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Google introduces slimline "Go" versions of some of its apps

Google revealed its new Go-branded apps alongside news of the Android Oreo (Go edition) yesterday — find out what they're about here.

Published onDecember 5, 2017

Google launched Android Go yesterday, its new system primed for devices in emerging markets. This comprises a version of Android Oreo optimized for low-tier hardware, a revamped Play Store, and dedicated apps — several of which Google has already discussed.

These apps are designed for devices with lower storage and RAM than your typical flagship, and are built to make better use of mobile data. Though Google revealed some of these alongside the new software, it’s not the only producer of such products: we’ve already seen apps from other brands in this vein, and Google recently created a set of guidelines for developing apps aimed at emerging markets, meaning we’re likely to see many more pop up in time.

The specific Google-developed apps we know to have been associated with Android Go so far are:

  • Files Go
  • Gmail Go
  • Google Go
  • YouTube Go
  • Google Maps Go
  • Google Assistant Go
  • Google Play
  • Gboard
  • Chrome

YouTube Go is the only Go app that we were previously familiar with. This is a slimline version of YouTube that lets you share videos via Bluetooth and download them for offline viewing. Meanwhile, Files Go is brand new file manager app that provides “smart recommendations” on how to free-up storage space, as well as letting users transfer files between devices wirelessly without consuming mobile data. Even more exciting, this app is available already and can be downloaded at the bottom of the page.

Chrome and Gboard, on the other hand, don’t have new versions but are on the list thanks to their respective data saving functionality and multi-language options. As for the Google Play Store, this will look slightly different on Android Go devices to recommend apps for suitable for such handsets.  

Rounding things off, Google Assistant Go is a version of assistant that can, for the first time, work on devices with 1 GB of RAM, and Google Go is a refreshed version of Google Search Lite introduced earlier this year. The remaining apps on the list, Google Maps Go and Gmail Go, haven’t been discussed yet. 

We’ll dig into these apps in the coming weeks and months. In the meantime, for everything else you need to know about Android Go, hit the link. 

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