Google’s light search app for Android is here, called Google Go.
Like the Google app that you can already get on iOS and Google Play, Google Go will give you quick access to search, weather, and voice-activated functions.
But in order to stay light (at under 5MB per download), Google Go has opted to avoid the heavier Google app’s cards-based interface, and instead go with buttons that open into separate pages.
Google’s app may be targeted at slower connections in emerging markets, but that doesn’t mean users there need to go light on the multimedia.
One of Google Go’s touted features is an image search that will let you quickly find the perfect greeting to send to a friend.
All part of finding the “next billion”
The search giant was already testing Google Go in an experimental version called Search Lite in August, with a similar interface.
The new name follows its “lite” naming convention that saw the release of YouTube Go, which just came out last week in beta for 24 new emerging markets in Southeast Asia, Latin America and Africa.
Meanwhile, Google is working on Android Go, its operating system for low memory devices.
The “Go” push is all part of finding the “next billion” users for Google, which will primarily be in large, emerging markets like India and Africa.
To cater for patchy, unreliable connectivity, over more basic handsets, Google’s design considerations for both software and hardware will prioritise low battery consumption and offline capability.
Along with that concept, the Google Go app (download here on Google Play) appears to only be compatible with lower end smartphones. It doesn’t work with my Samsung S8 or Google Pixel 2, for example, which is a shame since there’s no reason faster devices wouldn’t want a light, zippy app either way.