More than a year and a half after rolling out Google Go in India and Indonesia, the lighter version of Google Search is now available worldwide.
Google Go, which was launched to help low-powered devices search online in places like India where many areas face weak signal strength and connections, is now available in Play Store for everyone to download. Barely 7MB in size, it may not have all the bells and whistles of its bigger version, but it has many features important to areas with poor connection, such as the ability to remember search results after a connection break. The app is said to run on all Android devices running on Lollipop (version 5.0) or higher.
As well as being designed to work on low-powered devices, Google Go also has a few features that the company says are designed for the needs of emerging markets. Earlier this year Google added Lens functionality into Google Go, which allows the app to use its camera to read text from the real world out loud. The app also features support for voice search and, as of this time last year, can read webpages out loud.
A move away from typing and reading is no coincidence. A report published by The Wall Street Journal in 2017 noted that the ‘Next Billion Users’ Google is so vocally targeting are likely to rely more on video and voice to interact with their devices.
Google Go is just one of the many Go-branded apps that Google produces mainly for emerging markets. Others include Gmail Go, which offers a slimmed-down email experience, and Gallery Go, which you can use to organize your photos. Alongside these apps, Google also produces Android Go, a slimmed-down version of its mobile operating system for low-powered devices. Although meant mainly for emerging markets, this software has also found fans elsewhere due to the relative lack of tacked-on features and these apps’ efficiency on cheaper phones.