Google Go for Android is now available globally
Google Go, a lightweight application for Android to use Google Search and other Google services, is available globally now. Google launched the application back in 2017 in select regions and as part of Android Go.
Go is a relatively new line of applications by Google designed specifically for regions with less reliable Internet connectivity. Google published several Go apps for Android in recent years, most recently Photos Go, a lightweight alternative to the heavier Photos application on Android.
Other examples include YouTube Go, the files manager Files Go, or Google Maps Go. Google Go was known as Google Search Lite previously.
Google Go for Android is a lightweight alternative to Android's Google application. While it does not support all the features of the Google application, it supports popular features and may be an alternative (or the only option) for some users.
Google notes that the application uses less storage and memory than the Google application and that it has added some extra features to the application to reduce used storage on the device even further in some circumstances.
A list of tools and application links is displayed to you when you launch Google Go; that is different to the main Google application which displays news on its startpage.
The top two rows link to Google or Android specific tools and services. You may tap on search or voice search to run searches on the device, tap on images to run a search for images, check downloads, or open the YouTube application.
Lens is a relatively new feature that enables you to use the camera of the device to translate text or hear the words of text you point the camera at. Discover is still there but you need to activate the option to get a list of news items (the same that the Google app displays when you start it).
The two rows underneath link to the web versions of popular applications. You find links to Amazon, Wikipedia, Facebook, or Instagram there. An option to add apps or to display them all is provided as well.
Want to add Reddit, Pinterest, or eBay to the list? Just tap on add app to add it. Note that the selection seems to be based almost entirely on your region. When I opened the "all apps" listing, most apps offered to me on the page were German services and websites. Google Go offers no options to change the region.
It is easy enough to add shortcuts to web versions of sites and services that you use without using Google Go. If you use Chrome on Android, all you need to do is open the site in question and select Menu > Add to Home afterward.
Google Go may open special "lite" versions of these sites. You need to open the application's Settings and enable the lite option there first, however. Lite versions focus on the content and remove other elements of webpages to speed up the loading of pages.
Google Go and the entire Go line of apps is an attempt to win over users who don't have the best of experiences with the standard Google apps. If you do use the Google app on your Android device you may want to check out Google Go to see if it suits you better; this may be the case especially if you notice slow-downs or other issues while using the main Google application.
Now You: Have you tried Go apps in the past? (via Born, Google)
All this while Chrome still kills background processes. Time for a Chrome Go, maybe? And remove all the nonsense related to the new tab page.
I use LineageOS with as few Google apps as possible. I’ve been doing without the Google app for the time being as well, but I dearly miss voice typing. Is that feature available in Google Go?
You mean to search using your voice? Or something else?
I mean a virtual keyboard called “Google Voice Typing.” So when I type the microphone next to the microphone icon on my on-screen keyboard, it allows me to dictate. To my knowledge, this is only available when the Google app is installed.
Anyway, I decided it was rather pathetic of me to ask someone else to do this for me, so I installed it myself to see. And no, the Google Go app does not include the Google Voice Typing virtual keyboard. Need the full Google app for that one.
I don’t use such things myself, so I have no idea if any of these are any good, but there are a fair number of non-Google keyboards that include text-to-speech functionality.
Yes, but as far as I know every one of them ties into the Google Voice Typing engine to provide that functionality. The amount of work required to write a voice recognition engine is apparently massive, and to the best of my knowledge nobody apart from Google/Samsung/Apple has made a serious effort at this point. My hope at some point is that somebody will be able to make a usable alternative by tying into Mozilla’s Common Voice project, but those days are still far away.