Android Go: Google launches Gmail Go; list of all Google Go applications

Here’s everything you need to know about Android Go.

tech Updated: Feb 16, 2018 14:47 IST
Kul Bhushan
Kul Bhushan
Hindustan Times
Android Go,Android Oreo Go,Google Go
Gmail Go is the latest Android Go application.(AFP)

Google has launched another stripped-down version of its one of its key applications. The latest is Gmail Go, a lightweight version of Google’s popular email service.

Gmail Go joins an increasing list of Android Go applications, which have been optimised for the emerging markets such as India where majority of smartphones have low RAM and storage along with slower internet connectivity.

Gmail Go is available on Google Play Store and is compatible with Android 8.1 Oreo phones. The application retains core features of the main application and has a similar look and feel.

What is Android Go?

Designed especially for Indian users, Android Go is a customised version of Android (based on Android Oreo). The software has been optimised for low-end Android smartphones which have 512MB RAM to 1GB of RAM.

Google says the OS has been optimised for speed and reliability on such phones, meaning the average app will load 15% faster.

“If all entry level Android devices launched apps 15 percent faster, that would save the world a cumulative one million hours of time—every day,” said Google in a blog post.

The operating system also addresses the problem of little storage space available on the low-end phones. The optimised Android Go bundled with preloaded Google apps which Google claims use 50% lesser storage space.

“The net result is that we’ve doubled the amount of available storage on entry-level devices,” Google added.

Google has also created a separate section on Google Play Store to list all the apps suitable for Android Go phones.

Android Go smartphones

Micromax’s Bharat Go is supposed to be one of the first smartphones to run Android Go out-of-the-box. The smartphone is expected to be launched later this month. Apart from Micromax, Reliance Jio is also said to be working on an Android Go smartphone.

List of Android Go applications (So far)

Google Assistant Go: On Thursday Google rolled out a new Go version of its Assistant. Conveniently called Google Assistant Go, the application is available on Play Store for download, but not available for Indian users yet.

Just like other Go applications, Google Assistant Go retains core features of the main app, allowing users to ask queries, send text messages, make phone calls to a certain contact, preview upcoming events and navigate to places among others.

The application is only available for phones running Android (Go edition).

Google Go: It is a lite version of the main Google Search application but with more functionality. The app supports Indian languages such as Marathi, Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati and Nepali among others. It features quick shortcuts to core Google search features such as search, voice search, images, GIFs, YouTube, weather, translate, and Maps.

Files Go: This app is very similar to the popular Shareit application and allows users to share files with friends offline. It also gives a personalised suggestion to users on which files to delete or apps that least used on the device, in order to optimise storage space. There’s also a Google Drive support, which enables users to real-time back up their data.

YouTube Go: Less than 10MB in size, the app allows users to download and watch videos. It also allows users to share the downloaded videos with their friends offline. YouTube Go is compatible with older Android versions back to Jellybean (Android 4.1).

Google Maps Go: Though not officially launched yet, the application is essentially a web version of Google Maps optimised for low-end phones.

These web versions of main apps are part of Google’s Progressive Web Application (PWA) platform which is leveraged by various popular companies such as Flipkart and Twitter.

To get started with Google Maps Go, open this link on your mobile browser and create an app shortcut to your phone. Note that the application is also available on Google Play store, but you cannot download it right now.

Gmail Go: As said earlier, the app retains core features of the main application and comes with a similar interface. The app includes “a smarter inbox - Focus on messages from friends and family first, while social and promotional emails are categorized neatly for when you have time,” according to the description on Google Play Store.

The app also comes with a spam-blocking feature and free 15GB of storage.

(The updated list includes Gmail Go)

First Published: Feb 01, 2018 14:00 IST