when running it is actually Android 8.1go with its limitations that are listed above.

While Android 8.1go is better at managing memory and resources, with modern hardware, it is not really necessary, and buying a fake/junk or outdated headunit won’t do you any favors if you want to use it to its full potential.

Other Android Go editions

Yes, there are later versions of Android with a ‘Go’ edition, including Android 13go, so that the cycle will continue.

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I am an Android headunit enthusiast with years of experience with in-car entertainment installation, upgrade and design. Encouraging everyone who wants a change to their android headunit to try a different car launcher :)

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